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Energy Efficient Retrofits Guide: Introduction
   

1. Introduction to the Guide

1.1 Purpose of this Guide

This Guide provides users with:

  • information on energy saving technologies and initiatives for retrofits of existing office and hotel buildings: costs, energy savings and applicability in different building types
  • a Retrofit Calculator with a user-friendly manual.

The aim of the Guide is to support building owners, managers and tenants to make the right decisions and develop a business case for investing in different aspects of the energy efficiency of existing buildings. It gives an overview of desirable initiatives enabling businesses to check what else they may wish to do. The Retrofit Calculator enables approximate costs and energy savings for particular technologies and initiatives in relation to individual buildings to be derived.

Neither the Guide nor the Retrofit Calculator can give precise costs and savings for individual buildings, but this information is a good starting point to commence the process and review progress towards energy efficient retrofitted buildings.


1.2 Scope of this Guide

The Guide covers offices and hotels because of their significant energy consumption and contribution to Hong Kong’s carbon footprint (Section 4 explains the background in detail). It is aimed at both tenants and landlords of commercial buildings.

It focuses on retrofits of existing buildings rather than new buildings which are still to be constructed. This is because the Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance (BEEO) Cap. 610[1] already lays down the requirements for new buildings in the Building Energy Code[2]. The Building Energy Code requirements (section 10) also apply to major retrofitting works[3], as defined in the BEEO but because of the relevant size thresholds, they are not routinely applied. Those requirements are however also useful as guidance for smaller scale refurbishment.

For ease of reference, we have categorised commercial buildings into 4 types: Office Building Types 1, 2, 3 and Hotel Buildings. This is a simplification of the range of buildings in Hong Kong to enable us to model savings and give approximate indications of savings achievable. Detailed descriptions and assumptions as to these building types are set out in Table 1 below.

When you use the Retrofit Calculator or look at the Marginal Abatement Cost Curves (“MAC curves”), you should do so having regard to the category of building types that the relevant building falls into. It is possible a building will not clearly fall into a particular category, but by looking at the assumptions made as to electrical and mechanical systems, as explained below, it should be possible to establish roughly what savings may be made. 

Table 1: Categorization of Building Types for the Purpose of the Guide and Retrofit Calculator

Type

Description

Key Aspects of their
Electrical & Mechanical Systems

Office Building Type 1

Grade A offices – advanced, modern buildings generally built within the last 30 years, e.g. IFC Office Tower

  • Centralised air conditioning system
  • Variable Air Volume (VAV) system
  • Water cooled chiller
  • Tenants will be charged for small power and lighting energy
  • All system installations, including lighting in common areas, air conditioning, lifts, etc., will be managed by building owners
  • Tenant area systems such as lighting, lighting controls, high volume low speed fans will be managed and paid for by tenants

Office Building Type 2

Less modern office buildings with centralised air-cooled AC systems, e.g. BEC HQ (Jockey Club Environmental Building)

  • Centralised air conditioning system
  • Fan coil units (FCU) system
  • Air cooled chiller
  • Tenants will be charged for small power and lighting energy
  • All system installations, including lighting in common areas, air conditioning, lifts, etc., will be managed by building owners
  • Tenant area systems such as lighting, lighting controls, high volume low speed fans will be managed and paid for by tenants

Office Building Type 3

Office buildings with no centralised AC system, e.g. older buildings in Wan Chai and parts of Kowloon

  • No mechanical fresh air supply
  • Split type air conditioning units
  • Tenants will be charged for all electrical consumption including small power, lighting and air conditioning
  • All system installations to be paid by tenants

Hotel Building

4- or 5-star hotels – modern hotels generally built in the last 30 years

  • Centralised air conditioning system
  • Fan coil units (FCU) system
  • Air cooled chiller
  • Centralised boiler for domestic hot water system
  • All system installations to be paid by building owner
  • No tenants

 


1.3 Structure of this Guide

Section 1 - Introduction

  • Introduction to the Guide
  • Categorization of building types for the purposes of this Guide and Retrofit Calculator

Section 2 - Energy Saving Technologies and Initiatives

  • Energy saving initiatives and an overview of their energy and cost saving impact in each building type
  • Graphical representations of the cost-effectiveness of these initiatives (MAC curves), generated from the sample buildings according to our categorization of building types 
  • Directory of Technologies & Initiatives: provides more details on these energy saving initiatives. 

Section 3 - Retrofit Calculator Manual 

  • Step-by-step operation manual from data input to interpretation of output tables for the Retrofit Calculator – an easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet designed to estimate the costs and energy saving performance for a building with user-customized specifications
  • Frequently asked questions about the Retrofit Calculator
  • Detailed assumptions used in developing the Retrofit Calculator

Section 4 - Background

  • Background information
  • Importance of this Guide and Retrofit Calculator

 


 

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