Transformation of EMSD Headquarters into a Green Building

  • Outlook of New Piazza and DCS substation of EMSD Headquarters

  • Outlook of New Piazza of EMSD Headquarters 1

  • Perspective view showing the Trade and Industry Tower entrance lobby

  • Outlook of New Piazza of EMSD Headquarters 2

  • Outlook of existing EMSD Headquarters

Neighbourhood (Pilot Version)

Overall Score
Community Aspects
Site Aspects
Materials and Waste Aspects
Energy Aspects
Water Aspects
Outdoor Enviro. Quality
Credit(s)    Innovations and Additions

EMSD HQs will be a showcase for energy efficiency applications, as it will be the first existing building to change to use district cooling system. Furthermore, pedestrian-oriented transport planning measures and design will be integrated with renewable energy features for promotion of energy efficiency technologies.

The Education Path will be revamped to showcase and encourage sustainable lifestyle to the public. The visiting flexibility of the Education Path will be enhanced by transforming the visiting mode from guided-tour to self-guided tour. The Main Entrance of the EMSD HQs will be transformed as the starting / end point of the Education Path. Together with the café operated by a social enterprise and the upgrade of resting area, visitors’ experience could be uplifted as a whole.

Covered sitting area will be provided along the covered route connecting the Site with nearby amenity. The Piazza and Outer Area will be modified for staff and public recreational use with good visual and air quality, with allowance as venue for public functions.  Quality landscape design and ecological enhancement strategy will be adopted to contribute positively to the ecological value and biodiversity of the site, as well as to reduce urban heat island effect.


In 2005, EMSD exhibited successfully an excellent showcase of sustainable development, by converting the former air cargo terminal into the current HQs. In 2015, EMSD decided to further enhance the sustainable performance of EMSD HQs to maximize the benefits to neighbourhood community. Transformation works are being carried out for the EMSD HQs to further improve the building and the site, and to enhance the environmental performance and sustainability of the development in the connection to the neighbourhood and the society.

The strength of Transformation of EMSD HQs is that the building itself has already had various design intents to facilitate the transformation for environmental enhancement. The designs are developed taking into consideration BEAM Plus Neighbourhood (ND) requirements though the scheme is on pilot run. Below are the major transformation works helping the project to achieve BEAM Plus ND certification:

  • Modification of the Piazza to a green and sustainable area for public use
  • Revamp of Education Path into a more innovative, creative and sustainable Education Path to promote sustainable lifestyle
  • Vertical Greening for internal and external walls to enhance ecological value
  • Connection to Kai Tak District Cooling System to enhance energy efficiency in space cooling

Due to the existing building context, there are limitations for achievement of some sustainable design elements to achieve BEAM Plus ND credits, such as the existing building disposition cannot be changed.  However, since BEAM Plus ND certification is a holistic approach, the limitations on existing buildings in a sustainable neighbourhood can be compensated by providing other strategies such as maximize the greenery area in the revamp of outdoor area.

The Transformation of EMSD HQs can provide a quality open space and pleasant outdoor environment to the staff and community to enjoy outdoor activities.

Green Features

A green building being a part of the community is simply not sustainable on its own.  Connecting with community enables sustainability to be leveraged beyond the building’s boundaries to reach out for the general public.

What keeps a building alive is its ability to continuously cope with the different needs of its occupants and visitors.  EMSD constantly explores various new ways to enhance our amenities to make the EMSD HQs a greener environment for shared use with the community.  Apart from enhancement of the hardware such as enhancing greenery, providing bicycle parking spaces, and widening pedestrian access in piazza, etc., EMSD has engaged a social enterprise to run a café at the main entrance hall in 2015.  Through such initiative, EMSD can create opportunities for the underprivileged people, and also foster a caring culture in the community.

As part of the Transformation, modification of the Piazza will provide a green and sustainable area for our neighbours, staff and public use.  Thermal comfort and urban heat island studies were conducted to optimize the design of the Piazza.  Also, the proposed soft landscaping area in Piazza will provide a quality leisure and recreational open space.  According to the flood risk assessment, the surface runoff from the existing public open space would be decreased by around 14% under a 50-year rainfall event by increasing the permeable area in the Piazza after the transformation.

EMSD HQs itself is one of the Green Check Points in Kowloon East to promote low carbon building design and provide information of environmental friendly features to the public. The Revamp of the Education Path aims to raise the public awareness of the sustainability initiatives.  It will be operated to showcase and promote sustainable lifestyle by mean of education and community collaboration for visitors and the public.

To cut the energy consumption of individual air-conditioning system, the project site will be connected to the Kai Tak District Cooling System (KT-DCS) in mid 2017, as the first existing building to change to use district cooling system.  KT-DCS will provide a maximum allowable cooling capacity of about 6,600kW to the project site for space air-conditioning purpose.

Some major green features of the transformation works are listed as follows:

  • Connect to Kai Tak District Cooling Plant to reduce energy for space cooling.
  • Offset part of building energy consumption by solar photovoltaic system.
  • Maximize the greenery in building and Piazza to reduce the urban heat island effect.
  • Revamp the Education Path to showcase, educate and encourage sustainable lifestyle to the public.
  • Develop Integrated Waste Management Plan for municipal solid waste reduction.
  • Provision of thin film BIPV panels at the new entrance canopy for promotion of renewable energy technologies.
  • Provision of solar tree, wind & solar powered lamp poles, solar paver, green deck, lawn, vertical greening, hydroponic farm, rainwater harvesting system, etc.

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