In-house Green Management

While we continue striving for excellence in building design, our team has always come up with a lot of smart initiatives to fine tune-internal operations in order to improve our environmental performance.

During the year, we leveraged the strengths of members from various units and participated in a considerable number of environmental programmes and initiatives. Such efforts brought us to enjoy the great success of cutting down energy consumption as well as reduction of our carbon footprint.

Managing Our Carbon Footprint

Since 2010, we have been conducting carbon audits for our offices in the Queensway Government Offices (QGO) and APB Centre to measure our environmental performance. More importantly, the carbon audit results enable us to identify areas for improvement.

Our carbon footprints of QGO and APB Centre over the past three years are shown in the table below:

Carbon Emissions in Our Offices in QGO

  FY 2009-10 FY 2009-10 FY 2010-11
Direct Emissions (Tonnes of CO2-e) 31.05 32.38 28.66
Energy Indirect Emissions (Tonnes of CO2-e) [1] 2,482.01 2,417.88 2,372.86
Other Indirect Emissions (Tonnes of CO2-e) [2] 169.66 156.86 142.94
Total (Tonnes of CO2-e) [2] 2682.72 2607.12 2544.46
[1] Territory-wide default emission factor was used for the calculation of emissions.
[2] The figures in FY 2009-10 ,FY 2010-11 and FY 2011-12 are calculated by using the actual paper consumption and waste paper collected for recycling.

Compared to the carbon auditing result for FY 2010-11, this year we achieved a 2.4% of carbon reduction in the QGO. The reduction in carbon emissions were mainly due to the decrease in electricity consumption, fugitive emissions and paper consumption as well as the increase in the amount of paper recycling.

Carbon Emissions in APB Centre

  2010 2011 2012
Direct Emissions (Tonnes of CO2-e) 28.51 611.79 325.14
Energy Indirect Emissions (Tonnes of CO2-e) [3] 1,844.70 1,825.39 1,833.11
Other Indirect Emissions (Tonnes of CO2-e) 26.17 20.38 13.93
Total (Tonnes of CO2-e) 1,899.38 2,457.56 2,172.17
[3] Territory-wide default emission factor was used for the calculation of emissions.

Compared to the carbon auditing results for 2011, this year we achieved an 11.6% of carbon reduction in the APB Centre. The drop of carbon emissions was mainly due to the reduction of fugitive emissions and paper consumption. In 2012, fugitive emissions decreased by 70.5% which accounted for the overall decrease of 46.9% in direct carbon emissions, while about 33.5% drop in in other indirect carbon emissions was reported because of the reduction of paper consumption.

Application of Green ICT for Enhancing Energy Efficiency

There has been an increasing trend of using better green Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions for improving organisational environmental performance. As such, our team has implemented a number of green ICT initiatives to improve our work flow so as to enhance our energy efficiency.

To facilitate our communication with consultants, contractors and various stakeholders, we have been operating a private secured web portal (Extranet) with restricted access for better information sharing. In addition, our website has been updated regularly for better communication with the public. Recently, we have developed smart phone apps for our website in order to facilitate the browsing of our latest works.

For the betterment of the construction industry, the HKSAR Government encourages the adaptation of the Building Information Modeling (BIM), which can reduce cost, increase productivity, reduce errors and improve the quality of work products and improve the built environment. BIM is growing to be one of the essential tools and platforms to facilitate successful collaboration and coordination during the lifetime of a building, i.e. pre-design, design, construction, operation and maintenance. To support the adoption of BIM in our Department, we have already converted a meeting room to BIM Development Unit in March 2013 with equipment installed for BIM production, cross branch discussion and training. As at June 2013, we have provided relevant training courses or briefing sessions to 485 staff to prepare for the implementation of BIM in our projects. We have embarked two pilot projects including RTHK Studios and Yau Ma Tei Theatre Centre Phase 2 to harness BIM to augment the sustainable project delivery and facilities upkeep to promote and to share the experience with our staff and our stakeholders. We are planning to select three more projects for the trial run and to conduct more hands-on training for BIM pilot project team members and other staff by the end of 2013.

Energy Conservation

During the year, we completed a number of initiatives which targeted for energy conservation and operations improvement. For instance, we finished retrofitting the lighting system and reduced the number of lamps used at various office areas within the QGO Office. In addition, we installed occupancy sensors to control the operations of 900 lamps in some open plan offices. Such arrangement could achieve a saving of 32,760 kWh per year.

To further enhance our energy management practices in the QGO Office, we targeted to reduce the standby power usage by switching off some office equipment such as photocopiers, fax machines and desktop computers during the idling period by installing intelligent power bars. It was anticipated that the energy saving would be around 1.12% of the total consumption of the whole premises.

Photo background Intelligent power bar to save standby power

Intelligent power bar to save standby power

In APB Centre, we have conducted energy audit over the past few years to acquire information on how building energy is utilised as well as to identify potential opportunities to improve the energy performance. The annual electricity consumption decreases by 4.4% in the second year (from Dec 2010 to Nov 2011) and 3.8% in the third year (from Dec 2011 to Nov 2012) against the base year (from Dec 2009 to Nov 2010). We installed 108 solar panels on the roof-top for generating the electricity power. Two green roofs were also installed to reduce heat absorbed into the building so the cooling load can be greatly reduced. Furthermore, the LED recessed light fittings were also installed in different functional areas such as corridors to further reduce the energy consumption for lighting.

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Photovoltaic panels installed on the roof top

Photovoltaic panels installed on the roof top

Photovoltaic power production monitoring panel

Photovoltaic power production monitoring panel

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Green roof installed to reduce heat absorbed into the buliding

Green roof installed to reduce heat absorbed into the buliding

LED lamp with motion sensor installed

LED lamp with motion sensor installed

In 2012, our Department was awarded "Class of Good" Energywi$e Label of Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence (HKAEE) to appreciate our effort in energy saving. In addition, the HKAEE presented us with a special award to recognise our achievements in attaining significant energy reduction under the Energywi$e Label. In 2013, we further obtained the "Class of Excellence" Energywi$e Label.

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Certificate of Energywi$e Label

Certificate of Energywi$e Label (left) and a special award in the Energywi$e Label of HKAEE (right)

We have appointed Green Wardens in each division or section to raise the environmental awareness amongst staff and to identify opportunities for continual improvement in our offices. The Green Wardens are responsible for regularly inspecting office areas to check the effectiveness of energy saving measures and to check that all lighting, air-conditioning system and office equipment are switched off before leaving the premises after office hours. To recognise their contribution in environmental protection, a letter of appreciation was presented to the nominated Green Wardens.

Photo background Nominated Green Wardens received a letter of appreciation

Nominated Green Wardens received a letter of appreciation

Waste Management

To improve our waste management practices, we had established goals for improving our resource usage and reducing waste disposal. During the year, we achieved our goal of reducing 1% of A4 papers consumption. For both APB Centre and QGO Office, we also achieved our target of collecting 3% of used A3 and A4 papers for recycling. In addition, we achieved our target of reducing 2% envelope usage and received the "Class of Good" Wastewi$e Label of HKAEE to appraise our efforts in waste management during the year.

To reduce waste disposal of office or electronic equipment, we worked proactively with our IT equipment suppliers to facilitate the reuse and recycling of computers in our offices.

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Certificate of Wastewi$e Label of HKAEE

Certificate of Wastewi$e Label of HKAEE

Several bags of used paper were collected for recycling

Several bags of used paper were collected for recycling

Performing Good Indoor Air Quality

We understand that it is very important to maintain a good indoor air quality (IAQ) within our workplace. To achieve good IAQ in our offices, we put substantial efforts in maintaining our facilities and the results were highly recognised. In 2012, we were awarded "Class of Good" IAQwi$e Label of HKAEE to recognise our effort in improving IAQ for our offices in QGO and APB Centre.

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Certificates of IAQwi$e for APB Centre

Certificates of IAQwi$e for APB Centre (left) and Queensway Government Offices (right)

Green Procurement

Green procurement means purchasing products and services that cause minimal adverse environmental impacts. The HKSAR Government has required all bureaux and departments to take into account environmental considerations when procuring goods and services since 2000.

To align with the Government's commitment to promote green procurement, we execute the green procurement policy when purchasing products with green specifications in the Government procurement list. So far, there are over a hundred types of green products on the list, including office consumables, computer equipment and electrical appliances.

We would consider the following criteria during procurement:

  • Minimal use of virgin material in the product;
  • Replacement of disposables with reusables or recyclables;
  • Minimal environmental impact from the entire product or service life cycle;
  • Minimal packaging or elimination of packaging;
  • Reduced energy / water consumption;
  • Toxicity reduction or elimination;
  • Durability and maintenance requirements; and
  • Waste disposal requirements.

Sustainable Features in Site Offices

We have introduced a number of green initiatives at site offices to achieve sustainable operations. Highlights of our initiatives are:

  • Adoption of passive design where they were located abutting external windows for natural light and ventilation;
  • Provision of roof insulation through ventilated layer or green roof at the site offices;
  • Application of light-coloured external finishes for reducing energy consumption;
  • Usage of High Efficient T-5 lamps and LED lights and provision of "zoning" for light switches;
  • Installation of timer switches for controlling the power supply of some non-essential power sockets;
  • Adoption of bolt-and-nut connection to facilitate future dismantling and the reuse of building components;
  • Modular dimensions for internal layouts to facilitate the reuse of partitions, furniture and equipments; and
  • Usage of rainwater recycling for toilet flushing; plant watering and other site uses.
Photo background Provision of green roof at the site office

Provision of green roof at the site office

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Use of highly energy efficient T-5 lamps and LED lights and provision of “Zoning” for light switches

Use of highly energy efficient T-5 lamps and LED lights and provision of “Zoning” for light switches

Photo background Installation of timer switch for controlling the power supply of non-essential power sockets

Installation of timer switch for controlling the power supply of non-essential power sockets

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Adoption of bolt-and-nut connection at the site office to facilitate the reuse of building components

Adoption of bolt-and-nut connection at the site office to facilitate the reuse of building components

Usage of rainwater recycling for toilet flushing; plant watering and other uses

Usage of rainwater recycling for toilet flushing; plant watering and other uses