Students win top award in green design competition

Christina Wu

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Five students from the Division of Building Science and Technology at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) won the Platinum Award of the BEC Low-carbon Home–Green Residential Development Design Competition.
They outperformed around 30 teams from nine local tertiary institutions with their innovative design for a green housing estate in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province.
The five students are Charlotte Chu Tin-lok, Andrew Hung Siu-chau, Charlie Ip Kwok-wai, Gladys Mak Wai-lok and Jeff Tse To-ming. They are all Year 2 students on the Associate of Science in Architectural Studies programme.
The competition, organised by the Business Environment Council (BEC), aimed to promote green community planning. The architectural programmes and research at CityU also equip students with professional knowledge and encourage them to take into account environmental protection needs and economic issues. 
The students named the 98,000-square-metre green housing estate, which they designed for the Agile Royal Mount Zhongshan development, as “Green Veins”. The transportation network and houses are modeled on the intricate natural design of a tree leaf.
In addition, the orientation and number of buildings are designed to make the best use of sunlight and the flow of wind. In fact, the leisure and open space has a greening ratio as high as 85%. The housing estate will also incorporate solar panels, a sewage treatment system and a geothermal heat pump system.
“We are committed to promoting environmental protection,” said Ms Suzanne Cheung Kit-yi, Head of Environmental Management at BEC. “Green building is a global trend, so we hope this competition encourages the building industry to pay more attention to environmental concerns.”

The proposal submitted by the CityU students was full of creative ideas, according to Mr August Tiu Chin-wai, Head of Project of Agile Property Holdings Limited, the sponsor of the competition. “The eco-technologies are also feasible and practical,” he said.
The five delighted students will be the only team to intern at Agile this summer. “We were able to apply what we learned from our CityU courses in this competition, and we learned a great deal during the process of planning for such a large community,” Andrew said.
The Green Residential Development Design Competition is one of the major events for the BEC Low-carbon Home programme. Through a series of activities held over 10 months, the programme aims to enable students studying architecture, real estate and construction, and urban planning and design at tertiary institutions to find out more about the true meaning of green community planning and understand its positive effect on people’s lives.
“Green Veins” and other final-year projects, such as architectural designs for youth hostels, commercial buildings and shopping plazas as well as the renovation of old districts by CityU students on the Associate of Science in Architectural Studies and the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Architectural Studies were displayed at the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre from 25 May to 2 June.


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