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[Press Release] Hong Kong Green Building Council’s Response to The Chief Executive’s 2017 Policy Address

11 Oct 2017

 

Hong Kong Green Building Council’s Response to
The Chief Executive’s 2017 Policy Address

 

Hong Kong, 11 October 2017 – The Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) welcomes the Government’s initiatives on liveable and smart city, climate change and green finance as proposed in The Chief Executive’s 2017 Policy Address released today. The HKGBC will continue its close collaboration with the Government and all the stakeholders to further the commitment for a greener and more sustainable built environment:

I.          Smart City

The HKGBC expects a holistic framework of developing smart city after launching the Steering Committee on Innovation and Technology and the Chief Executive’s Council of Advisers on Innovation and Strategic Development, which could effectively address urban challenges, enhance city management, and improve the quality of living and sustainable practices.

Regarding the development of green and intelligent buildings, the Government should encourage building owners to share the system data with the industry, in order to facilitate the building automation and monitoring-based commissioning.

II.         Waste Management

In view of the municipal solid waste charging to be rolled out, the HKGBC has been actively engaging different building users to get ready for the charging through a number of initiatives such as the Hong Kong Green Shop Alliance initiated by the HKGBC and the Construction Industry Council. Over 500 mall operators and shop tenants in the Alliance take part in activities to understand the new arrangement and implementation of waste management in daily operations.

As for the challenges faced by the implementation of the charging in high-rise residential buildings, the HKGBC will be in touch with stakeholders to launch a cross sector-platform to explore the introduction of appropriate designs and facilities into green buildings for a smooth implementation.

III.        Urban Planning and Design

The HKGBC expects more pedestrian-friendly designs to be incorporated during the masterplanning stage of new development areas after the pilot scheme of an innovative measure and comfortable walking environment. We look forward to working with the industry on the requirements for walkability amidst the high-density sub-tropical urban environment in Hong Kong, in order to create a better pedestrian-friendly environment.

It is crucial to enhance the green liveability in development plans. With reference to the current arrangement in Kowloon East, we propose to specify in the lease conditions for private development in new development areas to achieve Gold or above rating under BEAM Plus New Buildings, or certification under BEAM Plus neighbourhood.

The Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process should be revamped to incorporate the latest requirements for sustainable development such as the adoption of BEAM Plus in assessing masterplanning or new buildings.

IV.       Green Bond

The HKGBC will partner with local entities which are planning to establish the green bond certification schemes that meet international standards and provide our professional expertise related to sustainable built environment. We will also consider to include green bond as one of the assessment criteria of BEAM Plus, so as to encourage green bond financing in the industry.

V.        Renewable Energy

In order to promote the development of renewable energy, the HKGBC will collaborate closely with related parties to explore the feasibility of building-integrated photovoltaic systems at a district scale.

Promoting Environmental Performance of Existing Buildings

The HKGBC has the following suggestions regarding the promotion of energy efficiency of buildings to create the sustainable built environment:

  • The Government should also assist in enhancing the environmental performance of buildings apart from structural and fire safety. Launched last year, the HKGBC’s BEAM Plus Existing Buildings V2.0 emphasises green practices in operation and management. The tool also offers a more flexible assessment method for encouraging wider participation. The HKGBC proposes financial incentives, such as rates concession and tax relief, for building owners who apply for this certification, or schemes similar to “Operation Building Bright 2.0”.  
  • In view of the challenge to achieve owners’ consensus for BEAM Plus certification after properties are sold, the HKGBC proposes the requirement to specify in the lease conditions for private development to include in Deed of Mutual Covenant (DMC) the undertaking for future BEAM Plus Existing Buildings assessment.
  • The Government should demonstrate a leading role in adoption of BEAM Plus, such as exploring the possibility of applying BEAM Plus certification for existing public housing estates and government properties. For leased government office premises, BEAM Plus certified properties should be preferred and a grace period of 5 years, for example, could be given to landlords for attaining certification.

Green building is one of the widely recognised solutions to combat climate change and achieve the two-degree target set in the Paris Agreement. In order to achieve Hong Kong's ambitious carbon intensity target of 65% to 70% by 2030 using 2005 as the base, the Government should formulate a comprehensive Green Building Masterplan, integrating current and new measures to induce or facilitate the generation of more certified green buildings, be it new or existing.

 

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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 help save the planet and improve the wellbeing of the people of Hong Kong by transforming the city into a greener built environment. 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). Its mission is to lead market transformation by advocating green policies to the Government; introducing green building practices to all stakeholders; setting design, construction and management standards for the building profession; and promoting green living to the people of Hong Kong. To learn more about the HKGBC, please visit www.hkgbc.org.hk.

Press Contact

Gloria IP / Christine TAI
Hong Kong Green Building Council Secretariat
Tel: 3994 8832 / 3994 8843
Email: gloria.ip@hkgbc.org.hk / christine.tai@hkgbc.org.hk