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Managing Resources and Environmental Impact

Managing Resources and Environmental Impact

Fostering Sustainable Building Design

GRI102- 44

Sustainable Building Design

Hong Kong buildings account for the majority of city-wide electricity consumption and carbon emissions – over 90% and 60% respectively. Over the years, we have spared no effort to adopt innovative sustainable and smart building designs which efficiently use energy, materials and land resources.

Passive Design Approaches

Passive design approaches use the architecture of a building to minimise energy consumption and improve thermal comfort. These approaches adopt suitable planning, disposition, orientation, building form and material selection measures to optimise a building's interaction with the local microclimate. The aspects considered include:

Mitigating the heat island effect or elevated temperature, Air ventilation around buildings, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Passive cooling, and Reducing heat gain through the building envelope

Innovative Construction Methods

Building Information Modelling

Building Information Modelling, or BIM, technology is essentially the process of generating a digital visual representation of building data. BIM can effectively improve overall building quality through design optimisation, communication enhancement and waste minimisation. For example, BIM allows the visualisation of designs that enhance the planning process; they can also simulate the entire construction process to facilitate more efficient coordination between stakeholders. The technology has contributed to a significant reduction in aborted works caused by unworkable designs and safety pitfalls.

Visualising designs to enhance planning
Visualising designs to enhance planning
Simulating the whole construction process to facilitate coordination
Simulating the whole construction process to facilitate coordination

During the reporting year, ArchSD used BIM on several projects. One of these projects was the construction of West Kowloon Government Offices, for which BIM was used to enhance project efficiency.

Design for Manufacture and Assembly and Modular Integrated Construction

Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) is a catch-all term for an important concept: factory assembly followed by on-site installation. MiC is one example of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), which refers to a construction method that uses free-standing volumetric modules with completed finishes, fixtures and fittings. This construction method transfers traditional on-site construction processes to an off-site prefabrication factory; something which can substantially improve construction productivity by minimising site constraints and ensuring a higher degree of quality control. During the year, ArchSD commenced the first pilot public building project to adopt MiC in Hong Kong - The Construction of Disciplined Services Quarters for the Fire Services Department at Pak Shing Kok in Tseung Kwan O.

Selection of Construction Methods and Materials

Another important aspect of sustainable buildings is the selection and use of sustainable construction methods and materials. Common practices include prefabrication, pollution control during construction, and the application of the 3R principles – reduce, reuse and recycle – to manage construction and demolition waste. In terms of using sustainable materials, recycled materials and timber from well-managed sources are widely adopted in ArchSD's new building projects.

Social Considerations

As a cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong places a high value on the accessibility and quality of public spaces. ArchSD strives to incorporate social considerations into our buildings in a number of ways, including enabling group activities and fostering communication between community members in order to create and sustain a harmonious atmosphere for the city.