SDEV attends World Sustainable Building Conference in Helsinki (with photos)

     The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, speaking on the second day (October 19, Helsinki time) of the World Sustainable Building Conference 2011 (SB11) in Helsinki, Finland, outlined recent efforts by the HKSAR Government in promoting green buildings in Hong Kong. Mrs Lam is currently leading a 60-member Hong Kong delegation comprising professionals from the construction and real estate industries, academia and Government departments attending this conference.

     The World Sustainable Building Conference is held every three years to provide a platform for the world's leading technical experts and researchers to share knowledge on enhancing sustainable ways of living and working within built environments. Mrs Lam also led a delegation to the last conference, which was held in Melbourne, Australia, in September 2008.

     In a presentation made during the conference's Urban Policy Session on October 19, Mrs Lam said that energy consumption in building stock accounts for 60 per cent of Hong Kong's total greenhouse gas emissions, which makes tackling energy efficiency in buildings a high priority on Hong Kong's climate change agenda. She outlined a series of measures implemented in recent years in tackling the city environment as well as buildings. These measures included reviewing outline zoning plans, incorporating green planning parameters in land sales, planning sustainable land use, imposing air ventilation assessment requirements and devising an urban climatic map, as well as new requirements rolled out in early 2011 to promote sustainable building design such as providing gross floor area concessions to promote green neighbourhoods and green buildings, and encouraging energy efficiency in buildings.

     During the conference, Mrs Lam officiated at the opening of an exhibition booth set up by the Hong Kong Green Building Council to showcase the latest green building developments in Hong Kong.

     Mrs Lam also took the opportunity to visit a data centre, a wastewater treatment plant and the famous Rock Church, which are all located underground, to learn more about the innovative use of subterranean space in the city. She also took a walk in the underground walkway network connecting major commercial buildings under the Helsinki city centre.  

     While in Helsinki, she also attended a networking reception jointly hosted by the Finland-Hong Kong Trade Association, the Finland-China Trade Association, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in London.

     After arriving in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 16 (Stockholm time), Mrs Lam visited a number of urban redevelopment projects in the city, including the 100Hus Hornstull, which aims to turn Stockholm's Hornstull district into an eco-friendly neighbourhood with outdoor art galleries. She also visited Hammarby Sjöstad, the biggest urban development of Stockholm with an emphasis on water and ecology, and Stockholm Royal Seaport, which seeks to transform an old industrial area into one of Europe's most modern and attractive living environments.

     She attended a luncheon jointly hosted by the Royal Sweden Hong Kong Business Council, the HKETO in London and the HKTDC, and called on the Chinese Ambassador in Sweden, Mr Lan Lijun.

     Before departing for Malmo in the afternoon of October 20 (Helsinki time), Mrs Lam will meet with the Minister of Housing and Communications of Finland, Ms Krista Kiuru, and the Chinese Ambassador in Finland, Mr Huang Xing.

Ends/Thursday, October 20, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:37