New ‘Advancing Net Zero’ Competition Launches In Hong Kong To Drive Carbon Neutral Building Innovation

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Advancing Net Zero, a new competition for ideas on how to move Hong Kong’s building industry towards carbon neutrality, has been launched by the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) and Swire Properties. Open to designers, academics, tech experts and industry stakeholders, the competition is offering up to HK$1.2 million (US$154,000) in prize money for winners and shortlisted candidates. 

Launched on Thursday (March 25), the new Advancing Net Zero ideas competition aims to foster talent and sustainable innovation in Hong Kong’s building industry. A collaboration between nonprofit HKGBC and property giant Swire, the competition will seek new concepts and ideas from architects, academics, surveyors, designers and technology experts in Hong Kong and abroad on how to move the city towards a future of net-zero buildings in line with the Paris agreement goals.

Its subtropical climate with immense building density means it is crucial for us to implement low carbon strategies and generate energy-efficient design solutions for buildings.

Cheung Hau-wai, Chairman, HKGBC

According to the World Green Building Council, buildings currently make up 39% of the energy-related carbon dioxide emissions globally. This figure increases to 60% in highly populated and dense cities like Hong Kong, and of that amount, as much as 20% of the life cycle of buildings is driven by construction. 

“Hong Kong is one of the world’s top tier metropolises and is famous for its high-rise architecture. Its subtropical climate with immense building density means it is crucial for us to implement low carbon strategies and generate energy-efficient design solutions for buildings,” said Cheung Hau-wai, chairman of the HKGBC.

Elizabeth Kok (L), Mr Cheung Hau-wai (C), Ada Fung (R)

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To push the boundaries to design future-ready buildings and retrofit existing building stock to advance net zero emissions economy by 2050.

Ada Fung, Chairperson of the Organising Committee

Held until October 2021 with registration open until May 7, there will be two categories available for submissions – buildings of the future, and existing buildings – both requiring applicants to provide solutions that “push boundaries” in terms of ultra-energy efficiency, embodying carbon and providing a healthy and sustainable environment

“The overall aim is to stimulate innovative and valuable carbon reduction insights from multi-disciplinary professionals,” explained Ada Fung, chairperson of the organising committee for the competition. “To push the boundaries to design future-ready buildings and retrofit existing building stock to advance net zero emissions economy by 2050.” 

Fung added that the competition hopes to incentivise a “review of current regulations and code of practices to facilitate the development of eco-technology where appropriate.”

Submissions will be judged by panel of local and international of renowned experts, including chair of the World Green Building Council Tanya Cox; sustainable development architect William McDonough; Meaghan Lloyd, partner at acclaimed architectural firm Gehry Partners; and director of the building and energy research centre at Tsinghua University Professor Jiang Yi

Oxford House by Swire Properties.

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To unlock the 1.5 degrees ambition of the Paris Agreement, we need to encourage and incentivise net zero solutions.

Tanya Cox, Chair, World Green Building Council

“Accelerating a net zero built environment is one of the surest ways to combat climate change. To unlock the 1.5 degrees ambition of the Paris Agreement, we need to encourage and incentivise net zero solutions,” commented Cox. 

Selected winners and shortlisted participants will be eligible to receive a total of HK$1.2 million (US$154,000) in prize money, with the grand prize awarding HK$300,000 (US$38,600) for each category

As a part of its collaboration to launch the contest, Swire says it will be offering data from the group’s buildings to help potential competitors with their designs and ideas. 

“We’re supporting this unique initiative by offering extensive data harnessed from two of our advanced buildings at Taikoo Place,” explained Elizabeth Kok, director and senior advisor at Swire Properties. “This will help facilitate in-depth analysis of real cases, and foster original solutions.”


All images courtesy of HKGBC / Swire Properties.


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