Redeveloped estate is a green winner
A redeveloped public housing estate in New Territories West boasts the highest percentage of open green space of its kind in the city.
Kwai Chung Estate, housing a population of 40,000, has preserved more than 100 trees on the site and added 160,000 plants, giving it a green coverage of 30 per cent - the highest among all public housing estates.
The redevelopment project, the biggest carried out by the Housing Authority, cost HK$2.4 billion. The estate was first built in the 1960s and rebuilt in 2005.
The Housing Department's chief architect for procurement, Irene Cheng, said: 'We want to create a 'hill town oasis' for residents. A bigger, greener public open space for recreation.' The greening works cost HK$3 million, she added.
Four public open spaces, now enlarged by 50 per cent to 7.5 hectares, sprawl around the 21 residential blocks, each with separate theme plants such as bamboo or banana trees.
Vertical greening schemes were specially designed for the walls of the car park.
The new building layout has taken into account the sloping topography and wind and sunlight directions to improve the microclimate. For example, a wide gap was left between the towers facing southeast to allow the prevailing wind to blow through. Tai chi areas are placed in the shade.
Indoors, residents now enjoy larger flats, which range from 183 sq ft to 506 sq ft.
The project earned a Quality Building Award in the residential category this year.