Chinese Construction Standards

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Chinese Construction Standards Overview

Chinese construction standards are produced by the China National Institute of Standardisation ( Through their website (which includes a nice English page) you can find some useful information regarding the standardisation process in China. Sadly the English website isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the Chinese one, so do feel free to ask if we can find anything else you may find useful.

Chinese Construction Standards

Chinese Construction Standards

Broadly speaking, there are mandatory Chinese standards (the codes for which begin GB) and optional standards (which usually begin GB/T). There are also some other classifications such as industrial standards and military standards. The GB (mandatory) standards are available for free (in Chinese only) using the methods we will describe below, and in some cases there may be English versions in publication. The GB/T standards and other non-mandatory standards are not usually available for free in Chinese, and may even be out of print, in which case it will be necessary to buy a physical paper copy. Contact us for help with this.

The SAC (Standards Administration of China) provide an extremely useful database of Chinese standards which can be found here: ( To use it, just enter your keyword into the “English keyword” section and the system will show all the required standards. Rather than using the keyword, the ICS (International Classification for Standards) number can be used to browse all relevant standards. The ICS number for “Construction Materials and Building” is 91, for “Civil Engineering” it is 93. The ISO give a full list of ICS numbers on their webpage:

On the ISO webpage, once you have selected the main domain you can click through to the sub-domain, and then the detailed domain. For example, 91 is “Construction Materials and Building” and 91.020 is “Legal Aspects”. Clicking on these will present a nice list of all the relevant ISO standards. You can then plug that ISO number into the Chinese search database to see a list of the relevant Chinese standards.

Sadly the English translation on the SAC website can be rather poor. It says “Number of Every Page Shows” where it means “displaying xxx records on each page” just as one example. The English titles of standards are not necessarily a great translation of the Chinese title. Quite often the English titles were produced by non-native speakers who were subject experts in Chinese rather than translators or even native English speakers.

Once you have the Chinese versions of the standards you are looking for, just let us know and we will be happy to give you a quote to translate it for you. For copyright reasons you do need to purchase the standard in Chinese first. We can assist you in doing this at every stage; just feel free to contact us. We believe that language service providers who offer to directly give you a translation of a standard are violating the copyright act. Having said that, we frequently purchase standards on behalf of our clients to save them the trouble of making the purchase, which can be rather difficult. If there is a lead-time to get hold of the standards, in many cases we can start our translation process based on our own versions so that as soon as we do get your copy of the standard we can issue the translation with minimum lead-time. We can assist you in doing this at every stage, feel free to contact us.

Many of the mandatory Chinese standards are available for free via the SAC website. However, the website doesn’t always respond and in any case, the standards are only shown in Chinese. The SAC also has a reciprocal agreement with the American National Standards Institute, so you can (in theory) buy Chinese standards from ANSI and vice versa. However, in our experience, some of the standards we have searched for have not been available on the website.