A Study On Green Building Design In Hong Kong


Green Building is an interdisciplinary theme in which the concept of a green building contains elements, components and procedures that fall apart from several subtopics that form the concept of a green building. In general, green buildings are considered as environmental factors because green building materials are made from local ecological resources. Green buildings minimize the use of resources; reduce the negative impacts on ecology and provide a better indoor environment. Green buildings also provide a high level of environmental, economic and engineering performance. This study highlights the latest trends in green building, the economics of green building, and the challenges of implementation.


Hong Kong is a highly developed city with new buildings every year. The construction industry has the greatest environmental impact on all other industries. Although many people may think that environmental protection and development are conflicting, this is not always the case. In recent years, Hong Kong has more and more building developers and consultant agencies are going to practice green building development and management. The global awareness of environmental issues has increased in Hong Kong, and many countries and regions have begun to develop environmentally friendly green buildings. Green building designs and standards are developed to improve building operation energy and embodied energy efficiencies, and minimize energy and wastes. With sustainable development as a target, we can create a better green environment through planning, design, environmental materials, greening and energy conservation to reduce global warming. Finally, a green environment in Hong Kong can be created.

Research rationale

Residential Building development is always a hot topic in Hong Kong. The demand of residential building is very high in Hong Kong. There are many residential projects every years in Hong Kong. It is important to make Hong Kong’s residential buildings become more efficient and green. While the public is increasingly aware of the benefits of sustainable design and green building, there are still some misconceptions in building green. One example is that people think cost of sustainable construction is high, ignoring of recent research and the reality of any prosperous society. Therefore, over the last two decades the construction industry has made efforts to develop green building practices.

Besides, we are facing serious energy and natural resource shortage, where global climate change is the problem cannot be ignored. Sustainable design can help decreasing reliance on non-renewable energy sources such as traditional fossil fuels like oil, natural gas and coal. This is one of the most common features of green building. Thes non-renewable energy releases greenhouse gases and pollutants to our environment and accelerates global warming. As green buildings adopt energy-saving measures that emphasize the use of renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal energy, the adverse impact on the environment can be greatly reduced.

Research Objective

The objective of the research is to improve design and construction practices that will make our residential buildings longer and less expensive. Also, it helps increasing productivity and improve the working conditions of workers or residents in Hong Kong. But more important is the protection of natural resources and the improvement of the built environment.

Green building practices can play a key role in achieving sustainability in the construction industry. This tells us that the right application of green building is sustainable design and development. These principles play an increasingly important role in architects, engineers, building contractors and real estate applications, especially forward-looking developers. In fact, many contractors are now seeking green certification. Beam Plus is a new system for new buildings in Hong Kong.

Literature review

It is important to understand that no matter how many advantages the green building has, if the construction cost is not cheaper, there will not be a lot of developers willing to develop green residential building. This is especially true in the construction industry, where traditional methods can be significantly cheaper for residential buildings. People are spending most of their time on their home, and we apparently have to think that how our buildings can provide green, protection and comfort. 4. 1 Green Residential Building componentsThe best way for sustainable design is to be environmentally sensitive and to reduce the energy usage during the building's use, by adopting one or more programs designed to meet all the goals. There are several commonalities between integrating building's technology systems and constructing a sustainable or “green” building. While the clear intent of green buildings is planning, designing, building and operating to enhance the living standard of occupants and to support healthy communities and natural environments with minimal impact on ecosystems.

Green Design Principles

In today's competitive world, sustainable building and construction practices focus on innovation and creativity. A key feature of green buildings is the use of materials and technologies that have no negative impact on the environment. Chatterjee (2009) defined the “green building practice” as a process to create buildings and infrastructure in such a way that minimize the use of resources, reduce harmful effects on the ecology, and create better environments for occupants. Likewise, residents of buildings do not simply choose materials because they are more familiar with their use. For example, there are many recycled products that can be used to build sustainable buildings such as ceramic tiles made of recycled glass. Bamboo flooring is another suitable alternative to wood, cheaper and actually harder and more durable than hardwood flooring. Also, for example, floors made of cork oak bark are environmentally friendly because cork harvesting does not damage the trees being removed.

Latest trend in green building design and construction

Many developers in Hong Kong are keen to incorporate green elements into their projects as these projects help to promote their development. The Hong Kong government also encourages the use of green features. In Hong Kong, buildings account for 90 per cent of the total electricity consumption, in which 26 per cent of electrical energy is consumed by residential buildings. The use of triple-glazed thermal break windows with trickle ventilation and external wall insulation can effectively reduce around 50 per cent of the air conditioning energy consumption.

In Hong Kong, modular and standardized components in architectural design are also increasingly being used to enhance building capacity and reduce construction waste. Components may include structural elements, prefabricated facades, interior wall panels and architectural services elements. Architects should keep in mind the use of a standardized grid system design that allows the use of standard-size factory-produced and assembled components.

Design and Construction Technique via Case Study

The Parcville in Yuen Long is an excellent local example of the application of green residential building. It adopted green features such as natural lighting. The building uses the environmental friendly material to build the roof. This eco-friendly roof is highly transparent and effectively floods natural light to different corners of the building. In addition, glass fins are installed on the exterior of the building. This glass finned panel closes in the summer as a solar shading to reduce solar radiation. Helping to prevent the temperature inside the room to reduce the burden on air conditioning systems and reduce electricity consumption. Deuble and de Dear (2012) stated that green buildings, often defined as those featuring natural ventilation capabilities, i. e. low-energy or free-running buildings, are now at the forefront of building research and climate change mitigation scenarios. In winter, the glass fin panels open allowing natural ventilation and sunlight to make winter warmer and cool in summer. Roof also installed a vertical axis wind turbine, the introduction of wind power, providing renewable energy usage. There is also wastewater collection, recycling facilities reprocessing in toilet flushing. Besides, semi-open basement car park design, balcony Gardens and clubhouse with landscaped, skylight Open help to improve natural ventilation and save energy consumption.

Challenges and constraints

The biggest challenge for Hong Kong is that the government uses gross floor area (GFA) measurements to bring the high cost of land to developers. This hindered developers from using thick, highly insulated façades, spacious natural-ventilation entry corridors and better residential planning than cross-shaped blocks. If the government creates a more different way of measuring the value of land, Hong Kong's residential buildings will be more efficient and with lower energy and carbon consumption. Besides, although building environmental protection measures can help saving costs, it is not easy to promote in Hong Kong. Unlike the United States and Taiwan, electricity costs in Hong Kong are paid by the tenants rather than the owners of the buildings, so the owners are reluctant to invest in energy-saving technologies. The project practices conflicts with the long-term principles of sustainable development and that environmental concerns have been narrowed down to a few targeted issues. Also, when comparing with traditional construction methods, owners and developers face many challenges, such as higher final construction costs, longer completion time of project is required, often exceed the budget and may not solve the problem satisfactorily.


Green buildings are the most widely used form of architecture today. Building green buildings is an important concern for building owners and even governments worldwide. The current work is to try to get people, communities and the general public to understand the benefits of sustainable development and management of green buildings. In order to create a green environment in Hong Kong, it requires all parties including the government, developer, contractors and citizen to pay effort on it.

10 December 2020
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