The Hot Summer and Cold Winter (HSCW) climate zone along the Yangtze River Valley Region is an economically well-developed region in China. With the improvement of indoor thermal environments, the Chinese government implemented the control of energy use intensity (EUI) for heating and cooling to prevent the excessive growth of energy usage in the area. There is still a lack of EUI quota-based strategic and technical solutions for new residential buildings that consider both climate characteristics and residents’ behaviour. This study set up a EUI quota-based three-step approach that consists of processes of multi-objective optimization, multi-criteria decision-making and integrated solutions analysis. The novel combined approach is implemented in this study that the NSGA-II solves the multi-objective optimization problem and TOPSIS solves the multi-criteria decision-making problem. By applying this novel approach, this study is the first to propose practical, integrated, cost-effective solutions for residential buildings while maintaining a comfortable indoor thermal environment that meets the EUI quota and can be implemented across the region. The proposed optimal integrated solutions are composed of both passive and active measures to improve building thermal performance, to reduce the burden on artificial heating and cooling while improving the performance of air conditioning in extreme weather conditions. This study mapped the full spectrum of solutions and provides rigorous evidence to energy policymakers for forthcoming design standards.