Connecting, Nurturing, Creating for Sustainable Environment

Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Energy Efficiency in Buildings

(Source: WBCSD)
Buildings in Hong Kong contribute 61% of the total greenhouse gas emissions and account for around 90% of the total electricity consumption (source: Hong Kong Climate Change Report 2015). Thus increasing energy efficiency in buildings can help with significant energy savings and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 
This requires the involvement of developers, landlords, architects, planners, engineers, surveyors, contractors, property managers, corporate real estate, researchers and government. Their involvement is important in the construction and the management of the building. The Building Energy Codes are being tightened such that by 2020 all electrical equipment in new commercial buildings will be 50 per cent more efficient than the 2005 building stock. 

The Business Case for Green Buildings 

According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD), the business case for greener buildings is well established. A US study, for example, found that certified green buildings cost 1.8% more to design and construct, but yield 20% cost savings over the life of the building.

Obstacles encountered while achieving these benefits include fragmented ownership and incentives, short-term decision making and isolated procurement processes. A significant problem is split incentives where the party who pays for a more energy efficient building is different from the party who benefits from the saving in energy used.

A report on Energy Efficiency in Buildings by the WBCSD explained the barriers for green buildings. They are as follows:

1.     Lack of awareness and leadership, especially about making the business case.

2.     Lack of capacity, skills and collaboration along the value chain.

3.     Lack of adequate financing models.

4.     Lack of consistent and long-term policy frameworks, regulations and incentive schemes.

5.     Split incentives: The party that pays for the energy efficiency of the building is different from that one that benefits.  


Hong Kong’s Building Environmental Assessment Method 

Hong Kong’s Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) has made attempts to overcome these barriers and assist in the proliferation of green buildings in Hong Kong. It makes use of a locally relevant approach and includes environmental performance and energy efficiency in the planning, design, construction, operation, management and marketing of buildings. The scheme has helped encourage innovative design and construction practices and stimulated local supplies of environmentally friendly building materials previously unavailable in Hong Kong (Including sustainable timber, low-toxicity paints and ozone-friendly insulation). For more information on BEAM please click here

The core benefits that are obtained from energy efficiency in buildings include:

  • Cost savings from more efficient use of energy and resources, in both construction and use of buildings
  • Better buildings, which provide healthy and productive accommodation
  • Reduced risk through assurance that best practice management is achieved
  • Effective markets, as companies are able to give assurance of the green credentials of their buildings and tenants and buyers are able to communicate their preferences
  • Regulatory preparedness for both local and international standards.

Hong Kong’s Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) helps overcome these barriers by providing a systematic, locally relevant approach to including environmental performance and energy efficiency in the planning, design, construction, operation, management and marketing of buildings. The scheme has helped encourage innovative design and construction practices and stimulated local supplies of environmentally friendly building materials previously unavailable in Hong Kong, including sustainable timber, low-toxicity paints and ozone-friendly insulation. For more information on BEAM click here -


Green Buildings in Hong Kong 

Reprovisioning of the Diamond Hill Crematorium

The following sustainability features have been included:

  • Natural light from skylights and slit windows
  • Landscaped podium
  • Adaptation of a state-of-the-art cremator so that its emissions comply with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Department.
  • Green roofs on the service halls to lower their roof surface temperature and their air-conditioning loads. 
Zero Carbon Building
It is a creation of the Construction Industry Council in collaboration with the Hong Kong Government. Its aim is to display its state-of-the art eco-building design and technologies to local and international construction companies and to raise awareness in the Hong Kong community on low carbon living.
The building minimizes energy use and generates energy on site from renewable sources. It has made use of low-carbon materials and green technologies. It has adopted an integrated design based on an energy hierarchy approach and eco-efficiency principles. 

Three Pacific Place

Three Pacific Place, Swire properties' 34-storey grade A office, reduced construction waste by 15% through effective design modeling.

Equipped with the latest energy efficient building services technology, including a Miconic 10® lift control system and LONWORKS® building control system, the Three Pacific Place has been graded 'excellent' by the Hong Kong building environmental assessment method (HK-BEAM) scheme

By adopting energy-efficiency measures, such as installation of capacitor banks and variable frequency drives, the building operators have realised annual savings in electric bills of about HK$1million, or 8% of annual operational energy costs.

The building has the highest BEAM rating.

Sunny Bay MTR

The Sunny Bay MTR station has no air conditioning, but rather makes use of the natural environment to control the temperature and lighting inside.

The canopy drops the air temperature by two degrees Celsius, which usually is enough to make people feel comfortable. During the day, the translucent material lets light in and at night high-efficiency lighting is used, allowing the station to cut 75% from the lighting cost of a typical station in Hong Kong.

Ma Wan School

This BIPV school project- sponsored by Innovation and Technology Fund and CLP Research Institute, explores different PV technologies as integrated building components in Hong Kong's built environment

This installation is the first non-government BIPV system with grid-connection

Average savings of 33,757kWh represents 8.71% of the total electrical energy consumption by the school in the same period

For more details and examples of green buildings, please click here
























































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