• Leading engineering consultancy shows the way forward with community-minded spirit and sustainable green vision

    2 July 2010

    J. Roger Preston (JRP) is a pioneering firm of professional engineers who established their Asia Pacific practice in Hong Kong in 1962. PRC recently met with directors Joseph Leung, Victor Cheung, H K Yung and Albert To, to discuss the company’s undeniable foresight on a range of matters related to construction’s roles and responsibilities in the development of our greater community.

    The JRP management style emphasizes personal involvement, teamwork, imagination and creativity with the leading core value being integrity, thus ensuring that across more than four decades of sustained growth the firm has added much to the communities in which they operate. JRP’s mission is to be the premier engineering services provider in South East Asia. With offices in Hong Kong,
    Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Macau, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City, they are one of the most prominent engineering consultancies, specializing in mechanical, electrical and building services engineering and project and construction management.
    Staff at JRP sit on numerous working groups, task forces and advisory committees of various government departments, formulating policies and legislation on technical and safety issues and matters relating to sustainability and energy efficiency. Some of the firm’s directors are also appointed advisory board members and external examiners of various tertiary education institutions and additionally hold the chair of several HKSAR Advisory Committees.

    Sustainable Design
    JRP has received many QBA, GBA, BEAM and LEED design awards for a growing number of high profile, sustainable building projects in Hong Kong, China and in the Asian region. [See list of winning projects on page 29]
    “We recognise the social and environmental obligations and the overall positive social impact on the society through economic, environmental and our deeds right from the drawing boards,” stated Joseph Leung. “Regarding energy efficiency and sustainable engineering design, JRP is proud to be one of the front runners.

    Our technical expertise and management aim is to improve the sustainability of our living environment and to produce green and innovative designs as the premier M & E consultant for many successful and sustainable projects.”
    JRP’s commissions include many institutional projects such as parks, open spaces, indoor games halls, recreation and leisure facilities, nurseries and child care centres, elderly homes, hospitals, schools and university projects, as well as heritage and revitalization projects.

    “We take pride in serving the community through the professional services that we provide and by creating a sustainable living and working environment for the occupants,” stated Victor Cheung.

    Many of the company’s staff voluntarily register and enrol in LEED and BEAM Professional training and as Carbon and Energy Auditors, all hoping to use their education and professional backgrounds and training to give that extra little back to the community in which they operate. The directors state that JRP endeavours, where feasible, to respond to and exceed the requirements of building codes, such as the impending legislation of the Building Energy Codes and the recent banning of the environmentally hostile supplies of CFC and HCFC materials used in engineering plants. JRP staff participate heavily in various professional bodies including the HKIE, IET, CIBSE, Professional Green Building Council, BEAM Society and the newly formed Hong Kong Green Building Council, in activities dedicated to the promotion of green and sustainable buildings.

    The company has developed a strong design database and checklists for executing energy efficient design for lighting, electrical, air-conditioning and hydraulic systems and water recycling designs which preserve and recycle water for flushing, plus irrigation and harvesting renewable energy with solar PV, solar heating and wind power.

    In fact JRP is one of the very few engineering consultancies that operates an ISO certified Integrated Quality & Environmental Management System (QEMS) and has developed a comprehensive sustainability design guidelines for implementation on all the company’s projects.

    To achieve the best value their clients are given a recommended list of sustainability design measures appropriate for their projects, for consideration at the onset and design options are evaluated using life cycle cost analysis to select the most cost-effective solution for implementation.

    “The management and staff of JRP will continue to commit energy to fulfil our social responsibilities and engagement with the community bestowed upon us as a Hong Kong company. JRP will continue to dedicate our technical expertise in pursuing innovative, sustainable and energy efficient design as a company mission,” added Leung.

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    JRP has an unequalled commitment to CSR, establishing an internal social welfare group in 2004 to manage participation of meaningful activities in the community. Even amidst the world financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, the increasing need of CSR was seen by JRP’s management as an important company mission to the long term sustainability and success of the company in the community.

    Whilst the JRP group continues to perform well against industrial benchmarks in Hong Kong related to CSR, the firm was awarded the Caring Company Logo for four consecutive years (2006 – 2010). “We remain vigilant on the shifting social needs of Hong Kong to gauge our efforts. Active participation in the local community through contribution to activities and key sponsorships are quick effective steps taken towards our goal,” stated Leung.

    Direct interaction with staff, business partners and charity operators such as The Community Chest, Oxfam, Silver Power, Methodist Epworth Village Community Centre in Chai Wan, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals – Chan Han Nursery School and the Red Cross, as well as producing caring and innovative designs for energy efficiency and preserving the environment are the clear values for JRP to pursue their CSR goals with conscience and dignity.

    JRP has also sponsored scholarships to able engineering students at both The University of Hong Kong and The Polytechnic University.

    This included five undergraduate students in Building Services and Electrical Engineering, who became highly honoured recipients of the awards in the last 3 years.

    This community-conscious company also held several internal fund-raising events, which allowed it to provide cash donations to the Red Cross in order to assist victims of the devastating earthquakes in Sichuan, Qinghai and Haiti. Whilst monies were raised for charitable organisations to manage, JRP encourages its staff to reach out in the community sharing love and care to the community for the benefit of groups which include a variety of people in need including the elderly in care homes with little social activities to occupy their time such as group singing, playing chess and even dancing. Care is also offered to elderly on their own as well as to disadvantaged children of single parent families.

    Leung proudly adds, “Assisting people who have been excluded from the social context of community life will remain high on JRP’s CSR agenda in the coming years. We believe CSR allows us the opportunity to contribute a little extra care which takes us a step closer to living in a harmonious society.”

    Businesses need profits to remain sustainable. For JRP, CSR provides the opportunity to recruit and retain more satisfied employees which has a positive impact on the moral of the whole company and also contributes to the company winning more clients, those who also share the view that every business can make a contribution to the community in addition to a company’s core business practices. Whilst JRP’s senior designers demonstrate their desire to give something extra back, this engineering essence mixed with social awareness also perpetuates a more positive outlook with each new generation of engineers who need to be taught how to think.

    Over and above community based initiatives, JRP’s directors also see that construction sector companies have a specific responsibility to improve the business environment of the community in which they operate. This includes both improving and promoting Hong Kong’s reputation as a centre of business by maintaining high quality design, technical competency and administration of high-profile projects which include the city’s infrastructure, cultural development and centres for the arts, luxury hotel developments and even the city’s iconic high-rise mixed-use developments.

    With such a commitment to serving our community, J. Roger Preston demonstrates that construction sector companies do indeed have a great many ways to contribute to the development of our community and when they choose to exercise their responsibilities, as is the case with this pioneering engineering consultancy, we can see that construction is so much more than just buildings and infrastructure, that in fact, managed right, the construction sector is at the heart of the very fabric of our society.

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