a vision of creating a learning environment for the 21st century

The Centennial Campus completed in 2012 has been awarded the highest performance Platinum certification under LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for New Construction and Major Renovations, in recognition of its high standard reached in terms of green features and energy efficiency. This top LEED rating is particularly gratifying to receive, as the University has understood the importance of environmental and sustainability issues throughout the campus extension project – from planning to construction and finally usage of the Centennial Campus by the HKU community.

HKU is the first higher education institution in Hong Kong to have earned the top rating, putting it on the list of top world universities that have buildings designed to be efficient and have a lower impact on their environment.

The certification has been granted to the Centennial Campus in recognition of its high performance reached in six areas of assessment including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality and innovation in designs. It underlines the University’s commitment to sustainability and to setting a good example with a living experiment for its teaching and learning.

Sustainability and innovative features of the Campus includes the careful positioning of buildings to capture natural light, breezes and storm water; installation of renewable energy devices for electricity generation and demonstration purposes; and preservation of the natural setting through the relocation of water reservoirs underground and into the adjoining rock cavern.

The campus landscape is integrated into the site’s natural setting. Landscaped spaces such as green roofs, sky gardens and courtyards are incorporated as integral parts of the campus’s learning facilities. Energy efficient building systems include a displacement air-conditioning system, chilled-water storage tank, variable speed chillers and lift regenerative power, among others. Systems to conserve water include low-flow taps, water-saving irrigation pipes, recycling of condensate water from air-conditioning systems, and greywater and stormwater treatment.

As a result, it is possible for the University to potentially benefit from up to 1.7% of its total energy coming from green energies, with 30.4% total energy savings compared to the same scale and usage of building.

This can be translated into an annual energy saving of 6,500,000 kwh (which is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 4,500 households, or one hundred 100-watt light bulbs for 650,000 hours) and an annual reduction of CO2 production of 4,000 tons (quantity of CO2 absorbed by 160,000 trees).

In 2013, the Centennial Campus was awarded the Platinum standard certification under BEAM (Building Environmental Assessment Method) for New Buildings.