Building Hong Kong

Building Hong Kong: Environmental Considerations

WONG Wah Sang
Edwin Hon-wan CHAN
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    Building Hong Kong
    Book Description:

    In the 1999 Policy Address by Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee-hwa, one major target listed is 'Making Hong Kong an Ideal Home . . . Every citizen, every business, every government department and bureau need to start working in partnership to achieve what is known as "sustainable development".' This book aims to encourage an ecological approach to design and planning in an effort 'to build Hong Kong into a world-class city'. The book is divided into four parts which focus on various aspects of environmental considerations in architecture. The first part discusses broad issues of environmental planning and sustainability. The second part covers environmental strategies in architectural design. The third part deals with environmental factors and explores how they can be addressed. The last part details the relevant environmental legislation in Hong Kong. This book is intended as both a reference for professionals as well as a textbook for university students.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-049-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Eric Kum-chew Lye

    The emphasis on environmental awareness in architectural design is crucial — now and for the new millennium. I am glad that on this issue there are so many participants from different areas, both in the private and in the public sectors, who are concerned with the environment. One sector sells the goods while the other wants to convince the public that it is doing the right thing! Very often, neither the person in the street nor the architects fully grasp the problems before them! It is therefore important that these commentators do not talk at cross purposes but maintain a particular...

  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    WONG Wah Sang and Edwin Hon-wan CHAN
  5. Contributors
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. Introduction: Living With The Environment In An Urban Context
    (pp. 1-14)
    Wong Wah Sang

    Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution assumed nature’s development through a process of natural selection, whereby stronger animals eat weaker animals and only the fittest could survive. A modern society like Hong Kong would agree to this principle as we witness people supplanting each other. There is keen competition all around. And the reward is materialistic wealth for a few successful people.

    However, a society does not belong to a few people but to all who live in it and contribute to it. The Theory of Evolution ignored the aspect of mutual cooperation among living things to maintain a liveable Earth...

  7. PART A Broad Issues On The Environment
    • [Part A: Introduction]
      (pp. 15-16)

      This part deals with the broad issues of the environment in relation to land use and sustainability in Hong Kong. It discusses the relationships between the environment and town planning, and between sustainability and urban design. It focuses on those issues relating to the strategies, uses and sustainability of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.

      In his chapter ‘Sustainability and Urban Design’, Peter Cookson Smith addresses the relationship between the two. In applying the concept of sustainable urban design in the context of Hong Kong, he discusses five key dimensions: spatial form, energy efficiency, urban ecology, tall building design and the environmental...

    • 1 Sustainability And Urban Design
      (pp. 17-42)
      Peter Cookson Smith

      In a development sense, ‘sustainability’ is about maintaining and enhancing the quality of life while respecting the carrying capacity of the biosphere, the supporting ecosystem and resource base. At a more detailed and specific level, spatial planning and urban design need to be set within the urban and city planning context of natural resource conservation and local environmental quality.

      Global initiatives reflecting sustainable concerns for the planet have, in recent years, helped to develop a clear ecological dimension for strategic and local planning. It is recognized that the formulation of responsive urban design parameters must also relate to the creation...

    • 2 Town Planning And The Environment: Role And Tools Of Private Consulting Planners
      (pp. 43-60)
      Bo-sin Tang and Andrew Siu-lo Lam

      Hong Kong is both a beneficiary and victim of its incessant development. Rapid economic growth brings with it significant improvement in material wealth that is enviable by many developing countries. However, our remarkable success also leaves noticeable traits of environmental damages (see Table 1). Some people say that, as there is no such thing as a free lunch, poor environmental quality is the price we pay for our actively growing economy. This is definitely incorrect. Development and environment are not necessarily at two opposing ends. Specifically, the relationship between property development and environment can be in the form of a...

    • 3 What Kind Of Harbour City Do We Want?
      (pp. 61-80)
      Ted Pryor and Peter Cookson Smith

      For some time, there has been a growing ground swell of public concern about how our harbour city is changing character and, in the process, is increasingly portraying an erosion of its historical vibrancy and sense of place. In particular, there continues to be a never-ending game of ping-pong played between those for and those against harbour reclamations. There seems to be no clear way forward for resolving a number of key issues that keep returning to the public arena whenever new plans are unveiled by the government. The latest proposals for the redevelopment of the former airport site at...

  8. PART B Environmental Design Strategies
    • [Part B: Introduction]
      (pp. 81-82)

      This part discusses how environmental design strategies are considered by designers and applied to actual architectural projects. For an insight into actual practice, architects from both private and public sectors have given their views on design strategies based on experience.

      In ‘Building into the Environment’, the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) explains how its Green Manager Committee helps with the protection of the environment. For large projects, a preliminary environment review is made at the inception/feasibility stage. In the design stage, design studies include overall thermal transfer values, reduction of the use of tropical hardwood, minimization of waste, and resource-saving by...

    • 4 Building Into The Environment Architectural Services Department
      (pp. 83-110)

      To ensure proper consideration is given to environmental improvements, the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) has introduced a systematic and measured approach through an environmental management system (EMS). The ArchSD has built on its previous ISO 9001 initiatives to obtain certification in March 1998 of ISO 14001. Recognizing that in day-to-day operations, it is inevitable that the environment is impacted in many ways, the aim is to minimize the extent of this impact, wherever and whenever possible.

      The EMS can be found in two divisions as it addresses both the process/organization through housekeeping/administration, and products/projects. A comprehensive range of multi-disciplinary professional...

    • 5 Use Of Technology To Assist Environmental Design: A Case Study Of Verbena Heights In Hong Kong
      (pp. 111-122)
      Kam-sing Wong

      The housing project Verbena Heights was first known by its address Area 19B of Tseung Kwan 0 New Town’. The design inception occurred in late 1992.

      The developer was the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS), a quasigovernmental body providing subsidized housing on both a rental and sale basis. The gross site area was approximately 2.1 hectares of reclaimed land. The development brief entailed about 1 000 rental units and 2 000 flats-for-sale, plus a spectrum of amenity and community facilities (including a car park, a market-place, a nursery, a kindergarten, a children-and-youth centre, a rehabilitation centre for persons with disability,...

    • 6 A Public Housing Experience
      (pp. 123-134)
      Ada Yin-suen Fung

      The Hong Kong Housing Authority has been called one of the largest homemakers in the world. Over 870 000 housing flats have been built, a further 270 000 flats will be completed in the next five years, and we have our ambitious housing production targets to achieve. The major development and construction processes include planning, design, demolition, site formation, piling and building. Development and environment go hand in hand. The concept and practice of environmental protection can be illustrated throughout these processes. Our core values — caring, customer-focused, committed — also apply to our environment. This chapter gives a brief overview of...

    • 7 Passive Environmental Strategies For Architectural Design
      (pp. 135-148)
      Bernard Vincent Lim and Man-kit Leung

      This chapter examines the human comfort criteria in relation to the climatic as well as the urban context of Hong Kong, and investigates how these criteria can be met by applying various passive environmental strategies for architectural design in the region.

      The concept of neutral temperature¹ can be used to ascertain the comfortable temperature range of three cities with different climatic contexts — Hong Kong, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur. This is to compare the variations of comfortable temperature ranges in various regions in relation to the local climate, human activities and clothing. Clothing values of people taken in this analysis, though...

  9. PART C Environmental Factors
    • [Part C: Introduction]
      (pp. 149-150)

      This part is devoted to the environmental factors affecting the design of buildings. These include heat, light and noise.

      The chapter ‘Design for Building Environmental Performance’, by Daniel Wai-tin Chan, John Burnett and Phillip Jones, discusses building services systems relating to environmental factors. It provides a brief on sick building syndromes, and healthy building is explored in a new perspective. Energy effectiveness — how energy is consumed in a building — is explained. Operation and maintenance are considered as important issues. The aims and context of an environmentally friendly building are also outlined.

      In the chapter ‘Noise and Design of Buildings in...

    • 8 Design For Building Environmental Performance
      (pp. 151-182)
      Daniel Wai-tin Chan, John Burnett and Phillip Jones

      Almost every summer when we pass by the campus of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, we are amused by a slogan on the wall of the large staircase stack which says ‘Between Eleven and Three, Slip Under a Tree’. Indeed, there is no place to hide from potential exposure in the city of today. When we are enjoying the sunshine outdoors, we are warned that a high dose of ultra violet radiation (due to the depletion of the ozone layer) may induce skin cancer or eye cataracts. It is no safer back indoors, hiding within the building fabric that is...

    • 9 Noise And Design Of Buildings In Hong Kong
      (pp. 183-214)
      Stephen Siu-yu Lau and Dariusz Sadowski

      Noise is becoming an increasingly important factor in the way it affects the lives of thousands of people. As a result, it is also becoming more permanently imprinted through the physical manifestations in the building fabric of whole cities and individual buildings alike. This creates a unique situation where human activities and their impact on the environment are producing an acutely negative effect on those using the environment in the first place. This chapter deals with the reactions to one type of such negative effect: noise.

      While it is recognized that the production of solutions, especially aftermeasures, is not the...

    • 10 An Investigation On Overall Thermal Transfer Value
      (pp. 215-252)
      Wong Wah Sang

      Control on the overall thermal transfer value (OTTV) is enforced by one of the Building Regulations for Energy Efficiency. The aim is to establish a comprehensive building energy code to control the total energy consumption in a building. OTTV measures the energy consumption of a building envelope which depends on the materials, glazing type and size, provision of shading, colour, as well as the orientation of the walls. The building enclosure controls the heat and light emitted into the interior, which affects the extent of use of artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation.

      According to the Code of Practice for OTTV...

  10. PART D Environmental Legislation
    • [Part D: Introduction]
      (pp. 253-256)

      The call for environmental protection is appealing to all. The problem lies in the implementation. In addition to business incentives and educational promotion, legal provisions are required to regulate and enforce environmental protection. This part considers the law related to environmental planning and pollution control. The chapters in this part provide an overview of the issues from a governmental perspective, and a general coverage on the major pieces of environmental legislation. As the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance is the central piece of new environmental law that affects major developments, it deserves detailed analysis from both the management and implementation...

    • 11 Environmental Planning And Impact Assessment Of Major Development Projects In Hong Kong
      (pp. 257-272)
      Elvis Wai-kwong Au

      In the last few decades, the economic growth in Hong Kong has been phenomenal, turning the once relatively small fishing village into a modern metropolis, ranked as the tenth largest economy in the world. It has been facing the classic conflicts between development and the environment. The 1980s saw the emergence of new environmental laws, policies and programmes aimed at arresting the deterioration of the environment and preventing new problems from occurring. Part of the environmental management framework is a system and a set of procedures for environmental planning and impact assessment of new development activities.

      Developments in Hong Kong...

    • 12 Impact Of Major Environmental Legislation On Property Development In Hong Kong
      (pp. 273-296)
      Edwin Hon-wan Chan

      In the last decade, Hong Kong has, in economic terms, grown to a status equivalent to developed countries. People’s expectations for the quality of life have become higher. To support the growth, massive infrastructure construction and property development have been carried out or planned. Property development has become one of the major economic activities in Hong Kong. Trailing behind property development for a better-built habitat are the issues of environmental protection and preservation of nature.

      The need to be environmentally conscious in development activities may be coming from a self-awareness by citizens in Hong Kong. It is also a response...

    • 13 Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance — An Introduction
      (pp. 297-310)
      Chi-sun Poon and Xiang-dong Li

      The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance was enacted in early 1997 to provide for assessing the impact on the environment of certain project proposals, for the protection of the environment. The Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Process, which sets out the principles, procedures, guidelines, requirements and criteria of the assessment process, was also published by the government to complement the implementation of the Ordinance. Some of the materials in this chapter are adapted from the Ordinance and the Technical Memorandum.

      There are two types of projects specified in the Ordinance as designated projects.

      The Ordinance specifies in its Schedule 2...

    • 14 Building Control To Enhance The Environment
      (pp. 311-352)
      Wong Wah Sang

      Le Corbusier (1927) advocated regulating lines in architecture to serve ‘to make very beautiful things’. An orderly control is important, but now building regulations in Hong Kong as the prime legislative control have no such equal intent. Greenstreet (1996) investigated building codes in the United States and found that statutory control added heavy responsibilities on to designers and tended to discourage innovative designs for buildings. Though all societies exert control to attain standards for the common good, excessive sophistication often becomes heavy legislative obstacles to achieving innovative designs.

      As stated by Alan Downward (1992), building control was developed from concerns...

  11. Index
    (pp. 353-362)