'Green buildings' drive wins backing
A motion calling for the labelling of 'green buildings' and a review of urban planning legislation was passed unanimously at a Legislative Council meeting yesterday.
The motion, moved by legislator Patrick Lau Sau-shing, urged the government to adopt sustainable planning and green-building principles, including a labelling system.
The system should fully assess the environmental performance of buildings during the design stage, and factors such as energy efficiency, greening ratio, ventilation, renewable energy, and household-waste management should also be graded when buildings are put to use.
Mr Lau said the Tokyo municipal government had made a green-building labelling scheme mandatory since 2002. Buildings with ground coverage of more than 10,000 square metres must join the labelling scheme, and the grading result has to be listed in sales brochures.
He said similar systems were in place on the mainland, and in the United States and Canada.
Mr Lau said the government should take the lead in promoting the concept of 'zero consumption' in planning public buildings, government buildings and redevelopment projects.
To lower energy use, the government headquarters in San Francisco were designed so that 70 per cent of the space was not air-conditioned, he added.
Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said if the new labelling system were to remain voluntary, without a drive from the government, it might not be effective.
She said she also feared the development bureau, which will be formed in the next administration, would not advocate sustainable development but maintain the present administration's attitude that profits from land should be maximised instead.
Legislator Kwok Ka-ki, who amended the motion, called for the restructuring of the Town Planning Board, allowing an independent secretariat to be created and a non-government official to be appointed board chairman. The amendment was voted down by 15 functional constituency lawmakers.