Green design for new academic buildings

Christina Wu

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The new 4-year curriculum has prompted City University of Hong Kong (CityU) to construct Academic 2 (AC2) and Academic 3 (AC3), adding over 40,000 square metres of usable space to the main campus. The designs for both buildings incorporate many green features, earning AC3 a green building award recently.

“Both new buildings have green features that support environmental protection, even if this has meant spending a bit more on construction costs,” said Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Vice-President (Student Affairs) of CityU.

AC3 received a merit award under the “New Building-Hong Kong” (Building under construction) category of the Green Building Award 2012, which was co-organised by the Hong Kong Green Building Council and the Professional Green Building Council, in recognition of its green initiatives.

The exterior design of AC2 represents a ribbon connecting in flowing lines, while a notable 2-storey curved window wall stands at the main entrance. In addition, the skylight over the oval atrium allows natural light into the interior of AC2.

“The remarkable window system, which twists in two directions and lets in natural light, is unique in Hong Kong,” Professor Lam said. “The walls on the west side of AC3 block sunrays in the afternoon, and windows exposed directly to sunlight are made of low-emissivity glass that will reduce the temperature of the building and save energy.”

(For detailed information on the space allocation plans of the buildings, please click here ​.)

Like many modern buildings, AC2 and AC3 have sky gardens, beautifully landscaped with greenery, providing effective heat insulation for the upper floors.

AC2, a 9-storey building with 20,900 square metres of net area, opened last August; AC3, comprising a 20-storey upper block and a 5-storey lower block, will add 20,500 square metres of net area to campus later this year.

“The two buildings will provide an additional 4,000 square metres of space for student activities, an area equivalent to four standard pools, including student amenities and activities centre, multi-function rooms and common areas,” Professor Lam said. “The overall space for student activities will be increased to more than 11,000 square metres.”

AC2 includes classrooms, lecture theatres, computer rooms, a student canteen and offices for the Community College of City University. The teaching facilities are arranged on the lower floors; the learning commons are located at the building perimeter or around the central atrium.

AC3 will include lecture theatres, with one holding up to 600 people, classrooms, laboratories, common areas, restaurants and offices.

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