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Old May 1st, 2009, 07:30 PM   #681
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中環的鱷魚恤大廈重建項目 by fatshe from skyscrapers.cn :

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Old May 2nd, 2009, 06:37 AM   #682
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Opinion : URA must let owners get on with revamps
28 April 2009
South China Morning Post

The debate on the Urban Renewal Authority's role is very timely. Recent letters have covered building quality, aged residents in walk-up buildings, building renovation and the somewhat predatory nature of the URA in land acquisition.

However, the fundamental issue is should the URA use compulsory land purchase and what is the "public interest" to justify this.

In many URA project areas, buildings exist with inadequate sanitary facilities, poor construction and building safety. These buildings need to be demolished and the residents rehoused.

However, these areas were identified more than 15 years ago, with an outdated approach to tidy up and provide bigger, "comprehensive" developments, not to address the basic issues.

Changed public attitudes towards older buildings, and government efforts to establish owners committees and promote building maintenance, have resulted in many buildings over 60 years old being upgraded to modern standards. This upgrading has extended the lives of these once "derelict" buildings for another 20 to 30 years.

Improved building management and contractors specialising in total building renovation mean the quality of repairs is good. In this competitive market refurbishment is relatively inexpensive, particularly when many owners share the cost.

If this can be achieved by private owners, then the URA should not become involved.

Tong laus [Chinese tenements] and 1950s buildings have become fashionable when refurbished.

These buildings allow more flexibility for renovation, creation of bigger spaces, and often are located in interesting and convenient districts.

Private investment in these buildings is achieving a gradual and interesting transformation of many of our older districts.

With low population growth and an ageing population, the need for new community facilities and open space has disappeared. Yet many of these buildings are within URA areas where the threat of compulsory purchase exists.

Owners are increasingly resistant to the URA process and are challenging the unnecessary use of compulsory purchase.

Why should the URA purchase flats at 2.7 times the market value from middle class owners when there is no real public benefit or necessity for doing so? The URA must reassess these outdated schemes, particularly where it does not own any properties or only owns a small portion.

The URA needs to refocus on areas with real issues of building safety and inadequate housing, and where there is no evident solution from the private sector.

Ian Brownlee, Happy Valley
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:19 AM   #683
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HK builders join rush to cash in on recovery
2 May 2009
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong developers have joined their counterparts on the mainland in launching property sales there following a revival of the market.

Sun Hung Kai Properties sold 85 units at its Lake Dragon project in Guangzhou's suburban Huadu district on April 24 and 25, reaping property sales of one billion yuan (HK$1.14 billion).

"We originally planned to start the sale during the Golden Week holiday," said Echo Huang, the head of Sun Hung Kai's southern China office.

"But since there were too many projects to be launched, we decided to launch it a week ahead in light of positive market sentiment."

The villas range from 348 to 875 square metres with an average price of 20,000 yuan per square metre. Many units sold for more than 10 million yuan, making it the most expensive villa development in the city.

Ms Huang said a second release would be announced soon once the company got the pre-sale approval for about 50 houses, which is expected early next month.

"But interested parties will be invited to show their buying interest during the holiday by putting down 300,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan as initial payment," she said.

The first phase of the development will have 243 detached and semi-detached homes ranging from 350 to 875 square metres at the centre of a 27-hole golf course where some of the 2010 Asian Games events will be held.

Also in Huadu, Hopewell Holdings is expected to launch the second phase of its Hopewell New Town, a mixed development of high-rise apartments and townhouses.

Hutchison Whampoa has started selling homes at the Riverside in Guangzhou's Liwan area at 15,000 to 17,000 yuan per square metre. The sale is expected to continue during the holiday.

In Beijing, Cheung Kong (Holdings) is set to sell the second batch of houses at its La Grande Villa development in the Shunyi area this month. The company opened show flats to potential buyers yesterday. The project will be developed in five phases.

Meanwhile, Henderson Land Development is expected to sell some apartments at Beijing Henderson Centre on Jianguomennei Avenue.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:33 AM   #684
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荃灣廣場重開 郭老太主禮
2 May 2009

【明報專訊】新鴻基地產(0016)斥資近2.8億元翻新的荃灣廣場,昨日正式以新面貌登場,為隆重其事,較少出席公開活動的主席鄺肖卿(郭老太,圖右)亦親自主持開幕儀式。儀式完結後,更由兒子兼新地副主席郭炳聯(圖左)攙扶步回座位,可見母子情深。

翻新後租金增四成

至於翻新後的荃灣廣場,新地指出,人流及營業額有所提升,商場08至09年度的整體營業額已按年增加15%,隨着「吉之島」昨日重新開幕,預期暑假及下半年商場營業額將再升10%。新地租務部總經理林家強表示,商場翻新時間約4年,翻新後的租金收入總額亦較之前高出40%,現時呎租介乎80至130 元。他續稱,在金融海嘯及甲型H1N1流感(前稱豬流感)的打擊下,明白到部分行業經營受到影響,如大型餐飲公司等,故集團現正因應情况與部分客戶進行洽商。
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:40 AM   #685
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新地荃灣廣場租金增40%
2 May 2009
星島日報

新鴻基地產(016)旗下荃灣廣場涉資二點八億元的翻新工程完成,新地代理租務部總經理林家強昨表示,荃灣廣場翻新後的整體租金收入增加四成,呎租八十至一百三十元,每日平均人流八萬人次,假日人均消費增至七百至八百元。他預期,甲型流感H1N1襲全球,料留港消費及來港旅客會增加,「五•一」人流料有約一成增長。

五•一人流料升10%

荃灣廣場在○八至○九年度整體營業額較去年同期增加一成五,人均消費約六百至七百元,然而,隨着吉之島荃灣店重新開幕,預期暑假及下半年營業額再攀升一成。

永旺(984)主席田中秋人表示,該集團投資逾一千五百萬元提升及革新吉之島荃灣店。吉之島荃灣店位於商場一至四樓,佔地十萬零二千平方呎,並引入日本室內遊樂場MooRry Fantasy。

至於預防甲型流感H1N1方面,林家強稱,該公司早已留意事態發展,已提高商場衞生,並以一比四十九濃度較高的消毒水,每小時派人清潔消毒,並向來該商場的市民,提供口罩及手套。
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:02 AM   #686
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甲型流感H1N1下 僅25宗成交 焦點新盤睇樓交投平穩
2 May 2009
星島日報

在甲型流感H1N1陰霾下,「五.一」長假期首日新盤睇樓量及交投只維持平穩,昨日單日則錄約二十五宗成交,長實何文田半山壹號二期,首度限量開放示範單位,發展商表示,該盤最快下周開價,預期四房單位入場費由二千七百萬元起;另外,新世界元朗翹翠峰昨日錄得相連單位成交,信和荃灣御凱及恒基西灣河嘉亨灣等,昨日亦錄成交。

利嘉閣董事總經理廖偉強表示,在甲型流感H1N1影響下,市民開始避免與外界接觸,加上預期未來樓價有機會下調,故買家入市態度變得審慎,而睇樓意欲亦同樣減少,令新盤睇樓量保持一般。

最快下周開售

長實何文田半山壹號二期昨日首度限量開放示範單位,長實地產投資董事黃思聰表示,至昨日下午約兩時為止,原先設定的八十個參觀名額已全數預約,故昨日參觀名額已增至一百個;而該盤最快於下周開售,首批單位將不會少於二十伙,並以貼近二手價推出,意向呎價約一萬四千元,預期四房單位入場費由二千七百萬元起。

黃思聰續稱,昨日參觀客以家庭客為主,當中有七成半至八成為用家,正物色單位作「升級換樓」,其餘約兩成參觀者表示,有意購入單位作投資;此外,亦有內地參觀客分批到場參觀。八成參觀者表示有意購入單位,當中以四房查詢較多。

四房查詢較多

黃思聰又指出,該盤標準樓層主要為一梯三伙設計,每層設兩個四房單位,面積約二千方呎;以及一個三房單位,面積約一千五百方呎;暫時三房單位尚未定價,而該盤仍未有任何預留個案。該盤獲數家主要銀行估足價。昨日現場亦有睇樓客到場,最高峰時亦有參觀者輪候參觀,當中以本地家庭客為主。

另外,新地旗下新蒲崗譽•港灣,昨日銷情持續,市場人士指,全日錄約十一宗成交,當中包括兩宗逾二千萬元交易,全部為二A座連平台特色戶,其中B室,面積約一千七百零一方呎,以呎價約一萬二千元成交,成交價約二千零四十萬元;另外A室,面積約一千九百方呎,亦以逾二千萬元售出。

譽•港灣昨11宗買賣

新世界旗下元朗翹翠峰,昨日錄一宗相連單位成交,美聯區域營業董事陳光裕指,獲承接單位為一座的低層C、D室,合共面積約一千三百七十二方呎,以三百七十萬四千元成交。部分到場的睇樓客表示,豬流感的確影響本身入市意欲,現時的入市態度已趨猶豫。

信和荃灣御凱,昨亦錄得兩宗成交。中原營業董事梁寶玲表示,其中二座中層C室,面積約九百七十二方呎,以六百六十六萬二千元成交,呎價約六千八百五十四元,買家為九龍區換樓客;而同系深水埗海峯,昨日參觀情況不俗,就現場所見,亦有區內客趁假日出動全家人睇樓。

恒基推優惠促銷餘貨

恒基旗下多個餘貨新盤都趁「五.一」檔期推出優惠,其中西灣河嘉亨灣錄得一宗一手成交,美聯高級區域經理邱鵬表示,單位為三座高層D室,面積一千三百一十一方呎,成交價一千五百萬元,每方呎價一萬一千四百四十二元;就現場所見,昨日亦有睇樓客到場參觀,當中包括外籍客。另外,市傳同系大埔比華利山別墅亦最少錄得兩宗成交。

華懋旗下青龍頭傲庭峰、沙田碧濤花園及馬鞍山迎濤灣,昨日亦錄成交,中原助理區域營業經理蔡創文表示,碧濤花園昨日連錄兩宗成交,其中嘉麗閣中高層H室,面積一千零六方呎,以一口價三百五十八萬元成交,每方呎價三千五百五十九元。

其他新盤方面,新地及新世界合作發展的紅磡海濱南岸、華置灣仔YORK PLACE及長實元朗四季名園,昨日亦錄得一手成交。
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:17 AM   #687
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複式環迴景 太子道西Sky Garden 視覺全接觸
15 April 2009
星島日報



位於太子道西的Sky Garden,屬單幢物業,樓高二十四層,採一梯六伙設計,頂層為兩個複式單位,是次介紹的頂層複式戶,面積為四千九百零六方呎,單位為四房連雙套房間隔,屋內以棕色為主調,配以時尚典雅的設計,大量的落地玻璃設計,外望維港海景及昂船洲景觀,住戶可通過窗戶眺望屋外環迴景致,將遼闊的景觀引入室內,配合逾十呎的樓底設計,盡顯豪宅的氣派。

甫進屋內,單位設有玄關位置,淺啡色的地板,配以黑色的牆身及層架,予人時尚華麗之感;牆身掛上白色的飾物,營造黑白分明的層次感,牆邊的擺放不少藝術精品,為居室增添藝術色彩;將視綫轉移至飯廳,啡色的圓桌,與居室布局配合,予人舒適和諧之感;天花上的黑色藝術吊燈,凸顯居室華麗的一面,同時亦營造光亮且舒適的聚餐地方;飯廳連接露台,讓住戶眺望周邊的環境,露台中央放置深啡色的桌椅,供住戶與親友閒談歡聚,旁邊擺放不少植物,營造綠色的生活環境。

藝術吊燈圓桌飯廳

將視轉移至客廳,天花裝上大量的射燈,令室內光綫充足,更富格調,客廳的中央位置擺放白、啡、米色的沙發,前方鋪上黑色的地毯,配以木製茶几,予人優雅的一面,寬闊的客廳,亦可讓住戶宴請一眾親朋戚友歡聚;客廳的另一端設有偏廳,內裏擺放特大的酒櫃,供住戶與三五知己把酒談歡。

玻璃雲石螺旋形樓梯

複式單位內雲石旋轉樓梯,配合玻璃扶手設計,凸顯時尚感。通過螺旋形樓梯,直往設於下層的家庭室及睡房,家庭室以淺啡色為主,配以淺色的家具擺設,予人柔和舒適之感,其中一面牆身以銀灰色圖紋設計,設計時尚華麗。

單位採四房連兩套房設計,主人套房以米色為主調,地上鋪上地毯,窗台位置設計成特長書桌,可供住戶享開卷之樂,特大的窗戶設計,供住戶疲勞時觀賞窗外景致;睡房設有衣帽間,供住戶有條不紊地存放大量的衣履服飾。另一間套房以黑白灰設計,簡單的色調配合,營造黑白分明的層次感,布局設計時尚,特大的窗戶設計,供住戶觀賞窗外景致。

廚房設計寬敞,黑色的廚櫃組合保養簇新,天花裝上兩排射燈,確保廚房光綫充足,讓住戶可享烹調之樂。

上述介紹的單位位於太子道西二百二十三號高層複式單位,面積為四千九百零六方呎,採四房連雙套房間隔,外望可享維港及昂船洲景觀,業主現將單位放售,叫價七千八百萬元,平均呎價一萬五千八百九十九元。
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:31 AM   #688
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Opinion : Urban 'renewal' is more about removal of low-income families
27 April 2009
South China Morning Post

I refer to the letter by Angela Tang of the Urban Renewal Authority ("One of URA's priorities is helping disadvantaged residents", April 14).

She says the URA helps "residents in old districts improve their living conditions" and proceeds to recount the tale of one family affected by its Kwun Tong redevelopment. It transpires that the family resettled in Lam Tin, not in Kwun Tong. As has been pointed out before, there is not one URA redevelopment project that has benefited the original residents of the area by providing them with better living conditions within the same area.

Ms Tang says the URA helps tenants who qualify to move to public housing flats. These are no doubt in out of-the-way districts like Tin Shui Wai. Clearing out lower-income families from urban sites coveted by property developers as comprehensive development zones - in plain language, massive developments that decimate community relationships and extinguish alleys and even entire streets to maximise density - is, after all, the raison d'etre of the URA.

When referring to the provision of "big open spaces [that] offer much-needed retreats in the built-up urban area" Ms Tang refers to Cosco Tower. Although built in 1998, it is only recently that people have been allowed to sit down on this plaza - when the public became aware of its rights to, and the location of, public open spaces.

One might wonder also why the URA is not singing the praises of the soon-to-be-launched URA/New World Hanoi Road redevelopment with its promised 1,200 square metres of landscaped public open space and widened public pavements on the perimeter.

A walk around the block reveals why. The open space has been covered by a massive canopy and ventilation blocked by a multi-storey footbridge. It has all the appearance of a badly-designed aircraft hangar. The landscaping consists of two planter boxes and three palm trees that look ready to keel over.

Oh, and there is not a single original resident anywhere in sight, a developer's dream come true, thanks again to the sterling efforts of the URA.

Mary Melville, Tsim Sha Tsui
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:53 AM   #689
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8 Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei



Source : http://www.pbase.com/specialteam
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:13 AM   #690
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旺角MOD 595 頂層連平台戶洽購
2 May 2009
星島日報



近月樓市熱鬧非常,尤其是新盤市場,不論是新推樓盤,還是發展商的存貨,都錄得不俗銷情,而只餘下1伙頂層連平台花園特色戶待售的華置旺角單幢盤MOD 595,亦趁勢推出這特色戶供買家洽購,單位會連同2個車位一併發售。

單位為1,188方呎的37樓A室,間隔3房2廳連主人套房,樓底高達3.45米,客飯廳呈曲尺形,廳堂除設有落地大窗,可望西九龍開揚景致外,單位更附設351方呎平台花園。

位於旺角新填地街的MOD 595,提供84伙標準單位,面積由535至696方呎;頂層另設上述頂層特色戶。標準單位已於3月底時全數售出。
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:22 AM   #691
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清一色498呎 近太子港鐵站 旺角富威閣234.8萬入場
2 May 2009
星島日報

新盤市場熱鬧,裕泰興亦加入戰團,新推旺角上車盤富威閣,清一色498方呎2房單位,呎價4,715元起,230多萬元有交易。該盤最大優勢是距太子港鐵站僅2、3分鐘步程,發展商更送1年管理費及釐印費等。

富威閣由裕泰興發展,位於旺角大南街, 距太子港鐵站出口約2至3分鐘步程,附近為中港巴士站,交通方便。位置上,毗鄰維景酒店、金都商場、聯合廣場及始創中心等。

平均呎價5175元

該盤已為現樓物業,樓高31層,共有44個單位,1梯2伙,建築面積一律為498方呎,實用面積323方呎,實用率約65%,每戶2房間隔,客廳均設37 方呎露台,位於31樓則有2個連天台單位,天台面積同為147方呎。物業3樓為會所,設有兒童遊樂場、健身室及露天花園,另地下至2樓為商鋪。

根據價單顯示,富威閣首批16個單位,位於7至30樓,平均每方呎5,175元,售價最平為7樓B室,訂價234.8萬元,每方呎價4,715元;最高價是30樓A室,訂價286.5萬元,呎價5,753元。據了解,該盤已累積售出13個單位。

裕泰興發言人表示:「現時購富威閣的買家,發展商即送釐印費、1年管理費及律師費。另外,買家除可選擇即供期付款外,發展商也提供樓價20%二按,首2年免息免供,不過,買家需多付樓價的2%。」

發展商更於現樓設有2個示範單位,現場28樓所見,由於物業附近多為舊樓,2個單位景觀都相當開揚,整個旺角市景一覽無遺,亦可遠眺獅子山,其中1間睡房設3面窗,觀景角度更廣,可望部分昂船洲海景。

送釐印及律師等費

區內樓市方面,西九龍一帶早前有多個單幢新盤開售,其中新地柏豐28一手已沽清,物業現已入伙,二手呎價約4,500元;華置i-home累售約7成半,平均呎價約4,200至5,100元。恒地亮賢居現售出近160伙,平均呎價5,500元,同系百匯軒約沽出60伙,平均呎價近7,000元。
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 05:51 PM   #692
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金 國 大 廈 重 建 項 目
By 鄧麗欣之戀 from skyscrapers.cn :

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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #693
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HONG KONG | Drainage & Flood Prevention Projects

Island in for a boring few years
24 April 2009
South China Morning Post



The government announced details yesterday about the planned drainage tunnel that will run from Tai Hang to Cyberport, which it says will divert a third of the runoff from a downpour and reduce flooding along northern Hong Kong Island.

Director of Drainage Services Peter Lau Ka-keung said the HK$300 million project, which is expected to be completed in 2012, was necessary to keep pace with the changing geography of the city.

"The existing drainage network in the low-lying urban areas was built decades ago and is no longer sufficient to cope with the rapid urban development since then," Mr Lau said. "But any construction work on the [existing] drainage network would cause serious disturbances to residents and road users."

The new system comprises 34 intake points spaced out along an 11km line that hugs the hillsides from Tai Hang through to Wan Chai, Central, Sai Wan and Cyberport.

The intake points will be built about halfway up the hillsides, with shafts dropping the water into the tunnel.

The rainwater will then flow through the tunnel to a discharge point at Pok Fu Lam.

Mr Lau said the areas would only see serious flooding when downpours exceeded 130mm per hour. Hong Kong gets about two black rainstorm warnings a year, where a downpour exceeds 70mm an hour.

However, Mr Lau said the drainage tunnel could not entirely solve the problems in frequently flood-hit spots such as Happy Valley and Sheung Wan.

In a separate project, an underground storm-water storage tank will be built in the centre of the Happy Valley racecourse to alleviate flooding in the lowlands of Wan Chai south. No date was given for its construction.

In another project in Sheung Wan, four high-powered electric pumps went into operation last month to discharge rainwater into the harbour, Mr Lau said.

He said a rain-interception tunnel was a new and a more feasible method to reduce flooding in the lowlands than the existing system.

He said two tunnel-boring machines with diameters of 7.2 and 8.3 metres respectively, the largest rock-tunnelling machines in Hong Kong, would conduct the drilling from both ends of the tunnel around the clock concurrently. The construction work would cause only minimal disturbance to residents, he said.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:39 PM   #694
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I thought this was said ages ago...?
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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #695
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachmaninov View Post
I thought this was said ages ago...?
I think it was, but it was just all talking, too.
But now it is actually in the construction phase.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 04:14 AM   #696
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Architects making old good as new
Hong Kong Standard
Tuesday, May 05, 2009

As the number of new projects dwindle, architects are back at their drawing boards working on old buildings.
The global financial meltdown has put much on hold and developers now favor retrofitting because it costs less and takes less time, architects say.

"Alterations and additions are becoming more popular, making up more than one-third of all local building projects in the past two years," Institute of Architects president Anna Kwong Sum-yee said yesterday.

The institute has introduced an Alteration and Addition Works category to the institute's annual awards to encourage more architects to delve into revitalization and building recycling.

The winning projects of the 2008 awards exemplify building reuse. The Medal of the Year Hong Kong went to P&T Architects and Engineers' and Meta4 Design Forum's HK$75 million Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Sham Shui Po.

The former Shek Kip Mei Factory Estate building was destroyed in a fire but was restored in a little over a year and a half, offering nearly 3,000 square meters of public space and 124 rental units.

This year's Young Architect Award went to 35-year- old Mary Grace Chiu Hang-mei for her innovative solution to help homeless victims of the Sichuan earthquake. "I started with IKEA's prefabrication onsite assembly concept, and eventually worked out a four meter by four meter by 12 meter collapsible or paper-folded home, made of plastic-coated cardboard," she said.

The accordion-like homes, good for four, can be fitted with basic plumbing, along with a water-filled ballast for stability and non-potable uses.

Rocco Design Architects' HK$150 million 5,300- square-meter Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity near the Kowloon Walled City Park won the Merit Award.

Design Consultants' HK$18 million 27,728-square- meter Learning Resource Centre in Sha Tin won the President's Prize.

The Architectural Services Department won Special Architectural Awards in Urban Design and Heritage for its HK$90 million promenade along Stanley Main Street and its HK$12 million Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery cum Heritage Trail Visitors Centre in Yuen Long, respectively.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #697
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Revitalisation strikes sour note with bands
5 May 2009
South China Morning Post

Struggling young band members are turning to old buildings in disused industrial estates as cheap places to set up studios, but are worried that urban renewal will displace them.

Darkness Pool, a band of five in their 20s, moved from a Mong Kok office tower to a Kwun Tong industrial building in search of cheaper rent.

They are keen to see the shabby area revitalised, but are afraid it may cause their rent to increase. They now pay HK$2,000 a month for a 180 sq ft room, which is big enough for them, their instruments, a sound mixer and a tiny sofa.

"Of course, we want more and nicer places for performance," said bass guitarist Matt Cheung. "But a better management and design could mean a higher rent. We might not be able to survive."

When they rented a studio in Mong Kok, they paid HK$100 an hour and had to stop at 11pm. At their current premises - where bands can be heard in 10 of the 20 rooms - they can stay as long as they like.

Companies organising gigs have also moved in and bands are regularly invited to a larger room in the building to perform.

Some 6.2 per cent of the city's industrial blocks are vacant, mostly in Kwun Tong, Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan. High land premiums and rigid building rules have made the process of changing land use difficult. Some owners modify the land use without a permit and rent their places to bands and artists, despite safety concerns.

Vincent Ng Wing-shun, of the steering committee on the renewal strategy review, said it should cover the revitalisation of industrial buildings. He said their accessibility could be improved and they could be marketed as an attraction.

Urban Renewal Authority chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen said making warehouses more productive was a win-win solution.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #698
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By 鄧麗欣之戀 from skyscrapers.cn :

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Old May 8th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #699
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Green standards laid down for major government buildings
7 May 2009
South China Morning Post

The environmental performance of all newly built major government buildings must be certified under a recognised "green" certification scheme, according to an internal circular issued by the government last month.

Lawmakers also passed a motion yesterday urging the government to allocate more resources to promoting a green economy, including supporting sustainable transport, greener buildings and research into green products, to reduce carbon emissions and revive the economy.

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in a written reply to lawmaker Tanya Chan yesterday that the Development and Environment bureaus had issued a circular last month requiring all newly built government buildings with a floor area of more than 10,000 square metres to be certified.

Two popular labelling schemes are widely used in Hong Kong, including an assessment service offered by local non-profit organisation HK-Beam Society and another which originates in the United States - the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) green building rating system.

Mrs Lam said buildings must meet at least the second highest certification standard of either scheme.

The HK-Beam scheme is under review partly because its assessment places little emphasis on the effect that "walling" (blocking of ventilation flows) has on the community. The review has been commissioned by the HK-Beam Society and the founding committee of the Hong Kong Green Building Council, which will be set up this autumn.

Mrs Lam said new assessment criteria emerging from the review would be taken into account in future government building projects, adding that the new Green Building Council would play an important role in promoting green buildings and environmental performance assessment. "We hope to set an example for private developers," she said.

Wong Kam-sing, founding member of the Green Building Council, welcomed the government's move. But he said he hoped government-related bodies and non-governmental bodies would also have their buildings assessed.

"If companies and organisations like the MTRC and the Urban Renewal Authority take part in the assessment, they will help create a market demand for green services," Mr Wong said.

In response to a motion debate yesterday, Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah said the term green economy covered a wide range of industries, including transport. He said Mitsubishi Motors would bring its newest electric car, the iMiev, to Hong Kong for road tests next week, and talks on carbon emission trading would begin this year.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 07:31 AM   #700
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Youth group's Sai Kung outdoor camp plans to double capacity
8 May 2009
South China Morning Post

A youth group is planning to double the size of its popular holiday and sporting complex in Sai Kung to meet a rising demand for outdoor sports training.

But the expansion plan, which would encroach upon country park areas, will need an environmental impact assessment before going ahead.

"It provides young people with a place to escape from the crowded city space and learn something, like sports, together," she said.

With a HK$133 million donation from the Jockey Club, the federation plans to add 16 dormitories, a cafe, a pier and a boathouse, venues for advanced rope courses and war games, a camp fire area, and enlarge the canteen. The residential capacity will increase from 236 to 460 bed places, and the floor area double to 15,000 square metres.

New activities will be introduced, including geology research trips, marine life research trips and heritage and cultural tours covering a Hakka village and St Joseph's Chapel at Yim Tin Tsai.

When work is finished in 2012, the expanded site is expected to cater for 150,000 users a year.

A spokeswoman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the expansion would encroach upon Sai Kung West Country Park, and the Country and Marine Parks Board was consulted in 2006. The board would again consider the proposal, she said, when the federation submitted an environmental impact assessment. Ms Wong said a tree survey would be conducted and tree felling would be minimised.
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