[Press Release] “BEAM Plus Existing Schools Version 1.0”pioneers green building rating for Hong Kong schools, advocating green building and sustainability to the next generation
(Hong Kong, 17 October 2022) Today, the BEAM Society Limited and Hong Kong Green Building Council jointly launched the “BEAM Plus Existing Schools v1.0” – Hong Kong’s first and foremost assessment tool designed to rate the sustainability performance of school premises – at CIC Zero Carbon Park. The unique assessment tool comprises simple guidelines and assessment criteria to help existing schools reduce energy consumption and carbon emission, while enhancing the environmental awareness of teachers and students through participation and education. More than 100 guests attended the launch ceremony officiated by Mr David Lam, Under Secretary for Development, the Government of the HKSAR.
High electricity consumption in schools prompts the need for energy efficiency
Currently, building operation and activities inside buildings are accountable for 90% of electricity consumption in Hong Kong. With over 1000 primary and secondary schools, reducing electricity consumption in these premises will help Hong Kong lower its carbon emission. On the other hand, the increasing demand of electronic equipment for supporting digital and STEM education, coupled with persistent operation of lighting and air conditioning equipment, have led to rising power consumption on school campuses.
To encourage schools to reduce carbon footprints, the Business Environment Council, BEAM Society Limited and Hong Kong Green Building Council are implementing the “Jockey Club BEAM Plus in Schools Project” which is funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and supported by the Education Bureau, the Government of the HKSAR, and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the Government of the HKSAR. This three-and-a-half-year long project aims at assisting local primary and secondary schools to raise their energy efficiency through the adoption of “BEAM Plus Existing Schools v1.0” (“the assessment tool”) developed by BEAM Society Limited.
All round assessment criteria and emphasis on green awareness in education
Mr Ho Kin Li, Chairperson of the BEAM Society Limited mentioned,“‘BEAM Plus Existing Schools’is the first green assessment tool designed for the use in primary and secondary schools after taking their unique operation model into consideration. The application of assessment is simpler and easier than other BEAM Plus tools so that teachers and students are motivated to take part in the process and schools are effectively engaged.”
Apart from the traditional assessment of energy efficiency performance, this assessment tool also emphasises on integrating green awareness into education. It conducts performance assessment on four new performance categories tailored to fit the nature and operation model of existing schools. These include“sustainable leadership and learning”,“sustainable campus environment”,“efficient use of resources”, and“health, comfort and happiness”. The tool comprises around 30 assessment criteria to help schools reduce energy consumption and carbon emission.
Educational and enhance sustainable development of campus
Mr Hau Wai Cheung, SBS, Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council shared, “Schools are an integral building block of a city. In addition to nurturing our next generation, they also play a part in advocating sustainable built environment and green living. Through taking part in this assessment exercise, we hope that schools can create a low-carbon environment for teachers and students. They will have first-hand experience in the benefits of energy saving. This is the first step towards raising environmental awareness in the society.”
In addition to environmental element, the assessment tool also contains educational element to engage teachers and students. Through theories and practices, the tool identifies and raises students’ interest in green building and environmental awareness, thereby promoting green living and enhancing the sustainable development of school campuses.
Multiple consultations within industry and education sector to obtain high recognition
Ar Tony Yip, Convenor of Steering Committee for “BEAM Plus Existing Schools” stated, “The project has taken reference of seven international and local assessment tools, and has conducted a number of workshops, questionnaires and focus group meetings before its launch. Support and participation have been sought from school principals, teachers, students and industry representatives in order to understand and meet the pragmatic needs of schools. At the moment, three schools have completed the pilot assessment and have made remarkable achievement. We believe they have made wonderful exemplars for schools in Hong Kong, and have given high recognition of BEAM Plus Existing Schools.”
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About BEAM Society Limited (BSL)
BEAM Society Limited (BSL) is a non-profit organisation. Since the development of Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) in 1996, and BEAM Plus in 2010, BSL has committed to administering and developing the BEAM Assessment Tools, offering impartial assessment on building sustainability and training BEAM practitioners - BEAM Professionals (BEAM Pro) and BEAM Affiliates. BSL has become a public body under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance since 2016.
BSL has committed to improving the overall quality of the built environment in Hong Kong. BEAM assessment tools available include: BEAM Plus New Buildings, BEAM Plus Existing Buildings, BEAM Plus Interiors, BEAM Plus Neighbourhood and BEAM Plus New and Existing Data Centres. They assess the impact of overall planning, design, construction and maintenance on the environment.
To get more information about BSL, please visit www.beamsociety.org.hk.
About the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC)
The Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) is a non-profit, member-led organisation established in 2009 and has become a public body under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance since 2016. The HKGBC strives to promote the standard and development of sustainable buildings in Hong Kong. The HKGBC also aims to raise green building awareness by engaging the government, the industry and the public, and to develop practical solutions for Hong Kong’s unique, subtropical built environment of high-rise, high density urban area, leading Hong Kong to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and to become a world’s exemplar of green building development. The Founding Members of the HKGBC include the Construction Industry Council (CIC), the Business Environment Council (BEC), the BEAM Society Limited (BSL) and the Professional Green Building Council (PGBC).
To learn more about the HKGBC, please visit http://www.hkgbc.org.hk.
Creative Consulting Group
Ms Crystal LEE
Ms May Yu
Hong Kong Green Building Council Secretariat