A professional body representing chartered surveyors is backing policies to revitalise industrial buildings and conserve Central's threatened heritage. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Hong Kong says it wants Central to be a 'refreshing breathing zone' for business activity, with Central Market being included in conservation plans. But Albert So, chairman of RICS Hong Kong, says: 'We should not overlook the rising demand for office buildings in Central. RICS will continue to study and examine the feasibility of maintaining the heritage value and mixed use of the building for offices, stores and workshops at the same time. We believe this can increase both the community and commercial values of the Central Market.' Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's Policy Address revealed plans to revitalise some 1,400 industrial buildings in Hong Kong. 'If the government could simplify the process of converting industrial buildings to office buildings, tremendous space could be released,' says an RICS spokesman. Surveyors say there is about 15.57 million square metres of factory space that is more than two decades old. There is also another 7 million square metres of private storage, private specialised factories and private industrial space. As at the end of 2007, some 1.07 million square metres of such accommodation was standing vacant, while the rest was mostly under-utilised or used for purposes outside the conditions of land leases or planning approval.