Speech by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, at the Hong Kong Team's presentation at the 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference in Tokyo

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, at the Hong Kong Team's presentation at the 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference in Tokyo today (September 27):

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Hong Kong Team, I would like to say how delighted we are to attend the 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference here in Tokyo and to be afforded the opportunity to make a presentation on sustainable buildings. We value the excellent platform provided by the conference for discussing and sharing experience on sustainable building policies and strategies as well as construction practices, advanced technologies, and assessment schemes.

We in Hong Kong are severely constrained by the lack of land for development. Land is only available at a premium and there is a natural tendency for high-rise development which makes sustainable development and sustainable buildings logical objectives to keep our city going. It is no exaggeration to suggest that our natural conditions almost ordain sustainable strategies in order to achieve better quality living environment, with more access to natural ventilation and lighting. These are of particular importance to a city with high urban density such as Hong Kong.

From the overall planning perspective, we are committed to formulating sustainable development strategies by guiding the use and development of land, facilitating suitable development and redevelopment, and encouraging community involvement and support.

For public facility developments, we take a holistic approach in considering the integration of the projects with the surrounding environment, and the conservation and efficient use of land, energy and material resources in design, procurement and maintenance.

We also provide affordable quality public housing for one third of our population. To keep pace with the rising aspirations of the community, we have successfully advanced new frontiers in the making of a green physical environment and green community for millions of people. Our policy on public housing clearly defines key environmental principles such as optimisation of use of resources and minimisation of environmental impact for our residents.

For private building developments, we encourage innovation and adoption of new technology and construction methods. To quote a couple of our initiatives, we provide incentives in the form of exemption of gross floor area and site coverage for the incorporation of environmentally friendly features in private building developments. We are also developing a building labelling scheme to gauge the sustainability performance of buildings in Hong Kong.

Our road towards sustainable buildings is made more durable as there is close collaboration at all levels between the Government and the private sector. With this collaborative spirit in striving towards a sustainable built environment, we hope to build a better future for the generations to come.

Today, we are going to use three new projects to share with you our experience in this regard in Hong Kong. The three presentations are: the Two International Finance Centre project presented by Dr Leonard Chow of the Asian Institute of Intelligent Buildings; the commercial development at Number One, Peking Road by Mr Kenneth Chan of the Professional Green Building Council; and the redevelopment of Upper Ngau Tau Kok public housing estate Phases 2 & 3 by Mr John Ng and Ms Ellen Ngan of the Hong Kong Housing Authority. The Honourable Professor Patrick Lau will conclude our presentation. Without further ado, I would like to hand over to Dr Leonard Law to present to you the first of these three case studies.

Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Issued at HKT 18:23