Throughout most of China, the building code specifies that all major rooms in residences must receive at least one hour of direct sunlight on the shortest day of the year. These rooms are typically the main living area and the master bedroom. As such, this requirement for direct sunlight becomes the driving force for site plan layout and building orientation in Chinese housing developments. On site plans, housing types are identified by their entry location. This Jinan Townhouse is a "North Entry Scheme" with the living room and master bedroom opening out onto the rear yard, facing south.
From the car park, one passes through a small front courtyard ascending to the front entry. Entering the townhouse, the living and dining rooms are directly to the rear, opening onto the south-facing back courtyard. Off the entry is a main floor bedroom opening onto an internal courtyard. Also next to the entry is a small bedroom for domestic help, a common requirement for most private new housing in China.
The townhouse's upper floors are one-half the width of the main floor. This strategy allows for the townhouses to appear to be detached from one another while also allowing increased exposure