Overcoming Existing Challenges
It is important to identify existing constraints and challenges before embarking on the BEAM Plus pilot project. Kwai Shing West Estate was built in 1975 and some building design could not fulfill the current BEAM Plus requirements. For example, the open refuse areas do not comply with the prerequisite requirements under ‘Material Aspects’ category. Upgrading works and addition of independent mechanical air filtration system had been carried out and under the existing estate situation, modification works had been carefully planned to mitigate disturbance to tenants and at the same time ensure uninterrupted building services operations.
Managing Green Initiatives
The Hong Kong Housing Authority makes ‘green living’ an underlying theme of all the estate management work. Moving forward in this direction, we have obtained international certifications in ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, ISO 50001 Energy Management System and OHSAS 18001Occupational Health and Safety Management System, as well as waste management system. Implementation of these green initiatives includes management practices and operational guidelines for routine cleansing, security, waste management, energy monitoring as well as planned maintenance and improvement works.
Timely maintenance and proper improvement works not only ensure a safe and pleasant living environment for the residents, but also sustain the lifespan and economic value of the existing housing estates. ‘Total Maintenance Scheme’ provides comprehensive maintenance services for inspection and repair of tenant flats. In ‘Responsive In-flat Maintenance Services’, frontline staff register maintenance requests directly from tenants and set repair process in motion quickly. Through these programmes, we are able to constantly upgrade the estate facilities to meet residents' needs.
Engaging the Community
Public housing estates function as complete communities and effective channels of communication with stakeholders become important to promote community spirit, grasp sense of belonging, and achieve common community goals. Striving for enhancement in environmental performance of Kwai Shing West Estate, we display the consumption of electricity, gas and water use at domestic blocks to arouse tenants’ environmental awareness. We have also been closely involved in organizing and promoting public engagement to strengthen and enhance our communication channels and services.