Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant (Administration Building, Combined Heat and Power Generation Building, Sludge Dewatering Building and Preliminary Treatment Building No. 1)

  • An aerial photomontage of Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant after full upgrade with rooftops of some ancillary buildings opening to the public

  • Precision Point Cloud Scans Combined with Revit Model to Virtually Recreate Existing SWHSTW and the Phased Upgrading Works

  • Architect’s impression of the viewing point along the riverside walkway

  • Public co-use areas in SWHEPP - Ecology Garden (front) , Communal Gardening Area (left), birdwatching point (back) (Aerial rendered drawing)

  • Aerial photomontage of Sludge Dewatering Building (right), Combined Heat and Power Building (centre) and other sludge treatment facilities

  • Aerial photomontage of Sludge Dewatering Building green roof and skylight design

New Buildings V1.2
Provisional Platinum

Overall Score
Site Aspects
Materials Aspects
Energy Use
Water Use
Indoor Enviro. Quality
Credit(s)    Innovations and Additions

Guided by its vision to provide world-class wastewater treatment and stormwater drainage services enabling the sustainable development of Hong Kong, the Drainage Services Department is upgrading Shek Wu Hui Sewage Treatment Works (SWHSTW) to become the largest tertiary sewage treatment works in Hong Kong.  The conventionally function-driven plant will install state-of-the-art treatment technologies to double its treatment capacity while producing high quality effluent for discharge and reuse.  Innovative treatment systems, namely Hong Kong’s first thermal hydrolysis process unit, will be installed to improve biogas yield for electricity and reduce the plant’s reliance on conventional fuels.  Together with new community co-use provisions, such as the ecology garden and riverside walkway, SWHSTW will be rebranded as Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant and an “Environmental Campus”, turning a traditionally “NIMBY” facility into an integral asset of the local neighbourhood.

Green Features

Site Aspects

  • Over 50% of hard landscaped area will use pervious material
  • Over 40% of total assessment area will be greenery areas
  • New recreational facilities to be introduced on site (Ecology Garden and Riverside Walkway)

Materials Aspects

  • Provision of facilities for the collection, sorting and disposal of waste and recoverable materials
  • Recycled material will be used in site exterior surfacing works

Energy Use

  • Offset energy consumption within the building by using renewable energy systems to generate electricity (Photovoltaic panels and combined heat and power system)
  • Reduce solar heat gain of buildings by designing façade with low window to wall ratio with low shading coefficient materials
  • Use of high-efficiency air conditioning and lighting equipment

Water Use

  • Use of low-flow water efficient sanitary fitments

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • New and enhanced provisions for barrier-free access in administration building
  • Incorporated amenity features (e.g. first aid room, davit arms for heavy lifting) to enhance building functionality and to facilitate operation and maintenance of the buildings
  • Fresh air ventilation performance achieving international standards has been designed in administration building
  • Acoustics, background noise and indoor vibration calculations for Administration Building have been carried out to comply with prescribed criteria

Innovations and Additions

  • Thermal Hydrolysis Process
  • Building Information Modeling
  • Twin Tanks


Shek Wu Hui Sewage Treatment Works, originally built in the 1980s, has been serving the Fanling and Sheung Shui areas for over 30 years, during which time it has witnessed the rapid development of both towns, from quiet rural villages to the major population hubs that they are today.  The plant will embark on its third upgrade to double its capacity from 93,000 m3/day to 190,000 m3/day.  After completion, it will be the largest tertiary sewage treatment works in Hong Kong, meeting future development needs while also increasing effluent quality to meet rising discharge standards.

From a traditionally unwanted facility into an Environmental Campus

The Drainage Services Department (DSD) takes this opportunity to transform the conventionally function-driven plant into a green eco-campus, introducing various sustainable design features and provisions for community integration.  The plant adopts the theme “Environmental Campus linking with Community”, incorporating educational routes that guide visitors through a “journey of water” tour.  General public can also learn about sustainable living concepts by visiting the exhibits displayed in the public open spaces on site, such as the green roofs, ecology garden and riverside walkway.  We are confident that these provisions will turn a traditionally unwanted facility into an integral asset in the local environment.

Higher Quality Effluent

The new treatment technologies will allow expansion flexibility for streamlining future treatment technology options.  Together with planned reclaimed water treatment facilities next to the plant, high quality effluent could be further polished for non-potable uses such as flushing, potentially saving up to 21 million m3 of fresh water per year.

Higher Energy Efficiency

Harvesting renewable energy from sewage treatment is a global trend, and the plant at Shek Wu Hui is no exception.  Apart from conventional anaerobic digestion to generate biogas, Hong Kong’s first thermal hydrolysis process system will be installed to enhance sludge digestion, thus increasing biogas yields by up to 30%.  This ‘green’ power is forecast to reduce the plant’s power consumption by 20 million kWh per year, equivalent to the annual power consumption of 4,000 families.

Share Spaces with the Public

To further promote co-use of the plant with the community and encourage health and wellness lifestyle, its site boundary will be set back to provide an aesthetic riverside walkway that connects with Sheung Shui town, thus enhancing intra-district travel and connections with the community.  Rooftops of some ancillary buildings will also be open to the public as a viewing platform, enabling people to enjoy the scenery of the ecologically sensitive Long Valley.  Overall, the plant will be beautified with a variety of local plant species to enhance flora and fauna.

Application of Building Information Modelling (BIM)

The design features an overarching theme of an ‘Environmental Campus’, using interactive educational exhibits to illustrate the plant’s functions along a tour path.  A virtual tour of the plant using BIM will also be available to the public, showcasing the power of BIM in design, construction and future asset management. It will demonstrate DSD’s vision in driving sustainable development in the construction industry through smart, innovative and resilient design.

Project Details

Completion Year 2034
Number of Blocks 4
Number of Storeys 2
Internal Floor Area (IFA) (sqm) 45,000 (approx.)
Type Others

Project Team

Project Developer / Owner Drainage Services Department, HKSAR Government
Project Manager AECOM Asia Company Limited
Architect AECOM Asia Company Limited
Landscape Architect AECOM Asia Company Limited
M&E Engineer AECOM Asia Company Limited
C&S Engineer AECOM Asia Company Limited
Facade Consultant AECOM Asia Company Limited
Main Contractor Main Works Stage 1
Bestwise Envirotech Limited
Kwan Lee - Chun Wo Joint Venture
The Jardine Engineering Corporation, Limited
Main Works Stage 2
Quantity Surveyor AECOM Asia Company Limited
Sustainable Design Consultant AECOM Asia Company Limited
Environmental Consultant AECOM Asia Company Limited
Acoustic Consultant AECOM Asia Company Limited
Facility Manager Drainage Services Department, HKSAR Government

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