Swire Properties (“SPL”) and the Building Energy Research Centre of Tsinghua University (“THU”) announced today the establishment of a Joint Research Centre for Building Energy Efficiency and Sustainability. Mr Guy Bradley, Chief Executive Officer – Mainland China for SPL and Professor Jiang Yi, Director of Building Energy Research Centre of THU and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, officiated the signing ceremony.
“Swire Properties is committed to sustainable development and environmental considerations are an integral part of our day-to-day management practices and operations,” said Mr Bradley at the ceremony. “Improving our energy efficiency is all the more important at this stage as we are launching four major projects in the PRC within five years. We see our efforts in improving the energy efficiency of our properties as an ongoing mission and are very grateful to have Tsinghua University’s Building Energy Efficiency Centre as our partner on our journey towards sustainability.”
SPL will offer US$1 million per annum in funding for an initial three years from September 2011 for the Joint Research Centre for Building Energy Efficiency and Sustainability. The research centre, which will be located in the Building Energy Efficiency Demonstration Building in THU, will create a platform for encouraging further research into building energy efficiency and for promoting sustainable development in the property industry.
“THU and SPL have developed a long-term partnership. The establishment of the Joint Research Centre will bring the two parties’ collaboration on energy efficiency and sustainable development to the next level. Together we shall explore a new way forward on advanced scientific research and engineering practice. The partnership will also present a more sophisticated platform for the University and the real estate industry to address climate change and energy conservation to offer a better living environment,” said Professor Yi at the ceremony.
In March 2008, the two parties established the Building Energy Efficiency Research Fund, which was dedicated to the “Optimised Operation, Management and Regulation of Commercial Buildings”. The second phase of the Fund was initiated in January 2010 and targeted at “Integrated Design and Whole-process Management of High Efficiency Buildings”. The research has produced remarkable results — up to 20 million kWh of electricity has been saved over the last three years, which is equivalent to a reduction of 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions or the annual carbon dioxide absorption of 600,000 trees.
With the establishment of the joint research centre, the team will extend its research to SPL’s projects in Mainland China. Energy studies such as “Microclimate Analysis” and “Three-Star Green Building Evaluation” will be conducted for the Chengdu Daci Temple Cultural & Commercial Complex to ensure that the foundations of low-carbon emission and building energy efficiency are set in the project’s planning and design stage. Researchers are currently stationed in TaiKoo Hui in Guangzhou to actively participate in energy consumption analysis so as to identify new energy-saving strategies for future implementation.
Officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and China Green Building Council Urban Studies Committee attended the signing ceremony. In a seminar that followed the ceremony, Mr Cary Chan, Head of Technical Services and Sustainable Development Department of SPL, Raymond Yau, a Hong Kong building industry expert, and Zhu Yingxin and Wei Qingpeng, professor and associate professor respectively at THU, shared the latest research developments with more than 150 guests, including representatives from building energy efficiency governing authorities, building design institutes, real estate development companies, research institutions and academic institutions.