Effect of climate zone change on energy consumption of office and residential buildings in China


Previous studies revealed that building climatic zoning has largely changed in China due to the influence of climate change. However, the possible impacts of changing building climatic zoning on energy consumption for cooling or heating are not clear. In this study, eight representative cities were selected from changed climate zones, and the heating and cooling energy consumption of office and residential buildings of the representative cities under the conditions of the current and new climate zones was simulated to reveal the effect of the climate zone change on building energy consumption. The results showed that there was no heating or cooling energy consumption with the climates changing from hot summer and cold winter (HSCW) and cold (C) to mild (M). Also, no heating energy consumption occurred with the climate zones changing from HSCM to hot summer and warm winter (HSWW), whereas the cooling energy consumption showed a weak decrease. For the climate zones that shifted from severe cold (SC) to C, decreasing heating energy consumption and increasing cooling energy consumption trends were observed, and the total energy use exhibited a decreasing trend. However, in the climate zones changing from C to HSCW, the heating and cooling energy consumption increased, especially for residential buildings (e.g., the heating energy consumption of Zhengzhou and Baoji increased 78.7% and 77.7%, respectively). This study suggests that new climate zones should be fully considered and the new design standard according to the changes of climate zones should be adopted to improve building energy efficiency. The design of residential buildings in the climate zones changing from C to HSCW may not consider the changes of climate zone.

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Fig. 1
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Fig. 3



Hot summer and cold winter climate zone


Hot summer and warm winter climate zone


Severe cold climate zone


Cold climate zone


Mild climate zone


Typical meteorological year


Typical meteorological month


Dry bulb temperature


Wet bulb temperature


Relative humidity


Solar radiation


Wind speed


Wind direction


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We acknowledge National Meteorological Information Center for providing the meteorological observation data.


This work was jointly supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFA0606302), and the Climate Change Special Funding Project (CCSF201831 and CCSF201944) of the China Meteorological Bureau.

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Yuehao Chen wrote the paper with input from all other authors; Mingcai Li designed the research and partly wrote the paper; Jingfu Cao and Shanjun Cheng conducted the analysis of the meteorological data; Ruixue Zhang simulated the building energy consumption.

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Correspondence to Mingcai Li.

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Chen, Y., Li, M., Cao, J. et al. Effect of climate zone change on energy consumption of office and residential buildings in China. Theor Appl Climatol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-021-03544-w

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