Hong Kong 2003
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Building Development

The Private Sector

There was increased activity in private building development during the year. The number of building sites where superstructure works started increased from 124 in 2002 to 266 in 2003, involving a total gross floor area of 1.17 million square metres and 2.07 million square metres, respectively. In 2003, a total of 785 buildings, with a total gross floor area of 2.87 million square metres, were completed at a total cost of $33.1 billion. This compared with 1 132 buildings, with a total gross floor area of 3.88 million square metres, built at a total cost of $45.7 billion, in 2002.

Major construction works in progress at year-end included the residential part of the Cyberport development in Pok Fu Lam, the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park and the associated Penny's Bay Rail Link, the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, the Ma On Shan Rail and the Tsim Sha Tsui Extension of the East Rail.

As a continuing exercise to promote client-oriented service, the third Joint Practice Note for Authorised Persons and Registered Structural Engineers was issued in August, describing new measures to streamline the process of landscape master plans and the provision of pre-submission enquiry services.

The Buildings Department continued to rationalise the control on supervision of building works by building professionals. A working group, set up to review all site supervision requirements under the Buildings Ordinance, has prepared a draft proposal for an integrated site supervision system.

During the year, 25 816 reports on unauthorised building works (UBWs) were processed; 24 003 removal orders issued; and 49 556 UBWs removed. A total of 714 prosecutions were instituted against offenders for erecting UBWs or failing to comply with removal orders. These resulted in 461 convictions with fines totalling $1.95 million.

To tackle the problem of UBWs, the Buildings Department continued to embark on 'blitz' clearance operations, to demolish in one exercise all external UBWs on a number of buildings in the same district. A total of 1 000 buildings were targeted for 'blitz' clearances in 2003. The programme to remove all illegal rooftop structures on 4 500 single staircase buildings that pose a serious fire hazard gathered momentum. Enforcement action against 713 buildings with illegal rooftop structures was completed, compared with 402 and 632 in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

The SARS outbreak raised public awareness of the importance of proper maintenance of drainage systems in buildings. The Buildings Department inspected the external drainage pipes of about 11 000 private buildings without Owners Corporations (OCs) or Mutual Aid Committees (MACs). For the other 18 000 buildings with OCs, MACs or management companies, the department advised them to inspect their drains. A total of 1 811 drainage repair orders were issued and 1 913 buildings had defects rectified.

A Working Group on Building Design for a Clean and Healthy Environment was set up to review the existing relevant regulations, identify new and improved building design standards and propose ways to achieve a clean and healthy built environment.

As part of the Government's newly formed Team Clean's measures to improve environmental hygiene, the Buildings Department took part in a joint operation with other relevant departments to clean up 85 priority district 'black spots' and launch six pilot projects to rectify environmental hygiene problem in target areas. A total of 839 UBWs and 494 drainage defects were removed or rectified in these operations.

Under the Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Ordinance, joint inspections with the Fire Services Department were made to improve fire safety in commercial premises built before 1987. For prescribed commercial premises (banks, betting centres, jewellery shops, shopping arcades, supermarkets), 194 Fire Safety Directions were issued to 120 premises requiring the owners concerned to remedy infractions. For specified commercial buildings (built before 1987), 3 537 Fire Safety Improvement Directions were issued to 140 buildings requiring upgrading of fire safety standards and facilities.

The recently enacted Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance requires the upgrading of essential fire safety provisions in composite and domestic buildings built before 1987. When the ordinance comes into operation, 9 000 composite buildings designed for both domestic and commercial uses will be required to upgrade fire service installations and fire safety construction. The upgrading programme will then be extended to cover the remaining 3 000 domestic buildings in which the fire risk involved is lower.

Under the Building Safety Loan Scheme, 2 588 applications with a total loan amount of $77.76 million were approved during the year.

Starting from November 2002, a total of 550 buildings were selected for action under the Coordinated Maintenance of Buildings Scheme. Owners of 300 buildings were motivated to take up their maintenance responsibilities, and repair or other improvement works were completed on 131 of these buildings.

The department began a comprehensive review of the Buildings Ordinance and its regulations in 2000. As a result of the review, legislative amendments have been proposed to rationalise the building control regime, strengthen safety requirements, facilitate law enforcement, and improve service to the public.

The proposed legislative amendments were included in the Buildings (Amendment) Bill 2003, which was introduced into the Legislative Council in April.

The Public Sector

The Architectural Services Department acts as Government's architect in providing full professional, technical and financial management services for the development and maintenance of public buildings (other than public housing) in three main areas: —


technical advice and monitoring services to all bureaux and departments on their projects subject to government subvention and on government projects entrusted to or in joint venture with the private sector. About 900 projects, valued at $58 billion, were monitored during the year;


professional and technical services for project management, design and supervision of the construction of building projects in the Public Works Programme and those of the Hospital Authority (HA). During the year, the department's rolling programme covered 339 projects at a total value of about $56 billion; and


building maintenance services, including the provision of general maintenance for all public buildings and facilities as well as those of the HA, covering a total floor area of approximately 27.4 million square metres. The department also undertakes conservation and restoration of listed buildings and gazetted monuments, and emergency and major repairs to all subvented schools outside public housing estates.

Under the re-engineering programme, the department will focus on its strategic roles as the building authority for and steward of government buildings, and as the Government's corporate professional adviser on architectural policies, building planning and maintenance matters. The bulk of the building and maintenance works currently undertaken by the department will be gradually outsourced to the private sector. During the year, the level of outsourcing increased to 59 per cent.

In 2003, the actual expenditure on building projects undertaken or monitored by the department was $11.67 billion, with a further expenditure of $2.32 billion on routine maintenance and minor alteration works. The building projects undertaken by the department were in the following categories: —


The construction of 27 schools was completed in 2003, and works on 27 schools were under way for completion in 2004 and 2005. The design for the school projects will be site and user-specific whenever the necessary lead time is available in the programme.

In the continued development of environmental and 'green' aspects, a building integrated photovoltaic system was installed in one of the schools completed as a pilot scheme to save energy and to raise students' awareness of the merits of natural energy. The department has completed improvements to 450 schools in recent years, including 62 schools in 2003. Improvement works began at 94 schools during the year, bringing the number of schools undergoing improvements to 235.

Disciplined Services

Sha Tau Kok Fire Station, Lau Fu Shan Fire Station and Ambulance Depot, the Police Dog Unit and Force Search Unit Complex at Sha Ling, and the remaining works under the 'Police Stations Improvement Project' programme were completed during the year.

Construction work was in progress on a variety of projects. These included the Fire Stations and Ambulance Depots in Braemar Hill and Penny's Bay, Mong Kok and Kwai Chung Ambulance Depots and Fire Services Department Regional Command Headquarters, and the Reprovisioning of Civil Aid Service and Fire Services Department Facilities at Site 17 of the West Kowloon Reclamation. Other projects were the Immigration Service Training School and Perowne Immigration Centre in Tuen Mun, Phase 3 Redevelopment of Police Headquarters at Arsenal Street in Wan Chai, and the New Territories South Regional Police Headquarters and Operational Base in Tsuen Wan.

Preparatory work was under way for the construction of the Marine Police Outer Waters District Headquarters and Marine Police North Division at Ma Liu Shui, Independent Commission Against Corruption Headquarters building in North Point, and reprovisioning of Victoria Prison at the site of the old married quarters at the Correctional Services Department's Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre.

An earlier project completed by the department was the conversion of the Married Officer Quarters of the Correctional Services Department at Stanley into the Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum.

Science and Research

The development of the Science Park at Pak Shek Kok was in progress. The Science Park is delineated into different zones for housing tenants of sizes ranging from small incubator firms to multinational conglomerates within a park-like environment. The buildings are equipped with comprehensive infrastructure facilities, and advanced technological and environmental systems.

Phase 1 of the Science Park comprises 10 buildings. The first three buildings were completed in 2002. During the year, three more buildings were completed, including the Photonic Centre, the Wireless Centre and the Innovation Centre for research and development facilities. Construction of the remaining four buildings was under way.

Medical and Health

During the year, construction was in progress on a number of projects, including the Castle Peak Hospital Redevelopment (Phase 2), the establishment of a Radiotherapy Centre and the redevelopment of the Accident and Emergency Department at Princess Margaret Hospital, the remodelling of Tang Shiu Kin Hospital into an Ambulatory Care Centre, and the redevelopment of Staff Quarters for the establishment of a Rehabilitation Block at Tuen Mun Hospital. Works were also progressing on the remodelling of the Tuen Mun Polyclinic Building for the establishment of an Ophthalmic Centre, the enhancement of infection control facilities in the public hospital system, and construction of a Public Mortuary at Area 26E, Kwai Chung.

Recreation and Culture

Projects completed during the year included the Jordan Valley Playground (Phase 2, Stage 2), local open space in Area 44 of Tuen Mun and improvement works to Victoria Park.

Works commenced on eight open space projects, Hammer Hill Road Park, Stanley Complex, Water Sports Centre in Stanley Main Beach, and Tung Wan Beach Building in Cheung Chau. Improvement to Lok Wah Playground in Kwun Tong and renovation of the YMCA Wu Kai Sha Youth Village in Ma On Shan were also under way.

Construction was in progress on the Tai Kok Tsui Complex, Ma On Shan Sports Ground (Phase 2), Kowloon Bay Recreation Ground, local open spaces in Areas 18 and 21 of Fanling, and Indoor Recreation Centre/Library in Area 100, Ma On Shan.

The Public Square Street Garden in Yau Tsim Mong District, refurbished in Chinese style with special features like a 'Nine-dragon Wall' and a 'Pai Lau', attracts the patronage of both local residents and tourists.


Construction of the Hong Kong Wetland Park and the Visitor Centre in Tin Shui Wai continued. This is the first pilot project to use recycled aggregates in structural concrete under the Government's policy on construction and demolition waste management.

As part of the overall initiatives to improve the townscape of Sai Kung, improvement works to the Sai Kung Waterfront area were completed during the year. The department also managed streetscape and signage projects in districts popular with tourists.

Boundary Crossing Facilities

The enhanced boundary crossing facilities for both cargo and passengers traffic at Lok Ma Chau were substantially completed during the year.

Improvement works to the Lo Wu Terminal Building were in progress for completion by early 2005. Installation of an air-conditioning system at the Lo Wu Cross Boundary Footbridge began in October.

Expansion of customs and immigration facilities at the Sha Tau Kok Control Point was under planning.

Design for the development of boundary crossing facilities at the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor proceeded in cooperation with the Shenzhen Port Affairs Office.

Initiatives in Sustainable Development

The department continued its efforts in promoting and practising sustainability in the building industry.

Steps are taken to ensure that all building designs are compatible with the surrounding environment, efficient in utilising 'land', 'energy' and 'material' resources, and easy to 'operate', 'service' and 'maintain'. To encourage staff and consultants to adopt a holistic approach to environmental design, environmental performance assessments including the Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-BEAM) were conducted on the projects concerned.

Provision of a healthy built environment for users and public is a key objective. All projects were designed with the aim of attaining the 'Excellent' class of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as defined under the IAQ Certification Scheme for Offices and Public Places, which was launched during the year. The 'Overall Energy Approach' was used to achieve a healthy indoor environment in a cost-effective and energy-efficient manner.

The department continued to take the lead in implementing energy efficient technologies in building services installations. These included the installation of water-cooled air-conditioning systems, total energy heat pumps, and demand control systems, resulting in an estimated annual saving of 300 million megajoules of energy.

Use of renewable energy is promoted effectively. During the year, 3 300 square metres of photovoltaic panels with a total electrical capacity of 300 kilowatts were installed in new projects. The Hong Kong Wetland Park's Visitor Centre, to be completed in 2005, will be the first building in Hong Kong that utilises geothermal energy for operating its air-conditioning system.

The efforts of the department in promoting sustainability have been recognised by various bodies. Awards received included the 'Commendation for Environmental Reporting' from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Hong Kong Environmental Reporting Awards 2002, and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects 2002 Annual Award under the category of 'Special Architectural Award — Sustainable Design' for the Veterinary Laboratory at Tai Lung in Sheung Shui.

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