Student Hostel Phase 3 rated excellent in environmental study

Karen Lai

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The newly completed City University of Hong Kong Student Hostel Phase 3 has achieved a rating of 'excellent' in the Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-BEAM), one of the most widely recognized benchmarks for environmental sustainability of buildings.  


The HK-BEAM is an industry-led voluntary initiative that measures, improves and certifies the environmental sustainability of buildings. Operated by the HK-BEAM Society of the Business Environment Council, the scheme provides a range of best practice environmental standards for buildings: site aspects, materials aspects, energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, and innovative techniques. The HK-BEAM has been the only scheme of its kind in Hong Kong. Its level of adoption is similar to the UK Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and the US Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). 


Mr Arthur Leung, Director of Campus Planning, said the student residence project had passed through a stringent assessment process with the HK-BEAM, starting from its

inception in 2000 to completion in October this year.


“Environmental protection is an important factor in our campus development, which covers a wide range of topics such as ecological impact, site planning, wind corridor, sun angles in different seasons, and many more,” Mr Leung said. The environmental assessment covered not only green conservation, but a range of other factors such as the use of construction materials, handling of construction waste, construction methods, and management of premises, he said.


“All these factors should be incorporated at the very early stage of our plans,” he said. By joining the benchmark scheme, CityU is a pioneer among higher education institutions in promoting healthy living, a green environment and an awareness to better protect the planet.


“The project was built with an environmental management plan in place,” said Mr Peter Chan, Lead Assessor of the HK-BEAM Society. “The rating ‘excellent’ fully demonstrates CityU's dedication to adopting a sustainable approach to its campus development.”


Student Hostel Phase 3 comprises two undergraduate blocks, Halls 7 and 9, and a Multi-function Hall. Environmental practices commended by the HK-BEAM include, among others, the hostel's solar lighting system, sun shading devices in rooms on the south side, LED exit signs for saving energy, and an upgraded drainage system to prevent the spread of disease. The implementation of devices such as the smart card system for air conditioning units encourages residents to develop greater environmental awareness in all aspect of their lives. 


The hostel is now being furnished and will open in Semester B, providing an additional 655 bed spaces for students. Upon completion of the student residence project, 2,800 students can be offered a chance to live in hostels, realizing the University's goal of providing students with an opportunity to live communally on campus as part of its commitment to whole-person education.


Looking to the future, two current development projects at CityU—the Creative Media Centre and the Community College Building—have invited the HK-BEAM to assess their buildings.





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