High electricity consumption in schools prompts the need for energy efficiency
Currently, building operation and activities inside buildings are accountable for 90% of electricity consumption in Hong Kong. With over 1000 primary and secondary schools, reducing electricity consumption in these premises will help Hong Kong lower its carbon emission. On the other hand, the increasing demand of electronic equipment for supporting digital and STEM education, coupled with the persistent operation of lighting and air conditioning equipment, have led to rising power consumption on school campuses.
To encourage schools to reduce their carbon footprints, Business Environment Council Limited, BEAM Society Limited and Hong Kong Green Building Council are implementing the “Jockey Club BEAM Plus in Schools Project” which is funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and supported by the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Environment and Ecology Bureau, Education Bureau and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. This three-and-a-half-year long project aims at assisting local primary and secondary schools to improve their energy efficiency through the adoption of “BEAM Plus Existing Schools v1.0” (“the assessment tool”) developed by BEAM Society Limited.
All- round assessment criteria with emphasis on green awareness in education
Mr Ho Kin Li, Chairperson of BEAM Society Limited mentioned, “‘BEAM Plus Existing Schools’ is the first green assessment tool designed for the use in primary and secondary schools after taking their unique operation model into consideration. The application of this assessment tool is simpler and easier than other BEAM Plus tools so that teachers and students are motivated to take part in the process and schools are effectively engaged.”
Apart from the traditional assessment of energy efficiency performance, this assessment tool also places emphasis on integrating green awareness into education. It conducts performance assessment on four new performance categories tailored to fit the nature and operation model of existing schools. These include “Sustainable Leadership and Learning”, “Sustainable Campus Environment”, “Efficient Use of Resources”, and “Health, Comfort and Happiness”. The tool comprises around 30 assessment criteria embracing various sustainability issues to help schools reduce energy consumption and carbon emission.
Great educational significance promoting behavioral change and enhancing the sustainable development of campuses
Mr CHEUNG Hau-wai, SBS, Chairman of Hong Kong Green Building Council shared, “Schools are an integral building blocks of a city. In addition to nurturing the next generation, they also play a part in advocating sustainable built environment and green living. Through taking part in this assessment exercise, we hope that schools can create a low-carbon environment for teachers and students. They will have first-hand experience with the benefits of energy saving. This is the first step towards raising environmental awareness in society.”
In addition to the environmental element, the assessment tool also contains the educational element to engage teachers and students. Through theories and practices, the tool identifies and raises students’ interest in green building and environmental awareness, thereby promoting green living and enhancing the sustainable development of school campuses.
Multiple consultations within the industry and education sector to brings high recognition
Ar Tony Ip, Convenor of the Steering Committee for “BEAM Plus Existing Schools” stated, “This assessment tool has taken the reference of seven international and local assessment criteria, and has conducted a number of workshops, questionnaires and focus group meetings before its launch. Support and participation have been sought from school principals, teachers, students and industry representatives in order to understand and meet the pragmatic needs of schools. At the moment, three schools have completed the pilot assessment and have made remarkable achievement. We believe they have made wonderful exemplars for schools in Hong Kong, and have given high recognition of BEAM Plus Existing Schools.”
Click here for high-res pictures
|1. Mr LI Ho Kin, Chairperson of BEAM Society Limited mentioned, “‘BEAM Plus Existing Schools’ is the first green assessment tool designed for the use in primary and secondary schools.|
|2. More than 100 guests attended the launch ceremony officiated by Mr David Lam, Under Secretary for Development, the Government of the HKSAR.|
|3. Mr CHEUNG Hau-wai, SBS, Chairman of Hong Kong Green Building Council hoped that schools can create a low-carbon environment for teachers and students.|
|4. Group photo (from left to right) Mr CHEUNG Hau-wai, SBS, Chairman of Hong Kong Green Building Council, Mr David LAM, Under Secretary for Development, the Government of the HKSAR., Mr LI Ho Kin , Chairperson of BEAM Society Limited, Ar Tony IP, Convenor of the Steering Committee for BEAM Plus Existing Schools|
About BEAM Society Limited (BSL)
BEAM Society Limited (BSL) is a non-profit organisation. Since the development of Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) in 1996, and BEAM Plus in 2010, BSL has committed to administering and developing the BEAM Assessment Tools, offering impartial assessment on building sustainability and training BEAM practitioners – BEAM Professionals (BEAM Pro) and BEAM Affiliates. BSL has become a public body under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance since 2016.
BSL has committed to improving the overall quality of the built environment in Hong Kong. BEAM assessment tools available include: BEAM Plus New Buildings, BEAM Plus Existing Buildings, BEAM Plus Interiors, BEAM Plus Neighbourhood and BEAM Plus New and Existing Data Centres. They assess the impact of overall planning, design, construction and maintenance on the environment.
To get more information about BSL, please visit www.beamsociety.org.hk
About the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC)
The Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) is a non-profit, member-led organisation established in 2009 and has become a public body under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance since 2016. The HKGBC strives to promote the standard and development of sustainable buildings in Hong Kong. The HKGBC also aims to raise green building awareness by engaging the government, the industry and the public, and to develop practical solutions for Hong Kong’s unique, subtropical built environment of high-rise, high density urban area, leading Hong Kong to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and to become a world’s exemplar of green building development. The Founding Members of the HKGBC include the Construction Industry Council (CIC), the Business Environment Council (BEC), the BEAM Society Limited (BSL) and the Professional Green Building Council (PGBC).
To learn more about the HKGBC, please visit http://www.hkgbc.org.hk.