The fine art of installing a green energy system

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 March, 2011, 12:00am

How does zero-emissions work? All the buildings inside the arts hub will comply with compulsory energy building codes that come into force next year. This requires buildings to follow minimum energy-saving standards.

Forty per cent of carbon emissions will be avoided by careful design of buildings and a cooling system that pipes chilled seawater into buildings for air-conditioning.

A further 12 per cent reduction will be made with onsite renewable energy systems, and the remaining 48 per cent will be offset by generating biogas from 30 tonnes of neighbourhood food waste every day, which will prevent the generation of methane, a greenhouse gas, in landfills.

Imagine strolling along the main avenue at the heart of the arts complex. Visitors will see half the roof areas covered with photovoltaic panels and solar hot water systems. While enjoying the natural ventilation and shading provided at street level - and not being disturbed by traffic, which is hidden seven metres below ground - you will see 15 wind turbines on the waterfront.

Under a waste separation policy, you will have to handle your rubbish carefully. The food waste will be collected in the area every day, including the fruit wholesale market and developments in Tai Kok Tsui. This will be fed into an anaerobic 'digestor' installed in the energy centre, turning organic waste into biogas.

The biogas will be used as a fuel to support the skyrail running within the hub and the eco-buses connecting it to the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. It is also an option for residents and hotel operators to power the cooking systems in their kitchens.

Clients renting offices at the hub will have to follow a more stringent energy- saving practice under the concept of green leases.

In the bin

The amount of food waste, in tonnes, that is accumulated in the neighbourhood every day: 30