Building Environment Assessment Methods and Social Studies of Rural Villages in Yunnan and Urban Development in Chongqing City, Southwest China

Yun Gao, Adrian Pitts, Lili Dong, Guo Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Recent urbanization processes and corresponding government policies in China have highlighted the need for much greater understanding of sustainable development and the requirements for sustainability in settings that are very different in rural and urban regions. This paper examines practice and knowledge linked to typical vernacular houses constructed since 1950 in Yunnan Province and regional buildings in Chongqing City in Southwest China. Both areas have played crucial roles in contributing to regional architectural design since the beginning of the 20th Century because of the diversity arising from numerous ethnic groups and various climate types and topography features in the region. The study explores how academic and end-user knowledge accumulated and developed, and how this has revealed social, cultural and political influences on how designers and consumers were motivated towards sustainable design over the same time period. It is argued that locally shared knowledge bases should be considered important for informing governmental policies, planning strategy and consumers’ preferences, as well as influencing actions and social acceptance in relation to sustainable development. Furthermore, sustainable design should not be regarded as a contemporary new idea, but one that has its roots in the historical changes in built environment design and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd PLEA International Conference
Subtitle of host publicationDesign to Thrive
EditorsLuisa Brotas, Susan Roaf, Fergus Nicol
PublisherNCEUB - Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780992895754
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
Event33rd Passive Low Energy Architecture International Conference: Design to Thrive - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20175 Jul 2017
Conference number: 33 (Link to Conference Website)


Conference33rd Passive Low Energy Architecture International Conference
Abbreviated titlePLEA 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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