[Press Release] Hong Kong Green Building Council Announces the Winners of the “Advancing Net Zero” Ideas Competition for Building Solutions to Address Climate Change

(From left) Representatives of Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited (Left 1-3); Mrs Elizabeth KOK, Director and Senior Advisor of Swire Properties (Left 4); Mr CHEUNG Hau-wai, Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council (Right 4); Ar. Prof. Ada FUNG, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Competition (Right 3); Representatives of Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong) Ltd (Right 1-2)

Hong Kong, 29 November 2021 - Climate change is without doubt the most pressing concern in the world today. At the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, world leaders agreed on two major initiatives to tackle the problem: Ending deforestation and reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 as compared with 2020 levels. Hong Kong is eager to help, and earlier this year launched the first “Advancing Net Zero” (ANZ) Ideas Competition to help drive net zero solutions in the building sector. Organised by the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) with Swire Properties as the Principal Partner, the competition attracted great interest and the winners were announced today.

The competition invited experts from around the globe to contribute innovative design ideas and practical solutions in two categories: (i) Future Buildings and (ii) Existing Buildings and under three main themes: (i) Zero carbon & ultra energy efficiency, (ii) Embodied carbon, (iii) Health and sustainability. Participants could propose their ideas based on the real data of two office towers – site of One Taikoo Place and Oxford House in Taikoo Place, so that the solutions generated could be realistic and the implementation feasibility could be enhanced. The overall aim was to move Hong Kong’s building sector towards a sustainable future and actively meet the Hong Kong Government’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 by fostering innovative solutions for the city.

Ar. Prof. Ada Fung, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Competition said: “ Hong Kong is a signature model for a subtropical, high-rise and high-density urban context which is always a challenge for designers and architects when it comes to decarbonisation. Targeting the commercial building sector which accounts for 65% of electricity consumption in the city, we were delighted to see so many multi-disciplinary professionalal teams from around the world participate in the competition. In total, we received 22 entries from 58 organisations and companies. The entries were all of a very high standard and we have seen lots of inspiring and avant-garde concepts for both the local and global building sectors. We are glad to see some similar innovative ideas and trends emerging from different teams. Harvesting these ideas and solutions, we would build a Knowledge Bank to help accelerate their adoption by the industry to achieve net zero.” 

Professional Jury of Global Experts
The Jury Panel was composed of well-known experts from different industries including Ms Tanya COX, Chair of the World Green Building Council; Professor JIANG Yi, Director of the Building Energy Research Centre of Tsinghua University; Mr William MCDONOUGH, the founding partner of architects William McDonough + Partners and a globally recognised leader in sustainable development and design; and Ms Meaghan LLOYD, Partner at Gehry Partners, the acclaimed firm founded by Pritzker Prize Laureate Frank Gehry.

Group photo of Organiser, Principal Partner - Mr CHEUNG Hau-wai, Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council (Right 5); Ar. Prof. Ada FUNG, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Competition (Right 4); Mrs Elizabeth KOK, Director and Senior Advisor of Swire Properties (Left 5) and Winners and Merits of Advancing Net Zero (ANZ) Ideas Competition”

The Winners
The jury selected three Winners and five Merit Awards from the eight shortlisted finalists in the Future Building and Existing Building category. The eight teams are eligible for a total of HK$1.4 million in prize money. 

1.  Future Building Category – A seamless carbon positive experience for users intergrated with innovation and technology

The two winning entries for the “Future Building” category are A) “The Treehouse” by Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong) Ltd. and B) “Taikoo Green Ribbon” by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited. The three merit awards for this category include Eckersley O'Callaghan Asia Limited, Modus Architecture Ltd and Leigh & Orange Ltd. 
A.    “The Treehouse”

Using the concept of the sacred union between man and nature, “The Treehouse” is a new calibre of workplace which aims to promote carbon positivity through cutting edge technology, design and management. 

Highlighted by large amounts of green landscaping and plants, “The Treehouse” features a self-shading façade for the upper storeys as well as a rooftop PV system to avoid solar heat and help generate renewable energy for daily operations. To reduce energy consumption, large PV integrated overhangs with daily light reflectors; a windcatcher that can capture cool air from 200 meters above ground; and a BIPV – CLAD solar chimney will be installed to promote natural lighting and ventilation for the building’s interior. The idea is to inspire and encourage everyone to reinvent their relationship with the earth and make strides to create positive changes for our future. 

B. “Taikoo Green Ribbon”

Featuring over 4,250 sq.m of green open space and garden, a 1km landscaped ANZ jogging path and a series of state of the art technologies, “Taikoo Green Ribbon”designed by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited is a unique and innovative workplace that introduces an entirely new urban eco-lifestyle concept. 

Apart from restoring the local ecosystem and biodiversity by using extensive green elements, ranging from wildlife attracting flowers to wind-resistant plants to create a nature-driven community, the distinctive building also incorporates sets of passive and active environmental systems inside and out to create an advanced net-zero and carbon neutral development. The design also utilises an almost full natural ventilation strategy for the offices to minimise energy consumptions and enhance user’s wellbeing and comfort at the same time. 

2.  Existing Building Category – Utilising waste to generate renewable energy for operation

The winner of the “Existing Building” category is “The Living Lab” by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited. The two merit awards for this category include LWK + PARTNERS and Woods Bagot.  

A.    “The Living Lab”

Using a holistic design approach to reduce energy demand and increase on-site renewable energy generation at the same time to achieve a net-zero goal, “The Living Lab” is a nurturing ground to encourage behavioural change from every little step.

Featuring a renewable system, the building upcycles the algae in the building’s façade together with food waste and black water to generate a renewable energy supply of electricity and hot water for daily operations through the tri-digestion process. 

Mr Cheung Hau-wai, Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council said, “Climate change is an urgent global challenge for all countries. Hong Kong is full of talented professionals in the building sector who could contribute proactively to help achieving carbon reduction targets as a member of the global village. We have seen outstanding insights and ideas from the applications to accelerate green building practice for Hong Kong as a high density city as well as for the rest of the globe in eco-construction. Together, we can create a low carbon and eco-friendly future for our planet.”
“We are delighted to join the HKGBC in realising the city’s first ANZ competition,” said Mrs Elizabeth Kok, Director and Senior Advisor of Swire Properties. “It is encouraging to see so many innovative ideas, which can inspire our industry to take action and bring positive changes to our built environment. As a keen sustainable development advocate, Swire Properties is working full steam ahead towards reaching our approved 1.5C-aligned science-based targets to fight climate change. We look forward to more innovations in our industry to help push us further to achieve carbon neutrality.” 

To help encourage a transformation in the market, all the valuable and pioneering solutions from the winners and merits will be showcased via a public exhibition, an e-book and hosted on HKGBC’s website. The first exhibition will be held at Linkbridge, Lincoln House, Taikoo Place (between 29 November – 17 December) and will travel to various districts in Hong Kong with details to be announced. Dialogues with the Government will also be held to hopefully fast track the solutions to the policy level.

Appendix A

“Advancing Net Zero” Ideas Competition Exhibition – First Stop
Location:  Linkbridge, Lincoln House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay 
Date:         29 November – 17 December 2021
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 9:00pm 

The public exhibition showcasing all the valuable and pioneering solutions from the Winners and Merits is held at Linkbridge, Lincoln House, Taikoo Place in between 29 November to 17 December.  

About the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC)
The Hong Kong Green Building Council Limited (HKGBC) is a non-profit, member-led organisation established in 2009 with the vision to aspire for quality and sustainability at every stage of the building life cycle and embrace these principles as a mark of excellence. The Founding Members of the HKGBC include the Construction Industry Council (CIC), Business Environment Council (BEC), the BEAM Society Limited (BSL) and the Professional Green Building Council (PGBC). Its mission is to lead the market transformation to a sustainable built environment in Hong Kong by guiding the development of industry standards, best practices, education, and research in green building.

To learn more about the HKGBC, please visit www.hkgbc.org.hk.

About Swire Properties
Swire Properties develops and manages commercial, retail, hotel and residential properties, with a particular focus on mixed-use developments in prime locations. Swire Properties is listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and its investment portfolio in Hong Kong comprises Taikoo Place, Cityplaza and Pacific Place. In addition to Hong Kong, the Company has investments in the Chinese Mainland, the United States, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. 

Swire Properties launched its Sustainable Development (SD) 2030 vision and strategy in 2016 to integrate SD into every aspect of its operations and inspire business decisions.

To find out more about Swire Properties and its SD efforts, visit www.swireproperties.com

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