LCQ14: Building Environmental Assessment MethodFollowing is a question by the Hon Tanya Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (May 6):
It has been reported that the HK-BEAM Society has commissioned an academic institution to conduct a review on the Building Environmental Assessment Method to study how the existing assessment criteria may be amended. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether it knows the details of the above review, including the objective, scope, framework and work schedule; when the Government will adopt the new assessment criteria upon completion of the review, and what procedures need to be gone through; whether the Government will conduct grading assessments on all newly-built government buildings in accordance with the new assessment criteria and require such buildings to reach the specified grades; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(b) whether it will actively promote the adoption of the new assessment criteria by various public bodies and organizations in which the Government owns controlling stake (including the Hong Kong Housing Authority, Hong Kong Housing Society, Urban Renewal Authority, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the MTR Corporation Limited) in conducting grading assessments on all newly-built buildings (including residential buildings, commercial buildings and public facilities); if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(c) whether the Government will consider requiring all buildings (including residential and commercial ones), regardless of whether they are government or private buildings, in major new development areas (including Kai Tak Development Area and the river loop area of Shenzhen River) to be graded in accordance with the new assessment criteria and reach the specified grades; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and whether the Government will consider encouraging various property developers to conduct grading assessments on the buildings constructed by them in accordance with the new assessment criteria; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
The Government has been actively promoting green buildings. To further advance environmental protection and energy efficiency in government buildings, the Secretary for the Environment and I jointly issued a technical circular in April 2009 on implementing a set of target-based assessment criteria and framework for the environmental performance of government buildings in various aspects. All newly-built government buildings with construction floor areas of more than 10,000 square metres (hereinafter called “major government buildings”) are required to be assessed by internationally or locally recognised environmental performance assessment methods such as the Hong Kong-Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-BEAM) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System (LEED). They must attain grades not lower than the second highest level under these assessment systems. Once the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) is established in due course, assessments will be conducted under its assessment systems to be drawn up. The Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA) have assessed the environmental performance of a number of their buildings against the HK-BEAM and found some of them were of the highest grade – the Platinum Level.
My reply to the three-part question is as follows:
(a) In late April 2009, the HK-BEAM Society indicated in its emails to government departments such as the ArchSD, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Buildings Department and Environmental Protection Department that it had commissioned an academic institution to conduct an interim review on the HK-BEAM. A brief scope of the review and its time schedule were attached to its emails. Since the HK-BEAM Society is a private organisation, we do not have the details of the review at hand at this stage. As mentioned above, we will include the HK-BEAM on our list when we select the appropriate environmental performance assessment system for major government buildings. Upon completion of the review, the new assessment criteria will also be one of our options.
(b) We will share with the HKHA, subvented organisations and quasi-government corporations our working experience in promoting green government buildings, including the drawing up of the objectives as well as the assessment of the environmental performance of government buildings. We expect the HKGBC to be established in due course will also play an important role in promoting green buildings and environmental performance assessment.
(c) In new development areas, all major government buildings will undergo environmental performance assessment in accordance with the technical circular and the framework mentioned above. By this, we also hope to set an example for private developers and to encourage them to conduct environmental performance assessment on their buildings in the new development areas.
Ends/Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Issued at HKT 15:36