Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy
A system dynamics‑based decision‑making tool and strategy
optimization simulation of green building development in China
· Chao Xu
· Wan Wang
· Xianguo Wu
Received: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2018
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
Green building has emerged as a new type of building to mitigate the conﬂict between the rapid expansion of buildings
and the deteriorating ecological environment, thus promoting ecologically sustainable development of building projects.
However, the development of green building suﬀers from issues such as high initial costs and complicated process. In this
study, a system dynamics (SD) approach has been used to investigate green building development (GBD) in China. The
validity of the GBD-SD model has been veriﬁed and further applied to simulate GBD in the city of Wuhan. Three problems
in current GBD system of Wuhan have been identiﬁed based on analysis of simulated results: (1) slow-paced GBD; (2)
imbalanced green building supply and demand; and (3) low overall green level. Furthermore, three strategies have been
proposed accordingly to solve those three problems. This study provides a GBD-SD model to comprehensively understand
the dynamic relationships between participants in a GBD system and may shed light on sustainable development of green
buildings for policy-makers.
Keywords Green building · System dynamics model · System simulation · Strategy optimization · China
Green building has emerged as a new type of building to
mitigate the conﬂict between the fast development of build-
ings and the ecological environment declination, thus pro-
moting ecologically sustainable development of building
projects. However, the development of green building suﬀers
from issues such as high initial costs and complicated pro-
cess. To address these issues, establishing a system dynam-
ics (SD) model is of practical signiﬁcance to facilitate an
in-depth understanding on the mechanism of complex pro-
cess (behavior) involved in green building projects.
As many researches have concluded, SD modeling is
an effective method to simulate the complex dynamic
relationships among multiple variables or factors (For-
rester 1958; Richmond 1998; Richardson and Otto 2008).
The SD method has been gaining increasing popularity in
tackling complex dynamics in building development. For
instance, Luo (2007) constructed an SD model of “harmoni-
ous degree” for studying relationships between social, eco-
nomic, and resource-and-environmental system of Wuhan,
Hubei, China. Fong et al. (2009) constructed an SD model of
regional carbon emission process. Liang (2008) constructed
an SD model to develop energy and land saving buildings,
based on which strategies and advices were proposed for
the building development in Chongqing, China. Kim et al.
(2013) proposed a conceptual SD model for estimating the
life cycle cost and carbon emission of buildings. For the
last few years, SD method has also been extensively used
throughout other ﬁelds such as sustainable development
of energy (Wan et al. 2017; Fang et al. 2017; Nabavi et al.
2017), performance analysis of a construction process (Wan
et al. 2013), sustainable utility of water resources (Sun et al.
2017), and urban planning (Fong et al. 2009). Many previous
* Jiaying Teng
School of Economics and Management, Jilin Jianzhu
University, Changchun 130118, China
School of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, Huazhong
University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074,