HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 26 March 2021 - The Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC), a non-profit organisation dedicated to transforming the city into a greener built environment, announced today the launch of Hong Kong's first "Advancing Net Zero" Ideas Competition along with Swire Properties (1972.HK)as Principal Partner of the project.
The Competition invites international industry stakeholders, designers, academia, and technology experts to contribute ideas on how to move Hong Kong's building sector towards carbon neutrality – a net-zero position - for a sustainable future. Winners and shortlisted candidates will be eligible for a total of HK$1.2 million in prize money.
Some world-renowned names are sitting on the influential Jury Panel which include Ms Tanya Cox, Chair of the World Green Building Council; Professor Jiang Yi, Director of the Building Energy Research Centre of Tsinghua University; Mr William McDonough, architect and globally recognised leader in sustainable development and design, and founding partner of William McDonough + Partners; and Ms Meaghan Lloyd, Partner at Gehry Partners, the acclaimed firm founded by Pritzker Prize Laureate Frank Gehry.
The effects of global warming are already stressing our ecosystem, so combating climate change, and reducing our carbon footprint has become a vitally important mission for the entire global community. A special report published by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018, stated that total man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to halve by 2030 and reach a "net-zero" position by around 2050 in order to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees and avoid a climate catastrophe for our planet.
According to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), buildings currently account for 39% of energy-related carbon emissions globally. In densely populated Hong Kong, however, more than 60% of carbon emissions are ascribed to buildings, and 15% to 20% of the lifecycle carbon footprint of buildings is attributable to construction. Reducing these figures through green building practices is therefore critical.
"Advancing Net Zero" (ANZ) is a worldwide initiative launched by the WorldGBC to promote net-zero carbon buildings. This is in line with the Hong Kong Government's environmental target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The ANZ Ideas Competition consists of two categories: (i) Future Building and (ii) Existing Building. Ar. Ada Fung, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the ANZ Ideas Competition said, "The overall aim is to stimulate innovative and valuable carbon reduction insights from multi-disciplinary professionals, raise public awareness, generate new ideas and solutions, enhance learning and knowledge sharing on Advancing Net Zero, and to push the boundaries to design future-ready buildings and retrofit existing building stock to advance net zero emissions economy by 2050. The Competition also aims to accelerate the building industry to adopt and develop low/zero carbon design and technologies, and to stimulate the reviews of current regulations and code of practices to facilitate the development of eco-technology where appropriate."
Mr Cheung Hau-wai, Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council said, "Hong Kong is one of the world's top tier metropolises and is famous for its high-rise architecture. Its subtropical climate with immense building density means it is crucial for us to implement low carbon strategies and generate energy-efficient design solutions for buildings. We look forward to interacting and exchanging ideas with multi-talented experts around the world in the hope of creating a low carbon future for our community."
Mrs Elizabeth Kok, Director and Senior Advisor of Swire Properties Limited said, "As part of Swire Properties' long-term commitment to sustainable development, we're excited to be supporting the first ANZ Ideas Competition, which can inspire our industry to take action and bring positive change to the built environment and beyond. As Principal Partner, we're supporting this unique initiative by offering extensive data harnessed from two of our advanced buildings at Taikoo Place; this will help facilitate in-depth analysis of real cases, and foster original solutions that can advance to net zero buildings in a high-density city like Hong Kong."
Leading industry influencers as Jury Panel
The "Advancing Net Zero" Ideas Competition has been well received by local and international industry leaders who also sit on the Jury Panel. Ms Tanya Cox, Chair of the World Green Building Council said, "Accelerating a net zero built environment is one of the surest ways to combat climate change. To unlock the 1.5 degrees ambition of the Paris Agreement, we need to encourage and incentivise net zero solutions. HKGBC's "Advancing Net Zero" Ideas Competition provides the motivation we need to bring these ambitious ideas and innovation to life."
About the HKGBC "Advancing Net Zero" Ideas Competition: https://anzideascompetition.hkgbc.org.hk
About the HKGBC: www.hkgbc.org.hk.
About Swire Properties and its SD efforts: www.swireproperties.com.
Hong Kong Green Building Council and Swire Properties