The reason? The growing pollution problem in Hong Kong’s neighbouring China has forced the adoption of renewable energy sources, as the autonomous territory seeks to curb the potentially disastrous effects of climate change.
Since the early 2000s Hong Kong has seen billion-dollar investment and expansion as one of the fastest-growing banking, business and commerce regions on the planet.
What does this mean for the Hong Kong construction industry?
The influx of activity sparked by the pollution spill over from neighbouring China, has seen Hong Kong’s renewable energy and ‘green’ projects take precedence over more traditional construction.
Despite a skyline chock full of skyscrapers, office blocks, malls and markets, Hong Kong is moving rapidly to adopt innovative renewable energy sources to power its thriving cityscape.
HK’s Green Building Conference - held in August - has become an annual event promoting environmental building standards and providing a framework and support for many of the newest developments.
As the planet seeks to replace fossil fuel power generators with green energy sources, Asian countries have emerged as influential investors in global renewable energy projects, says Messe Frankfurt (HK).
The total global investment in renewable energy technologies reached $241.6 billion in 2016, and this figure looks set to grow as countries around Asia and the world sign up to the Paris Climate Agreement.
The total investment of the Chinese mainland, Japan and India alone (not to speak of other Asian countries) accounts for more than 40% of the global share, say the organisers of Asia’s largest environmental industry event ー Eco Expo Asia.
Hong Kong thus looks set to be part of a ‘green revolution’. Proposed plans for up to 17 floating solar farms could mark the beginning of a move to more sustainable electricity production methods and an uncoupling from a heavy reliance on fossil fuels.
This project sits alongside Hong Kong’s first waste-to-energy plant, which provides an innovative and eco-friendly solution for the problem of sewage sludge disposal facing the ever-growing city.
Building an ‘outdoor city’
Hong Kong’s growing reputation as an ‘outdoor’ or ‘green city’ is also beginning to pay-off in other areas, such as sports and leisure.
The ZCB or Zero Carbon Building has become a resounding success for eco-friendly projects, and has helped spearhead a new construction vision for Hong Kong.
Newer projects such as the HK$86 million renovation of the Hong Kong Football Club highlight this increased commitment made to ‘going-green’ starting with the sporting and leisure industry.
The renovation works for Hong Kong Football Club will include mechanical ventilation and air conditioning, electrical engineering, plumbing and drainage engineering works, and glass conservatory structure, creating vast numbers of jobs in the area.
Further cementing Hong Kong’s quest to become a revolutionary ‘outdoor city’ could be the ambitious plans for the West Kowloon Cultural District, comprising a sprawling collection of six arts and cultural buildings, each containing several venues, dotted between public parks.
This project is one of the largest arts development projects in the world, sited on 400,000 square metres of reclaimed waterfront land.
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