Most constructions in China only have life span of 25-30 years?

| April 11th, 2010

From SouFun:

20100411-building-life-01

Mortgage slaves work hard for half of their lives and save up for the down payment, then work hard for the rest of their lives to pay off the loan. Finally when they can relax and live as home owners, they never have thought that when the mortgage salves are not yet old, the homes are already old, not only old, but also rotted, most of them become the subject for demolition. This is the reality of what currently more than 100 million Chinese mortgage slaves had to face.

According to Deputy Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxin (仇保兴) at the Sixth International Green building and Energy Conservation General Assembly, China has the most new buildings in the world in each year, the newly constructed area in each year is about 2 billion square meters, equivalent to 40% of the world consumption o f cement and steel, however they can only last 25-30 years.

What a concept, Most of the constructions in China only have the life span of 25-30 years, after 30 years they will become a pile of garbage or dangerous building or subject of urban renewal and transformation. Normally the loan for a home is 20 -30 years, before you can finish paying the loan your home is already exhausted, what tragedy it is? Working hard for your whole life for the government, banks and developers, in then end your youth is gone, money has been lost and home will be destroyed. If what Minister Qiu said is true, then it is no doubt a great tragedy for all the mortgage slaves.

Whether what Minister Qiu said is true, we are unclear from a national perspective, however looking at Shenzhen perhaps what Qiu said is too modest. Buildings in Shenzhen seem to have even lower average life expectancy, less than 20 years. Taking Huatai residential district and Jianye residential district in Futian District as examples, built in the 90s, less than 20 years old, but these buildings’ lives are coming to an end and are subjected to be rebuilt.

In a general review of the constructions in Shenzhen, how many buildings over 20 years of age still remain strong and bright? Especially the residential and civil constructions are in an even more worrying situation. Of course most of the buildings over 30 years of age have been included in the Shenzhen Museum, became the antiques of Shenzhen. And right now, Shenzhen’s constructions are far ahead of China’s inland cities, but even so, 20-30 years is the end of the buildings’ lives, is Shenzhen becoming the city that has a shorter building lifespan?

Reclamation District’s tragedy: buildings are sinking, a sinking Manhattan?

If wasn’t for the media exposure, many people still yearn for the life facing the ocean in the reclamation district in Shenzhen. Now less than 10 years of land filling, many high-rises one after another stood tall in the reclamation district. Even though they are enjoying every beautiful day like the spring, the foundations are unstable, some are even in danger of collages. Would you continue to yearn for the life by the ocean there? The ocean sway towards you, the land underneath is also swaying.

The root cause of foundations built on in Baoan District subsided has to do with the problem with foundation of reclamation district being unstable, but after 10 years, the reclamation district still has such risk. Even in Hong Kong, the reclamation area was rebuilt by the government after 20 years of sinking. In the central area of Baoan, constrictions on the landfill is less than 10 years, in the Back Bay is less than 8 years, if start building in the Front Bay also, the time is even less. This kind of foundation, is it not worrisome? Are we building a sinking Manhattan? The foundation of central area of Baoan is sinking; its value is sinking, how long until the Back Bay sinks too?

***

It this really true?

See the article from China Daily on this issue.

However someone was skeptical about this claim and posted his argument on KDNet translated by ESWN.

Could Qiu Baoxing really have said that?  On March 30, the Economic Observer website reported on Qiu Baoxing’s speech at the Sixth International Green Building and Energy Conservation Conference:

[in translation]  Qiu Baoxing said that China is the country which constructs the largest number of new buildings per year in the world, accounting for about 40% of all new construction and thus using up 40% of the cement and steel in the world.  "This is due to the rapid construction during the rapid urbanization of our country.  This process will last for another 25 to 30 years.  For this reason, all new construction must adhere to the 50% energy conservation standard."

You can imagine for yourself.  If the English-language report was correct in that Chinese buildings have an average lifespan of 30 years, then many of the buildings that were constructed in 1980 or before must be basically gone?  While some of those buildings have been torn down and rebuilt, they are only a small proportion.  It is mostly the very old buildings that are being torn down in the cities for rebuilding.

The quality of housing construction in China leaves a lot to be desired, and housing prices are indeed ridiculously high.  But most of the houses in China should last more than 30 years.  I understand that what I am saying here may upset certain people.  Therefore I gave careful consideration, but I thought that I have to say this!  We supervise/monitor our government and we hold them accountable because it is our right to do so.  But our criticisms ought to be based upon a credible, reasonable and factual basis.  Otherwise, this is just going to give certain people the excuse to restrict freedom of speech on the Internet!

See complete translation on ESWN.

59 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. joe says:

    like the products they make for the world made in China is Cheap Junk. Good for them. now they know the rest of the world feels poison sheet rock poison milk, toys, fish fake eggs, just plain Junk that

  2. Stephchan says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha Thats China who cares let them Rot in it too. No need to make a coffin when they pass away, just bury home and family together

    • CraZY says:

      Fuck you pig

    • Carl says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha Thats HongKong who cares let them Rot in it too. No need to make a coffin when they pass away, just bury home and family together

      • erwang says:

        it is not only china , but everywhere. most people work there whole lives just to have a roof over the head. like a car, a home is bound to have to be fix or to upkeep such as painting the exterior, or rewiring electrical wires. if people do not upkeep the house, it could also mold and just look unpleasant
        also, it cost a lot to remodel a home, so people dont fix it until it is extremely unliveable

        • Lachien says:

          Erwang it is not everywhere

          – if you go to Europe there are homes that are hundreads of years old and stil strong, same in US it is not uncommon to buy a home that is 60 or 70 years, they call fix-er-upper, the structure still good just need some minor works, not like whole structure in China falling apart. Very sad. in China. They need good homes for so many people. Do it right. Chinese people you must control yourself – do a good job it starts with one person. if all do good job then its good for all.

      • erwang says:

        you can rot in your trailer park earl, with your dad humping your sister and you playing strippoker with your cousin you hill bill tim buck two

    • KahnKee says:

      When you die, they will just feed your corpse to the wild dogs and let them eat you up, you stupid S. O. B.

  3. CraZY says:

    This is actually wrong:

    http://www.zonaeuropa.com/201004a.brief.htm#014

    What the original speech in Chinese said was that the construction boom will last another 25-30 years.
    China daily reported it wrong.

  4. Hahaha says:

    Tofu Houses…….

  5. Zhangsan says:

    Debunked on zonaeuropa. Your post should make a note of this.

  6. Wang Er says:

    Can we keep ChinaSmack style comments on ChinaSmack? Thank you everyone.

  7. Carl says:

    This process will last for another 25 to 30 years. 这样的过程还要经过25-30年。

    Not the buildings will las for another 25-30 years. 搜房clearly misquoted the original speech.

    ………….
    You know… it’s only after I dug deeper into this site did I realise that there’s nothing enlightened about it, it’s just another China blaming and accusing site that’s got slightly better source materials.
    “““`

    Anyways…

    Chinese constructions of civilian buildings and even military ones clearly needs improvement, I’ve seen it myself. However, that’s talking about buildings built at the beginning of the fall so to speak, of qualities in just about everything in China. Part of the 改革开放. And I believe that things are slowly making progress. Still to slow but progress nevertheless, and even if the article was not misquoting, three decades of lifespan is still exaggerating.

    =======

    On another note, do you seriously believe that 仇保兴, the Deputy Minister of Construction, would say something this damaging to China’s image at an international conference? If he did, he must be looking for a change in job.

    • Key says:

      hey Carl thanks for the information, yes it seems that everyone is hearing what they want to hear.

      • b-real says:

        Its not only what we want we to hear, for those who have experianced China can agree that it is fairly evident that the products of China were not meant to last very long. I live in 3 year old luxury apartment in Beijing that cost a great deal of money. But there are clear signs of rapid deterioration going on inside and out of my complex. Its a shame for the owners who are now stuck with the sight of cracks all over their fancy building, plaster peeling off the walls and the smell of sewage in our bedrooms. They have a heavy burden to try and get property management to fix it before its too late.

        I can’t help but to agree that typically most building are built on a temporary status. If you ever decide to travel to developing parts of Shanghai outside of the urban and look at how the building are being built and then compare to how they build in the cities then it makes you might agree with me. I don’t know if you notice the flood of companies trying to get you to go to Weihai, Qindao ,Shangdong? That’s a perfect example of condos that were built 10 years ago, reclaimed and built new ones. The ones were no better than the old ones they just looked better and placed more attractively. The GOV may give 70 years to own these building but I don’t think they’ll last that long from safety issues before they have to knock them down again. Not to say things won’t or haven’t change just not evident yet. Maybe after 30 years from now the will get it together and think longer terms.

  8. John says:

    As a foreigner living in China, whose gf owns an apartment and hopes to buy another, this news was very disconcerting. However, one things gf said “The government has to do something. Think about it: its not only us, it will be so many people whose house will need to be demolished.”

    Makes sense.

  9. Ooolala says:

    It is true that buildings seems to age extremely fast in China.

    One problem is that in new communities the management company is set by the constructor and tries to collect as much management fees as possible and spend as little as possible.

    The owners of the appartments, as typical chinese sheep, are reluctant to organize them selves, monitor the management company, ask accounting details and eventually fire the management company if necessary. The usual fear of authority and of everything that looks a bit official and the usual lack of questionning is what make china a paradize for the businessmen.

    The other problem is that the building code in China are insufficient and that the enforcement is insufficient because it is always easy to bribe an inspector. When you combine that with the total absence of responsability and morality when it comes to make a buck, you get a time bomb.

    Building is just one item. Analoguous stories for other products from medications to food.

  10. chinapower says:

    YOU INSULTE CHINA YOU HURT FEELINGS OF GREAT CHINESE PEOPLES!!!!! CHINA GREATEST CULTUR IN WORLD AND SUPERIOR STRONG RACE!!! YOU MUST RESPECT!!!SHAME YOU!!! YOU APOLOGIIZE!!! THIS WEBSITE NO GOOD!!!

    • Lachien says:

      grow up. the US has been criticized hundreds of years by everybody, and before that European Countries – you wanna be in charge be superior, learn to take criticism – your comment is comment of Child with temper tantrum.

      You are a Baby not worthy of leading anything.

    • Espania says:

      Nino Y nina.

      You need to shut mouth and grows some testicle – tu es a Little Girl.

      • chinapower says:

        why you speak french???? In france speak ENGLISH stupid, you waiguoren speak all english! why you clown ? In france speak english! ENGLISH! because you waiguoren, all waiguoren speak english but you no speak chinese haha! We number one!!! we smrt and world number 1!!! you foreigner no insult CHINA!! this site must block!

        • Espania says:

          its spanish you too estupido!!

          西班牙性病你太愚蠢!

          I am Spanish and I speak 8 languages ASSHOLE

          我是西班牙人,我講 8種語言的混蛋

    • Carl says:

      hey you fake chinese, your fake identity and your fake message and your fake comeback all shows ur only trying to make china look bad.

      but oh well. maybe your need growing up to do.

      or maybe your just faking that.

      umm…

  11. chinapower says:

    stupid foreigners! you wai guo ren must speak english bevause is your language!!! No other language! We speak CHINESE and you waigouren speak ENGLISH! You stupid foreigner, you jelous!!! CHINA NUMBER ONE; CHINA SUPERIOR RACE; STRONG WORLD POWER! YOU SERVE US NOW!! CHINA NUMBER ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS SITE MUST BLOCK! YOU INSTULT FEELING CHINESE GREAT PEOPLE!

    • JoE says:

      “stupid foreigners! you gaijin must speak chivesebevause is your language!!! No other language! We speak NIPONand you gaijin speak CHIVESE! You stupid foreigner, you jelous!!! NIPON NUMBER ONE; NIPON SUPERIOR RACE; STRONG WORLD POWER! YOU SERVE US NOW!! NIPON NUMBER ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS SITE MUST BLOCK! YOU INSTULT FEELING JAPANESE GREAT PEOPLE!”

  12. Espania says:

    stupid foreigners! you wai guo ren must speak english bevause is your language!!! No other language! We speak CHINESE and you waigouren speak ENGLISH! You stupid foreigner, you jelous!!! CHINA NUMBER ONE; CHINA SUPERIOR RACE; STRONG WORLD POWER! YOU SERVE US NOW!! CHINA NUMBER ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS SITE MUST BLOCK! YOU INSTULT FEELING CHINESE GREAT PEOPLE!

    外國人笨!偉國任您必須以您的語言是英語 bevause!不是沒有其他的語言!我們講,你講中文西班牙語 waigouren!你愚蠢的外國人,你jelous! 1號中國,中國高貴的種族的世界力量雄厚!美國現在您服務!中國頭號 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!這個網站必須用正楷! INSTULT你感覺非常好中國人民!

  13. Carl says:

    Just so you know, if somebody here looks really radical and speak bad English: that user is faking it to make China and real Chinese like myself look bad somehow.

    Real Chinese people this fluent in English, and even if they aren’t that good, are not radical nationalist shit who’d go “You hate China you bad” on forums.

    Those sick bored people are pretending that they are Chinese.

    • JoE says:

      But…but…it’s fun feeding the trolls. Their heads just get fatter and fatter with every bite!

  14. fireworks says:

    Well its disappointing if this is true. Most western countries have strict building codes to ensure buildings last for years. In England, some terraced or town houses have lasted 200 years. Some were built from the industrial revolution.

    The question is, what about the bridges and tall skyscrapers like Jinamo building and the SWFC building. Are they built to last 100 years or so?

    Most western skyscrapers and infrastructure are built to last at least a 100 years e.g. Chrysler building, Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

  15. Joseph says:

    Been to china many times – lived in Japan, Germany, France, US Egypt.

    China is a dirty filthy place where the hotels across the street in Shanghai, can’t be sen be cause of the Air pollution. Like Mexico, you Chinese are the bottom of the barrel in Asia, Japan is clearly superior. In all aspects.

    China sorry but your country is polluted, overcrowded, not honorable(taught to lie in Essays when a child), low quality thinking, poor hygiene, polluted water, always making Fake something like a European original Louis Vitton(example), Not original thoughts, crap after crap – there is no other country I never care to visit.

    Maybe many western people complain because they get what you make and finally YOU SHOULD NOT BE PAID FOR POISON.

    • GWB says:

      You shoudda have been alive when america was just starting out. takes time man, it takes time to get back on ur feet again.

      • b-real says:

        bad excuse that of could have worked 30 years ago but today the practices still go on. China has plenty money and they have been standing on their own 2 feet for a long time now. Standards are there for a reason. When population is at risk there is no room for learning curves. China knows how to make safe shit but their not much enforcement in place. Greed gets the best of everybody.

        • Carl says:

          know how long it takes to make a country a nation, and a nation a great one?

          answer: longer than 30 years.

          KMT took ever last bit of wealth from the Chinese mainland when they fled with their tails between their legs, leaving mao with several million dirt poor robinhoods to deal with. Well, that’s something you’ll never understand i guess.

    • Guinea says:

      Japan looks just like China: Soviet-style cement blocks without insulation.

      You obviously haven’t never lived in Japan.

  16. neo says:

    Obviously there are some foreigners hostile to China, even to Chinese, as we can see their comments above. I can face, actually more often feel shameful to the criticism about the flaws of Made-in-China. I know we have problems, but no one can deny that the quality gets better and better and you cannot live without Chinese products.

    And this is a place for arguing not for cursing.

  17. Joseph says:

    We did not profane. Yet you analysis is not correct – we can live without, I havr computers, tv, shoes clotes home products etc. I own nothing from China- a growing number in North America and Europe agree that we CAN live without china we did before, we will again.

    there are other countries we don’t have to wait for quality improvements for. Don’t be sillyy. your not the only game in the village.

    Joseph

  18. Jimmy T says:

    Wow Joseph, you’re hardcore aren’t you? I think people like haven’t seen the entire side of the picture. Honestly, did you ever make friends with a Chinese person while on your visit? Instead of complaining like some overgrown schoolgirl, why won’t you do something for a change? Your attempt to boycott Chinese goods will never work; “Made in China” is clearly ubiquitous.

    We all know each and every country, person, and thing has its flaws, but to point out that a ” bottom of the barrel in Asia” and “Japan is clearly superior” are thoughts of a ignorant individual.

    I sure do hope you aren’t American, as I know many that do the very least for China. Respect.

    • Databoy says:

      Wow Jimmy T you mean Joseph has to be friends with a Chinese guy to be smart. Wonder why you send your people to American Universities – aren’t you smart enough to have a good university in China? You need us to steel from. You are taught ot lie in essays when young that is true then you murder(abortion) young girls in the 9th month before birth!!! 30 Million!!!!

      I am an American and I take exception to your slur against Americans.
      Get this article that appeared in London today – Joseph may not be spot on with everything – But I don’t buy Chinese, either. We should have let MacArthur go to Peking. We won the world war 2 with Russia and the UK and Canada and Australia – you got your ass-kick by little Japan

      heres the article you Homo:

      Gendercide: China’s shameful massacre of unborn girls means there will soon be 30m more men than women. In the cruel old China, baby girls were often left to die in the gutters. In the cruel modern China, they are aborted by the tens of millions, using all the latest technology.

      There is an ugly new word for this mass slaughter: gendercide.

      Thanks to a state policy which has limited many families to one child since 1979, combined with an ancient and ruthless prejudice in favour of sons, the world’s new superpower is beginning the century of its supremacy with an alarming surplus of males.
      A classroom full of boys in Dangzhou City

      A Danzhou classroom where the boys far outnumber girls

      By the year 2020, there will be 30 million more men than women of marriageable age in this giant empire, so large and so different (its current population is 1,336,410,000) that it often feels more like a separate planet than just another country. Nothing like this has ever happened to any civilisation before.

      The nearest we can come to it is the sad shortage of men after the First World War in Britain, France, Russia and Germany, and the many women denied the chance of family life and motherhood as a result.

      It is possible that the effects of that imbalance are still with us, in the shape of the radical feminist movement which found ready recruits among the husbandless teachers and other professionals of the Twenties and Thirties.

      But men without women are altogether more troublesome than women without men, especially when they are young.

      All kinds of speculation is now seething about what might happen; a war to cull the surplus males, a rise in crime, a huge expansion in the prostitution that is already a major industry in every Chinese city, a rise in homosexuality.

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1265068/China-The-worlds-new-superpower-beginning-century-supremacy-alarming-surplus-males.html#ixzz0l9U0WnCo

  19. Potomacker says:

    I gave a lesson about a Hong Kong apartment community whose residents moved in because they had no other choice and yet choose to live there after forty years of very cramped living conditions. When I mentioned that the buildings were 40 years old, one young man shouted out: “Impossible”, clearly translating the interjection, “Bu xing”. He simply could not imagine an apartment building livable after so many years and more. That it has now come out that this whole ruckus was due to a mistranslation, I wonder whether it was a case of the translator projecting some deeply held ideas about the overall quality of the housing stock onto the words of a Chinese official.

  20. b-real says:

    Not to be an ass but can we agree after the quake situations that has happened repeatedly that it hasn’t gotten much better over the years? All this money they have to spend in relief effort on a craps shoot or a game of chance, the odds are against you. There is no excuse for negligence here or there.

  21. neutral says:

    all you kids need a life. go out there and do something instead of arguing pointlessly with internet cowards.

    -n

  22. Lili says:

    1. chinese have little to no building standards (it is easier to bribe an official than to actually put the time and money into building something of quality)
    2. chinese love money more than everything else and are willing to put others (outside of their own families) at risk to gain it
    3. relatively medium sized earthquakes turn into disasters mainly because of poorly built structures
    4. i have stayed in four hundred year old houses in china (si he yuan) and have felt safe… at the same time i have lived in a luxury spt biult within the last ten years and have seen meter long pieces of glass siding smask to the ground 20 stories below
    5. i own a house in a newly built six story building in BJ and have already seen cracks that cause me to be concerned
    6. chinese people need to stand up and help not only themselves, but others… somehow i am doubtful this will happen anytime soon.

  23. I_Love_China says:

    you lying! in China we make best house! we are best!! yo lie foreigner you jealous and you insult feeling of chinese people!!! china is best in house and number 1!! stupid foreigner!

  24. yang says:

    yes so true ! iam chinese. we so fine people with best culture and highest honor and decent people in world. the foreigner so jealous to us! our leaders live long! I LOVE CHINA. STRONG POWER LEAD WORLD TO HIGHEST CULTURE AND CHINA LEAD WORLD FOREVER AND HAPPINESS AND HARMONY!!

  25. yang says:

    the world is belong to CHINA, we big and strong and best of all in world!! We the best culture and is best strong masters race of world!

  26. zhongguo says:

    fuck you ruan. jealuos of China greatness and power. you serve us now. you the must live now with china power. embracing biggest superior culture of world. good word yang. our leader is best.

  27. baige says:

    Brain wave attack controller technology has spread, people can suddenly died, suddenly people were completely controlled, sudden mental disorders, there are ultrasonic harassment suicide, these cases to occur in the world.

  28. shit says:

    what i wanna say is “shit!!” fucking chinese community

  29. Niladri Sekhar Bose says:

    I am an Indian living in Calcutta(Kolkata). I want to mention here that the same thing is happening in India also. While my ancestral house built by my grandfather is 78 years old but is still rock solid , the new luxury condominiums built by developers/promoters are showing cracks within a few years. This is because of the low proportion of cement and steel and use of low quality flyash based cements. Morever the developers blatantly flout Kolkata Municipal Corporation Building Rules/Regulations by bribing the KMC inspectors. They do these because they want to make a quick profit , and do not care how long the building lasts after they sell them off to ignorant homebuyers. The only thing they prioritize is the outside beauty/aesthetics of the building by using glass,paints and aluminium decoartive sheets to lure customers. To save oneself from these, a homebuyer must buy his own land and build his own house by direct supervision of laborers , and not buy ready made apartments from developers.

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