Y-Project Market Potential team members travel to Beijing and Tianjin to investigate the development prospects of the sustainable housing market

05 Aug 2021

The 2021 Solar Decathlon China (hereafter SDC) launched in September 2020 has now entered the final stage of competition. After nearly a year of preliminary contests, XJTLU’s entry, the Y-Project, designed with its international partners, Zhejiang University-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, and International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, currently ranks 2nd out of the 15 participating teams. All 15 sustainable house prototypes will be constructed and exhibited in Zhangjiakou,Hebei Province next month where they will remain until after the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

To gauge the future market development prospects of our Y-Project sustainable house in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, primary research was conducted in late July by a research team led by Dr. Zhenyu Su, Assistant Professor in Real Estate Economics in IBSS along with five XJTLU students,
Xuecong Li, MArch Architectural Design
Xiaodi Xu, MSc Media and Communication,
Wenyao Zhang, BA Marketing,
Zixuan Liu, BSc Economics,
Yushuang Wang, BSc Information Management and Information Systems.

During this research trip, the team had the honor of visiting and learning from the following experts:
Mr. Xinwei Li, President Assistant of Syswin Real Estate Group Co., Ltd.,
Mr. Pu Huang, Director of Urban Generation and Development Research Center of China Academy of Building Research Co., Ltd.,
Mr. Lei Shi, Deputy General Manager of Investment Management Department of CCCG Real Estate Group Co., Ltd.,
Ms. Xue Zheng, Head of Vanke Group’s Beijing Regional Product Center,
Mr. Qiang Gao, Senior Urban Planner, Senior Economic Analyst, and Senior Manager of Project Management of China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, also the COO of Sunhola Group Co., Ltd..

These experts provided the team critical first-hand information on current government policies on sustainable residential housing, the use of sustainable residential land in urban planning, the investment landscape in the sustainable housing market, and the development prospects of green housing by real estate developers. In addition to these in-depth interviews, the group conducted focus groups with Generation Z cohort members to determine the purchase appeal of sustainable housing. Both the interviewees and the focus group participants were asked to comment on the Y-Project sustainable house designs which have improved our product.

On the final day of the research trip, the team had the pleasure of meeting with representatives of Tianjin University’s Solar Decathlon China’s team. Tianjin University’s entry currently ranks 1st in China. During this meeting, both teams’ designs were reviewed with opinions shared on each other’s entry followed by an in-depth discussion on the current development status of China’s sustainable residential real estate market.

SDC was initiated in China in 2011, and aims to create a workforce development and education program which can provide student architects, engineers, business majors, and communicators the opportunity to cooperate in designing and building sustainable housing projects that can respond to people’s daily realities and regional development. SDC 2021 invited 15 teams to build competition prototypes to meet a triple challenge in the context of the host city: sustainable development, smart connection and human health. The city of Zhangjiakou will recognize and maintain the prototypes as facilities serving the Winter Olympics in 2022, as living labs of the National Renewable Energy Demonstrative Zone, and as models for regional sustainable development (U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Decathlon).

The Y-Project is building a modern sustainable solar house. In response to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the carbon neutrality and carbon peaking policies proposed by the Chinese government, the Y-Team led by XJTLU intends to demonstrate the most advanced building technology, control systems and design strategies. This team is international with members from those institutes aforementioned, and XJTLU’s interdisciplinary team consists of faculty and students from the Schools of Design, Advanced Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences and the International Business School Suzhou (IBSS).

By Dr. Zhenyu Su and Dr. Ellen Touchstone

05 Aug 2021