• The 10th Anniversary of BEAM Plus: Spearheading Green Building Development in Hong Kong

    31 December 2020

    Formerly known as HK-BEAM, BEAM Plus has been Hong Kong’s leading initiative to offer independent assessment of building sustainability performance since 2010. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of BEAM Plus. Up to now, there are more than 1,600 registered BEAM Plus projects, covering a total gross floor area of over 50,000,000 square metres. It is encouraging that many certified projects have significantly exceeded the basic performance criteria, while some of them have even adopted innovative designs to reach higher sustainability performance.

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    BEAM Plus Existing Buildings Volume Certification programme was launched in 2019. Witnessed by Mr WONG Kam-sing, GBS, JP, Secretary for the Environment, (2nd row centre) and Mr LIU Chun-san, JP, Under Secretary for Development (2nd row 2nd left), witnessed the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding by representatives of the HKGBC, BSL and several property management companies, to support and commit in promoting the Volume Certification.

    BEAM Plus is a holistic green building assessment tailored to Hong Kong’s high-density built environment. Over the years, BEAM Plus has evolved into different assessment tools, namely New Buildings, Existing Buildings, Interiors and Neighbourhood, which have covered the whole building life cycle, including masterplanning, design, construction, fit-out, operation, maintenance and management. In ten years’ time, BEAM Plus has become the most widely used green building rating scheme in the city. It enables organisations and companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development in their buildings.

    BEAM Affiliate credential was launched in 2014, with a view to recognising practitioners’ professional competence in green building. Mr WONG Kam-sing, GBS, JP, Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR Government (1st row 2nd right) accredited the first batch of BEAM Affiliates.

    In terms of operating the BEAM Plus scheme, the green buildings are assessed by BEAM Society Limited (BSL) and certified by the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC). Both organisations have been actively engaging stakeholders to help transform Hong Kong into a more sustainable city with the aid of BEAM Plus. Since 2014, the annual percentage of private sector projects joining BEAM Plus has reached nearly 50%.

    To promote green building certification, BEAM Professionals (BEAM Pro) credential was introduced in 2010. Mrs Carrie LAM CHENG Yuet-ngor, GBM, GBS, the-then Secretary for Development, HKSAR Government (1st row 6th left) accredited the first batch of BEAM Pro.

    The government is also a keen supporter for green building in the sense that all major government building projects are designed to reach BEAM Plus Gold rating or above. Moreover, with a view to accelerating the sustainability transformation of existing buildings, in 2019, the BEAM Plus Existing Buildings Volume Certification programme was launched.

    BEAM Plus Interiors (BI) was launched in 2013. Mr WONG Kam-sing, GBS, JP, Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR Government, (5th left) joined the launch ceremony as an officiating guest.

    It enables asset owners and property management companies to have their portfolios of properties certified in a faster and more economic manner. As of now, over 150 properties from 10 portfolios have been registered under Management Aspect of BEAM Plus Existing Buildings V2.0 Selective Scheme using the Volume Certification arrangement.

    Adopting “Better than Yesterday” approach, the revamped BEAM Plus Existing Buildings V2.0 Assessment Tool was launched in 2016.

    To cope with the rapid development of BEAM Plus and ever-evolving green building practices, both BSL and HKGBC have also trained and grown green building professionals – BEAM Professionals (BEAM Pro) and BEAM Affiliate since 2010. By acquiring professional qualifications, practitioners demonstrate competency to provide support in green building design, construction and operations, and to integrate the latest green building techniques into their daily practice. As of now, there are around 3,500 practitioners who have attained BEAM Pro or BEAM Affiliate credentials. Both organisations have also been actively organising CPD training, seminars and technical visits to keep them abreast of the latest development of the green building industry and equip them with knowledge of green building technologies.

    BEAM Plus New Buildings (NB) has been upgraded to version 2.0 in 2019, embracing the integrated design approach to green building and placing more emphasis on wellness of building users.

    Looking forward, BEAM Plus will continue to evolve into more tailored assessment tools that cater for different project types. In the not too distant future, BEAM Plus Data Centres will be officially launched to provide tailor-made assessment for new and existing data centres. BEAM Plus Existing Buildings for Schools is also being developed. It is a simplified assessment tool that provides ease for existing primary and secondary schools to participate in BEAM Plus assessment. On the other hand, with the growing popularity of green finance, both organisations will drive BEAM Plus to serve as an independent certification tool for green development projects and green assets, providing new impetus in the wider adoption of BEAM Plus certification. By showcasing our success of adoption in Hong Kong, we have successfully engaged projects in Macau and other cities of the Mainland. We stand ready to bring BEAM Plus to other parts of the world and join hands with the global green building movement to make our planet more sustainable.

    Launched in 2016, BEAM Plus Neighbourhood (ND) assesses the project’s sustainability performance at the masterplanning stage. Mr Paul CHAN Mo-po, GBM, GBS, MH, JP, the-then Secretary for Development, HKSAR Government (1st row 6th left) congratulated the launch of the rating tool.

    To find out the list of BEAM Plus certified projects this year, please visit
    beamplus10.hkgbc.org.hk.

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