Swire Properties and Tsinghua University announced today that they will extend a three-year contract for their collaborative project, the Joint Research Centre for Building Energy Efficiency and Sustainability. Established in September 2011, the Joint Research Centre aims to further identify, study and test new energy strategies by leveraging on Swire Properties’ projects in Mainland China which are in various phases of development. Swire Properties will offer up to HK$5 million per annum in funding for the Joint Research Centre from October 2015 onwards.
The partnership between Swire Properties and Tsinghua University has proved very successful since its inception in 2008. The Joint Research Centre helped develop the Integrated Design and Whole-process Management (IDM), a system which enables commercial developers to make informed decisions on energy efficiency during the entire building development process. Additionally, over the past seven years, Swire Properties has saved a total of 67 million kWh of electricity through continuous system improvement, with the company’s developments also achieving various sustainability accolades.
Under the renewed contract, the IDM will be implemented and tested on Swire Properties’ new joint-venture project in Dalian, which is in the early planning stage. Dedicated research teams from Tsinghua University will be stationed onsite and use simulation tools to compare different design options to achieve the energy conservation and emission reduction targets set for the project.
In the second phase of this research project, Swire Properties targets to build an Energy Management System (EMS) for its commercial buildings across Hong Kong and Mainland China. The EMS will allow real-time remote monitoring of the buildings’ electricity consumption data. Tsinghua University is expected to work hand-in-hand with Swire Properties’ technical teams to optimise the structure of EMS. Together they also plan to investigate potential energy savings in other Swire group assets, including beverage plants, aircrafts maintenance facilities and cold storage.
“We are very pleased that our partnership with Tsinghua University has been so fruitful over the years,” said Guy Bradley, Chief Executive of Swire Properties. “We feel that now is the perfect time to take our joint research efforts to the next level. As a responsible developer, we have always sought to integrate energy efficiency solutions into our whole building cycle, and these sustainability considerations have become even more vital as we continue to expand our footprint in Hong Kong and Mainland China. We’re excited to see what we can achieve next with Tsinghua University, and very much hope that our findings can be applied industry-wide.”
“It’s been the eighth year since we joined hands with Swire Properties for dedicated efforts towards improving building energy efficiency for better environment,” said Professor Xue Qikun, Vice President of Tsinghua University. “Swire Properties is a pioneering developer that has the vision to do things that contribute practically to the society’s overall sustainable development. Today signifies deepened collaboration between the academic world and the business front. We feel grateful for Swire Properties, as it helped us cultivate talents. Over the years, three post-graduate and eight graduate students have participated in the joint efforts.”
A ceremony was held today to formally recognise the renewal of Tsinghua University and Swire Properties’ partnership. Officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design were in attendance. In seminars before and after the ceremony, Cary Chan, General Manager of Technical Services and Sustainability of Swire Properties, Professor Jiang Yi, Director of the Joint Research Centre and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Professor Zhu Yingxin and associate professors Wei Qingpeng and Li Xiaofeng from Tsinghua University shared the latest research developments with more than 150 guests, including representatives from building energy efficiency governing authorities, building design institutes, real estate developers and research and academic institutions.