BEAM Project Boundary

by John A. Herbert Under BEAM new building, as the building developer you choose the BEAM project boundary, normally it is automatic, the project boundary will be the lot (site) boundary under your control. However, where the new building is located on a larger site, for example on an existing campus, extreme care is required, because the project [...]


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Airing your clean laundry

by John A. Herbert It was beautiful weather today, it was hot, so hot in fact that the Hong Kong Observatory promulgated the Very Hot Weather warning, a glorious day indeed for drying your laundry in the sunshine, alas not in Hong Kong. Building and estate managers, for reasons unknown, actively prohibit carbon free laundry [...]


Hong Kong Green Building Magazine 2014, 3rd edition

The third edition of Hong Kong’s only Green Building Magazine was just published, click on image to visit HKGBC site, and read the latest green building news. Recommended Reading: Hong Kong Green Building Magazine 2014, 2nd edition Green Building Consultancy required Hong Kong Hong Kong Green Building Outlook 2014 Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) [...]

Hong Kong Green Building Magazine 2014

diesel powered irrigation II

by John A. Herbert Hong Kong, a diesel truck coasts along the fast lane of the highway (near MegaBox) to water the plants. It was a hot day, so spraying (misting) water into the air helps it evaporate easily wasting water. At the same time the opportunity to use rainwater from the highway directly above [...]


how public spaces make cities work – TED 2014 talk

Everyday we are bombarded with new advice to create smarter cities, mainly claiming some type of utopian solution, scaremongers point to the extra billion people that will live in the future cities and everybody is getting on the bandwagon. A recent presentation by an electrical switchgear company for claimed they would make your city smart! [...]

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Air Conditioning Leakage

by John A. Herbert Spring has arrived, the humidity is increasing and air conditioning and their power consumption start in earnest. Air conditioning systems rely upon converting electrical energy at the central chiller to chilled water, yet these veins, the chilled pipes are often hidden from view, deep inside the building behind locked plant room [...]


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, [...]

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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? [...]

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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 [...]

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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, 2nd edition [...]


Hong Kong Green Building Magazine 2014, 2nd edition

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

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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 [...]

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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 [...]


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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 [...]