micro climate

Trees can provide excellent solar shading, they are master eco-climate controllers. The natural shading is clearly seen on the exterior wall in the above photo, lowered the direct solar gain, but not diffuse solar gain. Plan ahead. Creating a beneficial micro-climate for a building, particularly near the entrance and or air intakes helping lower the building [...]

micro climate

don’t take my word for it

I am constantly amazed, I recently witnessed an expert speaker presenting a wonderful array of professional photographs explaining green office concept. One problem, the perimeter row of lighting fittings, although it was a sunny day with plenty of daylight, and speaker praising use the of daylight, the perimeter zone lights were on, a common problem. [...]

seven million dead and counting

by John A. Herbert energy efficiency matters, seven million died needlessly in 2012 a result of air pollution (BBC/WHO) and considering the smog in China this year, that figure will surely increase. That figure for me is staggering,particularly when we know that energy efficiency is the fastest, most benign strategy to reduce your fuel use, [...]

energy efficiency hong kong china


Right idea wrong scale

Handling food waste is a global problem, but is all food waste equal?  There is waste from dining generated in homes, restaurants, and Dai Pai Dong’s, and there is food waste from markets, wet markets and supermarkets, the latter being past the sell by date. HKSAR Government intends create four food waste to energy plants, but [...]

One Planet Living

We know there are insufficient resources to go around, right? Perhaps not. However, there are options, the idea of one planet living (http://www.oneplanetliving.com) gives some guidance, like David Letterman it provides a convenient top ten list, but how can we migrate from the status quo to a more sustainable future? Green Building or clean technologies? [...]



A Thermal Bridge Too Far

The building structure, columns and floor slabs cant be seen with the naked eyes, but are clearly visible as purple colour in this infra-red image. the columns and floor slabs are cooler than the infill sections of the walls and the windows. The red/white hot spot is off the scale, it is caused by a electric [...]

Sustainability Primer

Here is a TED talk, it is an interesting primer for environment and sustainability issues (and I doubt the speaker Leyla Acaroglu will thank me for that). But I do wonder is sustainability finally heading towards the main stream? There is no doubt that the analysis is incredibly complex, and the possibly the most significant [...]


SCMP 7 feb 2014 (unlinkable)

Serious About Energy

The SCMP (unlinkable) published an article on 7 Feb 2014 reporting the HKGBC as saying a few tweaks will save energy. Really, is it that simple? In reality it is not. Surely the time as come to get serious about energy consumption in Hong Kong buildings. Recommended Reading: Hong Kong Green Building Magazine 2014 the misguided [...]

Hong Kong Green Building Magazine 2014

The second issue of Hong Kong’s only Green Building Magazine was published, Jan 2014, click image or online to read the latest news.   Recommended Reading: Hong Kong Green Building Outlook 2014 Hong Kong Greener Pastures Green building roof research Hong Kong Green Building Consultancy required Hong Kong ecobuildmagazine launched Hong Kong



Hong Kong Green Building Outlook 2014

The end of another year is rapidly approaching, so it time to look forward, for me the absolute minimum requirement to obtain a green building certification is a growing concern. In 2014, what features will a Green Building have? The same as 2013? Should every building labelled ‘green’ have one or more “green” features?  Shouldn’t [...]

Diesel Powered Irrigation

This is best practice in Hong Kong, a diesel truck hauls water for irrigation of the streetscape. In this case, filmed at Murray road by the AIA building in Central, the truck sits with its engine idling, but not all of the water actually reaches the plants, water is pouring out from the truck bed [...]

irrrigation 2

zero carbon building hong kong

Design vs Performance

Building regulations, Energy codes, and like tend to specify a performance parameters for the design stage, not actual building performance. The building code requires a certain OTTV  (Overall Thermal Transmittance Value) defined by w/sqm, for the building envelope. However, the delivered performance is never measured. The energy code also requires air conditioning chillers to meet certain [...]


BEAM for Offices Training

There is about 40 Million sqm of office space in Hong Kong, with renovation and fitting out projects representing the bulk of active projects each and every day. Because of their number and repetitive nature these projects have a significant impact on the environment and our quality of life. Responding to market demand and recognising [...]

Is your BMS the answer to the energy crisis?

There is a school of thought, in the race for low carbon, lower energy consumption, etc. that installing a new BMS (building management system) will magically solve all your energy problems.  A quick review of the above chart gives the hard evidence, it failed, and it is difficult to believe that more building owners don’t [...]

BMS chiller operation

Why is the world still going to hell……

Greenbiz.com published a great video interview with Patagonia’s founder, YVON Chouinard, tackling the elephant in room…… So what does the future hold, who will be successful? Look at consumer driven societies, especially here in Hong Kong, how will can it reinvent itself in a future world where consumerism and shopping are frowned upon… No related posts.

Hong Kong Office Rating Tool – BEAM Interiors

Well here it is, after countless pro-bono hours, and a few sleepless nights, BEAM PLUS Interiors (BI) is published!  To the existing BEAM users, the new rating tool will be reassuringly familiar, yes its part of the BEAM suite, and yet its a little different. Whilst still broadly on based on the existing tool, BEAM Interiors 2008 tool, BEAM NB and [...]


Eco City Ideas

eco cities, districts, and buildings

There has been increasing traction for the concept of a sustainable city, I for one have a dozen conference invites on hand which is one measure. And from the engineering perspective alone is long overdue. In the Hong Kong context, I advocate for expanding the focus from a single building to the wider and scalable [...]

Kaohsiung,Taiwan – Making tracks

Kaohsiung, the southern metropolis in Taiwan has more than 250 kilometres of cycling tracks. Around the city, generally near the metro stations, public bicycles queued to be hired. I rented a bike, and rode along the main track which runs along side the Love river into the heart of Kaohshing. And it was cheap, 20 NT dollars [...]


john herbert zero landfill logo

Green Building Regulations & Certifications (BEAM)

Heads up! this month the Hong Kong International Building and Decoration Materials & Hardware Fair will be held at AsiaWorld Expo in Hong Kong. It opens on 27th October 2012, and I’ll be speaking about my favourite topic Hong Kong BEAM in the Green Building Regulations & Certifications session! It’s an opportunity I doont want to miss, because I want to [...]