Hong Kong Green Building Council announces the winners of the “Advancing Net Zero” Ideas Competition for building solutions to address climate change
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Photo 1: At the end of the Award Presentation Ceremony of the ANZ ideas Competition, Mr WONG Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment led the guests and award winners to take a group photo with a "0" gesture, symbolising different parties would work together and contribute to a "zero" carbon built environment. Photo credit: Hong Kong Green Building Council

Photo 2: Group photo of Organiser, Principal Partner - Mr CHEUNG Hau-wai (Right 5); Ar. Prof. Ada FUNG, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Competition (Right 4); Mrs Elizabeth KOK, Director and Senior Advisor of Swire Properties (Left 5) and Winners and Merits at the Exhibition Opening Ceremony of the ANZ ideas Competition. Photo credit: Hong Kong Green Building Council

Hong Kong – Climate change is without doubt the most pressing concern in the world today. At the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, world leaders agreed on two major initiatives to tackle the problem: Ending deforestation and reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 as compared with 2020 levels.

Hong Kong is eager to help, and in 2021 launched the first “Advancing Net Zero” (ANZ) Ideas Competition to help drive net zero solutions in the building sector.  Organised by the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) with Swire Properties as the Principal Partner, the competition attracted great interest and the winners were announced in November 2021.

The competition invited experts from around the globe to contribute innovative design ideas and practical solutions in two categories: (i) Future Buildings and (ii) Existing Buildings and under three main themes: (i) Zero carbon & ultra energy efficiency, (ii) Embodied carbon, (iii) Health and sustainability. Participants could propose their ideas based on the real data of two office towers – site of One Taikoo Place and Oxford House in Taikoo Place, so that the solutions generated could be realistic and the implementation feasibility could be enhanced. The overall aim was to move Hong Kong’s building sector towards a sustainable future and actively meet the Hong Kong Government’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 by fostering innovative solutions for the city.

Professional Jury of Global Experts

The Jury Panel was composed of well-known experts from different industries including Ms Tanya COX, Chair of the World Green Building Council; Professor JIANG Yi, Director of the Building Energy Research Centre of Tsinghua University; Mr William MCDONOUGH, the founding partner of architects William McDonough + Partners and a globally recognised leader in sustainable development and design; and Ms Meaghan LLOYD, Partner at Gehry Partners, the acclaimed firm founded by Pritzker Prize Laureate Frank Gehry.

The Winners

The jury selected three Winners and five Merit Awards from the eight shortlisted finalists in the Future Building and Existing Building category. The eight teams are eligible for a total of HK$1.4 million in prize money. 

1.  Future Building Category – A seamless carbon positive experience for users intergrated with innovation and technology

The two winning entries for the “Future Building” category are A) “The Treehouse” by Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong) Ltd. and B) “Taikoo Green Ribbon” by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited. The three merit awards for this category include Eckersley O’Callaghan Asia Limited, Modus Architecture Ltd and Leigh & Orange Ltd. 

A.    “The Treehouse”

Using the concept of the sacred union between man and nature, “The Treehouse” is a new calibre of workplace which aims to promote carbon positivity through cutting edge technology, design and management. 

Highlighted by large amounts of green landscaping and plants, “The Treehouse” features a self-shading façade for the upper storeys as well as a rooftop PV system to avoid solar heat and help generate renewable energy for daily operations. To reduce energy consumption, large PV integrated overhangs with daily light reflectors; a windcatcher that can capture cool air from 200 metres above ground; and a BIPV – CLAD solar chimney will be installed to promote natural lighting and ventilation for the building’s interior. The idea is to inspire and encourage everyone to reinvent their relationship with the earth and make strides to create positive changes for our future. 

B. “Taikoo Green Ribbon”

Featuring over 4,250 square metres of green open space and garden, a 1-kilometre landscaped ANZ jogging path and a series of state of the art technologies, “Taikoo Green Ribbon”designed by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited is a unique and innovative workplace that introduces an entirely new urban eco-lifestyle concept. 

Apart from restoring the local ecosystem and biodiversity by using extensive green elements, ranging from wildlife attracting flowers to wind-resistant plants to create a nature-driven community, the distinctive building also incorporates sets of passive and active environmental systems inside and out to create an advanced net-zero and carbon neutral development. The design also utilises an almost full natural ventilation strategy for the offices to minimise energy consumptions and enhance user’s wellbeing and comfort at the same time. 

2.  Existing Building Category – Utilising waste to generate renewable energy for operation

The winner of the “Existing Building” category is “The Living Lab” by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited. The two merit awards for this category include LWK + PARTNERS and Woods Bagot.  

A.    “The Living Lab”

Using a holistic design approach to reduce energy demand and increase on-site renewable energy generation at the same time to achieve a net-zero goal, “The Living Lab” is a nurturing ground to encourage behavioural change from every little step. Featuring a renewable system, the building upcycles the algae in the building’s façade together with food waste and black water to generate a renewable energy supply of electricity and hot water for daily operations through the tri-digestion process. 

To help encourage a transformation in the market, all the valuable and pioneering solutions from the winners and merits have be showcased via online exhibition hosted on HKGBC’s website. Readers may check out here: