Identification of Quality Failures in Building Energy Renovation Projects in Northern China

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Building energy renovations contribute significantly to energy sustainability and environmental protection. These advantages have increased the importance of renovating existing residential buildings in many countries. In China, the government has supported the energy-saving renovation of existing urban residential buildings since 2007. However, quality failures, which do not meet the technical requirements, occur during construction processes in building energy renovation projects. Although quality failures are regarded as a crucial problem in building energy renovation projects, the identification of quality failures and their sources, likelihood, impacts, and causes remain mostly unknown. This paper investigates the nature of quality failures in building energy renovation projects. A total of 25 quality failures were first identified through five cases, and interviews with six experienced construction professionals in China. A questionnaire survey was further conducted to evaluate the frequency of quality failures. The results show the nature of quality failures that arise during construction and their sources, occurrence frequency, causes, and impacts. The research reveals that quality failures are caused by defaults by workers; inadequate checking procedures; incomplete construction site surveys; inaccurate design work; fraud of construction companies; and inefficient cooperation between different departments. Above all, the behaviors of the main actors are responsible for poor construction quality. Additionally, emphasis on quality control during the renovation preparation stage is critical to ensure that quality failures are reduced in numbers and severity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4203
Number of pages23
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Quality failures
  • building energy renovation projects
  • Northern China


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