SDG13 Climate Action
HKU believes climate change is a global issue that requires collaboration between experts and stakeholders from across the world. For this reason, the University actively works with other universities and advocacy groups and engages the public to tackle climate change together. Since climate is often impacted by urban living and design, the Faculty of Architecture’s HK Urban Lab has brought climate concerns to the table among its network through Sustainable HD Cities Labs. In 2017, the Urban Heat Symposium was held to bring together researchers, academics, industry and government leaders to discuss and seek solutions regarding the relationship between a high-density city like Hong Kong, heatwave events and urban island heat effects. Similar events on climate change have also been held in relation to ocean acidification (Interdisciplinary Symposium on Ocean Acidification and Climate Change (ISOACC)), marine pollution (The 8th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology (ICMPE-8)), and water resilience (Water Forum 2017: Climate Change Resilience – Sponge City).
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of courses and research.
papers (in 2017)
As a member of the Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium, HKU is committed to doing its part to reduce its carbon footprint. It is on track in its contribution to the aggregate goal of a 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emission by 2020-21. Major on-campus initiatives have been put in place through the Estates Office’s facility upgrades and modernisation to more environmentally options, and the “Smart Living, Smart Generation” programme to set up smart meters in dormitories and engage students as part of the solution in energy reduction.
To facilitate innovation that would help alleviate the pressure of climate change, the Green Revolving Fund finances energy efficiency projects by reinvesting the cost savings from reduced energy use into new projects. In its pilot phase, the seed capital of the Green Revolving Fund (GRF) has been utilised in two lighting retrofit projects at the Kadoorie Biological Sciences Building (KBSB) and the Faculty of Medicine Building (FMB). Retrofitting work took place with the goal to achieve long term energy saving at both buildings. The initiatives have already realised initial reductions in energy with savings of 67,698 kW a year at KBSB (equivalent to 64%% saving) and 81,760 kW a year at FMB (equivalent to 71% saving).
The award-winning architecture of the ten-storey KBSB is innovative in its design to accommodate the challenges of the geotechnically sensitive site where it sits. The design also sought to incorporate and fully manifest the concepts of functionality, flexibility, safety, energy efficiency, sustainability, lifetime economy, buildability, and ease of maintenance. With sustainability integrated into its planning and design, the building boasts features that leverage natural resources to reduce its energy reliance and carbon footprint. For example, its exterior consists of double-layered glazed screens that produce natural ventilation, subsequently diverting heat from on-site equipment, and reducing glare and heat from the sun. It also utilises modular designs for an efficient 80/20 usable net-to-gross-floor-area ratio, allowing flexibility in space usage and reducing impact from construction and energy use in case of modifications. KBSB is home to leading research laboratories that support the study and development of environmental technologies with facilities such as marine and freshwater aquariums, a plant growth chamber, and a greenhouse.