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23 Apr 2009

Swire Properties and Hunan University Collaborate to Establish the ‘Intelligent Building Control Research Fund’

Swire Properties (‘SPL’) and Hunan University (‘HNU’) today jointly announced the establishment of the ‘Intelligent Building Control Research Fund’ (‘the Fund’) to promote building energy efficiency for sustainable development.

With SPL’s rapid property expansion taking place in major cities in the Mainland, and in extensive communities in Hong Kong, innovation for energy efficiency has become an integral part of sustainability. While SPL has received worldwide recognition over the years for its environmental initiatives, (e.g. it was the first developer in Asia to attain the Regional Technology Award of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)), it aims to push operational standards to a new level by pooling its professional knowledge with China’s own expertise through top-tier Mainland universities collaboration.

Subsequent to establishing another research fund with Tsinghua University in 2008, the Company has endeavoured to improve energy performance by further funding HNU in the area of intelligent building control this year. In this collaboration, Swire Properties will be underwriting a HK$3 million fund over the coming three years to conduct research into evolving intelligent building control tools which optimise building energy efficiency and thermal comfort levels.

Such controls will be a powerful tool in ensuring that the energy performance of buildings is maintained at an acceptable sustainable level. However, to date, various technical problems have meant that the industry has not used the capability provided by automated Building Management Systems (‘BMS’) to any significant degree. The objective of this research fund is therefore to unlock that capability and develop tools which enhance a building’s control systems. Extensive testing will be conducted in Swire Properties’ own buildings, which results, are hoped to become a knowledge-based resource for the entire property industry. Indeed, the findings of the research will be shared throughout the academic and business sectors.

‘We are honoured to be collaborating with the pre-eminent and distinguished research capabilities of Hunan University. This research could well mark a scientific leap forward in how the property industry improves energy efficiency and the sustainable management of its buildings,’ said Stephan Spurr, Director and General Manger of Swire Properties. ‘The technical support we also receive from Honeywell Ltd., one of the world’s leading building management system providers, will create substantial synergy and add further value to the Fund’s findings.’

Prof. Cao Yijia, Vice President of Hunan University said, ‘Amid the global challenge of climate change, we are glad to have the opportunity to cooperate with Swire Properties, a company with which we share similar aspirations in the creation of sustainability. As a university leading in the field of intelligent building control, we hope to leverage on our strengths to achieve breakthroughs, and contribute to the field of energy saving and the community at large.’