Conservation International Hong Kong (CI-Hong Kong) utilized green building in order to create a beautiful, healthy and inspiring office for the international environmental NGO’s staff and guests.
CI-Hong Kong challenged itself to become the first office to achieve BEAM Plus Interiors certification in order to support the Hong Kong green building community and demonstrate that even an NGO can achieve Platinum rating with an average fit-out budget. As a result, the design and construction team worked more creatively and resourcefully. The interior designer worked closely with the BEAM consultant to ensure the interior design can meet the targeted standard in MA (material aspect) and IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality). The contractors helped to source green materials, carefully control air and noise pollution, reduce waste and maximize recycling.
The key to “Green Sky” success is the collaboration of professional teammates who share the same vision – sustainability.
Planning Ahead: 87% of Green Sky can be easily relocated to a future office space. The Genius Walls, eco-friendly moveable glass wall partitioning system manufactured by KI, take just a few days to install or dissemble. As smaller tenants in Hong Kong are often restricted to only two or three year leases, planning ahead to reuse building materials saves money and reduces construction waste.
Reuse and Save: 100% of the loose office furniture is second-hand, purchased at only 60% of the cost of new furniture. This freed up funds to invest in other green features such as a real-time energy monitoring display and Carbon Offsets from Conservation International’s Carbon Fund, which offsets Green Sky’s carbon emissions by protecting Amazon forests in Peru.
Energy conservation: The average monthly electricity bill for lighting, appliances and electronics is only HK$450. Green Sky is naturally rich in daylight, which eliminates the need for constant artificial lighting while allowing all staff to have natural light and a Harbour view. All artificial lighting uses low-energy and long-life LED bulbs, contributing to 40.9% reduction on Lighting Power Density (LPD). Motion sensors switch on lights only when someone is in the room. Nearly all electronics and appliances have high energy efficiency ratings.
Waste reduction: 59% of the original site’s internal walls, glazing, doors, ceilings and flooring are reused. 99% of demolition and construction waste was transported to a recycling plant in Tuen Mun. Paper, glass, metal and plastic waste is organised into recycling bins and picked up by the social enterprise, Hong Kong Recycles.
Water conservation: An estimated annual water savings of 60% is achieved through the use of low flow water aerators on the faucet. A water filter installed on the tap replaces the need for plastic bottled water.
Breathe Easy: Green Sky was recently awarded an Indoor Air Quality Certificate Award 2014 of Excellent Class by the government. By using eco-friendly paint and adhesives, and no ozone-depleting substances during construction, staff and guests can enjoy extremely fresh air inside the office.
What are the motivations to go “green”?
Conservation International is a trusted advisor to innumerable forward-thinking community, government and business leaders around the world who share our commitment to safeguard the wealth of nature to ensure the well-being of current and future generations and all life on Earth.
With more than 800 staff in 30 countries on six continents, and nearly 1,000 partners around the world, Conservation International ranks among the world’s largest and most active environmental conservation NGOs.
To date, Conservation International and our partners have established 360+ protected areas on land totaling 166 million hectares and 115+ marine protected areas totaling 180 million hectares.
We are also widely recognized for developing and implementing innovative science, financing and policy tools that drive effective conservation and sustainable management of the world’s most important natural places on land and sea.
Walk the talk and set a good example: Conservation International helps our community, business and government partners make wise and responsible decisions to sustainably care for nature. To be true to our mission, we must practice what we preach. In the process, we hope to inspire and lead by example. We are very keen to document and share our green building and BEAM-I experiences and resources to anyone. We will demonstrate that BEAM-I is in everyone’s reach – that green building can be achieved within benchmarks for traditional office fit-out cost, does not sacrifice beauty or functionality, and does not require an extremely high level of technical knowledge.
What are the major strategies to earn the credits and achieve the BEAM Plus rating?
Interactive design stage: Prior to the kickoff of the retrofitting works, the consultants and designers optimized the interior design to maximize credits by conducting computational simulations (such as lighting simulations) and studying the specification of different building materials. During the design stage, the contractors prepared to meet the BEAM requirements by collecting salvaged timber and finding local recycling plants for aggregates. We communicated regularly with the facility management of the host building to check for services and features in the host building to support the BEAM requirements.
Construction with detailed record: Unusual to retrofitting projects, the contractors took many photos to prove certain measures have been taken and certain materials have been adopted. To prove the reuse of existing ceiling and lighting fixture, photos features of these 2 items were taken before and after construction.
An electrical weight was put on site to measure the weights of relevant materials on site.
The contractors also acquired proof from the facility management that no complaints were received for the captioned project.
What are the main obstacles during the certification process? And how would you tackle them?
Often, the choice isn’t simply “green” or “not green” but rather “how much green” can we afford and justify to stakeholders (funder, decision maker, team members, etc).
Even for environmental NGOs such as ours, this requires tradeoffs and careful resource allocation.
Apart from budget constraints, other obstacles to overcome have included:
|Internal Floor Area (IFA) (sqm)||112|
|Project Developer / Owner||Conservation International Foundation Hong Kong, Limited|
|Project Manager||Jude Wu (Conservation International Foundation Hong Kong, Limited)|
|Interior Designer||Kelvin Hah|
|M&E Engineer||Yauki Construction Co., Limited|
|Main Contractor||Yauki Construction Co., Limited|
|Sustainable Design Consultant||BeeXergy Consulting Limited|
|Environmental Consultant||BeeXergy Consulting Limited|
|Acoustic Consultant||BeeXergy Consulting Limited|