GREE N BUILDINGS
Buildings account for a whopping 90 per cent of the city’s electricity consumption, but a Beijing development by the Parkview Group shows how this prodigious use of energy can be curbed. Parkview Green, a mixed-use mall, expends 50 per cent less than an average building of the same size. Its glass walls and transparent plastic roofing, combined with other innovations, ensure optimal natural light and year-round climate control with minimum energy consumption, while electronic taps and the use of recycled water for irrigation ensure water conservation. The mall is one of a small group of developments across the globe to have been awarded the top rank in the US Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) certification. Parkview Group executive director Leo Hwang says environmental sensitivity is a priority for the group. “It has become part of the DNA of the company,” he says. “Green shouldn’t be an add-on. It should just be the way it is. You should be able to assume the buildings you frequent are safe not just for you, but for the environment.” While China has seen numerous revolutionary developments in environmentally friendly construction over the past few years, Hwang notes, “You don’t see Hong Kong developers shouting ‘ We are ultra-green! We are saving energy!’” The high cost of land here means developers often eschew green features to save money, so he believes the government should consider creating financial incentives to encourage sustainable development.
THEN AND NOW THE ABOVE RENDERING SHOWS DES VOEUX ROAD TRANSFORMED INTO A LUSH, GREEN PROMENDADE– A MARKED CHANGE FROM THE STREET’S CURRENT STATE