Assessing the effects of technological progress on energy efficiency in the construction industry: A case of China
Energy-saving technologies in buildings have received great attention from energy efficiency researchers in the construction sector. Traditional research tends to focus on the energy used during building operation and in construction materials production, but it usually neglects the energy consumed in the building construction process. Very few studies have explored the impacts of technological progress on energy efficiency in the construction industry. This paper presents a model of the building construction process based on Cobb-Douglas production function. The model estimates the effects of technological progress on energy efficiency with the objective to examine the role that technological progress plays in energy savings in China's construction industry. The modeling results indicated that technological progress improved energy efficiency by an average of 7.1% per year from 1997 to 2014. Furthermore, three main technological progress factors (the efficiency of machinery and equipment, the proportion change of the energy structure, and research and development investment) were selected to analyze their effects on energy efficiency improvement. These positive effects were verified, and results show the effects of first two factors are significant. Finally, recommendations for promoting energy efficiency in the construction industry are proposed.