Following is the speech by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at the BEAM Plus Neighbourhood Version 1.0 Assessment Tool Launch Ceremony today (December 6):
Bay (Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC), Mr Bay Wong), John (Chairperson of the BEAM Society Limited and Chairman of the Green Labelling Committee of the HKGBC, Professor John Ng), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to speak at the HKGBC BEAM Plus Neighbourhood Version 1.0 Assessment Tool Launch Ceremony.
The Paris Agreement in response to climate change signed by around 200 nations in the UN Climate Change Conference late last year came into effect last month. It is indeed good timing for the HKGBC to launch the BEAM Plus Neighbourhood now so as to show Hong Kong's resolve in abating climate change by spearheading the advancement of the green building movement.
BEAM Plus Green Building Assessment Tool
BEAM Plus is the green building assessment tool which is specifically developed for application in Hong Kong. The Government has been a strong supporter and about 100 government building projects have been registered under BEAM Plus certification. Among the certified building projects, 17 and 14 of them have already achieved platinum and gold ratings respectively. High ratings are also envisaged for the remaining ones yet to be certified. At the same time, private building projects registered under BEAM Plus are entitled to GFA concessions for their green features. This measure has been proven to be effective in encouraging more developers to adopt green building design in their projects. We will start a consultancy next year to further strengthen the effectiveness of this incentive scheme.
As I mentioned in the dinner celebrating the 7th anniversary of the HKGBC two weeks ago, now that the HKGBC has become a public body, the more effective corporate governance under the institutionalised regulatory framework will further reinforce the trust of the public on the HKGBC's work of driving the green building movement. We expect to see more and more building projects going for the BEAM Plus assessment from now on.
BEAM Plus Neighbourhood
Green building has been focusing on how to optimise the performance of individual building blocks in the aspects of energy efficiency, renewable energy utilisation, air quality, water conservation as well as greening. While there is still much to do for the building blocks, it is also time to go one step further by extending the scope of green building into the sustainable built environment. This is a broader district-wide regime, calling for further advancement and greater multi-disciplinary collaboration. Sustainable urban management calls for environmental, social and economic sustainability. Accordingly, under the sustainable built environment, it would entail more diverse considerations in terms of smart urban planning, microclimate, passive designs, urban biodiversity, sustainable amenities and municipal facilities, connectivity, environmentally friendly transport linkages and other sustainable infrastructure features. All these come under the envelope of the sustainable built environment. Against this backdrop, it is the right moment for the HKGBC to introduce the BEAM Plus Neighbourhood for assessing the performance of the building clusters rather than individual buildings. The BEAM Plus Neighbourhood extends green building to cover a sustainable built environment through the concept of "Neighbourhood" and provides a new dimension of the green building assessment at a district-wide level.
Application of "Neighbourhood" in New Development Projects
A few weeks ago, the Government launched the public engagement on "Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030". This is our long-term plan for updating the territorial development strategy in order to guide planning, land and infrastructure development. Under our planning, the Tung Chung extension, Kwu Tung North, Fanling North, Hung Shui Kiu and Yuen Long South will become Hong Kong's next generation of new towns. Kowloon East will also be developed into our second central business district (CBD) and low-carbon smart city. We also aspire to develop the East Lantau Metropolis to accommodate a population of 400,000 to 700,000 and become our third CBD.
In planning the above new development areas and strategic districts, there will be plenty of opportunities for our green building professionals to bring the concept of "Neighbourhood" into action. Our Energizing Kowloon East Office has already taken the lead to plan and transform Kowloon East into a smart city where liveability, connectivity, walkability and other socio-economic and environmental aspects within the framework of "Neighbourhood" are prioritised for planning considerations and actions in order to facilitate the sustainable growth of the community and enhance the quality of living.
There is a limit to what the Government's effort alone could achieve. As the major stakeholder in the building sector, private developers' support and collaboration to deliver their projects for a sustainable built environment under the "Neighbourhood" concept is indispensable. I would like to call for your timely action to work together with the Government towards the goal of providing a sustainable built environment for the Hong Kong community.
As you can imagine, the challenges ahead are unprecedented. We need multi-disciplinary collaboration to bring about the sustainable built environment that we are striving for. Together with the HKGBC, the Government will make the best endeavour to establish teamwork and partnership amongst all stakeholders with a view to developing Hong Kong into a liveable, competitive and sustainable Asia's world city. With the concerted efforts of the community, especially every one of you who comes here today to show your commitment to Hong Kong's sustainable future, I am confident that we will achieve our goal.
The launching of the BEAM Plus Neighbourhood today will mark the start of a new chapter in the BEAM Plus assessment tools. A Chinese proverb says, "The journey of a thousand miles starts with your very first step (千里之行，始於足下)." Today let us take this crucial step together and chart our endeavours towards a better sustainable built environment in Hong Kong for the generations to come.
Ends/Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:42