Improving Hong Kong’s Green Buildings looking forward by John A. Herbert

by John A. Herbert
green building, john herbert is green building expert

In the 2017 Policy Address by CE C.Y. Leung there is just hint that the present loophole that allows non-green buildings to obtain GFA concessions will be tightened. Continue reading

How to avoid mould in air conditioned buildings

moisture mould problems air conditioned buildings

In air conditioned buildings, the exterior vapour pressure will be higher than the vapour pressure in the air conditioned room, therefore the vapour and moisture flow is high to low (blue line in the diagram above)

Now normally this is not an issue, because a decent ventilation system will transport moisture back to the air conditioning cooling coil, it’s condensed, and safely drained away.

However, problems occur when a vapour retarder is installed (red line in above diagram) interrupting the flow. Moisture becomes trapped, and even the best ventilation system cannot transport it to the cooling coil. Instead what happens, damp, moisture, and then mould growth occurs (left of red line in diagram above).


And we already know the problems associated with mould, it causes poor indoor air quality, and therefore health issues for the occupants. If the air conditioning room also happens to be under negative (relatively) pressure, as often occurs in hotel rooms, the situation is compounded because the vapour quantity is increased, accelerating the process. It should be taught in school “don’t ever use vinyl wallpaper in air conditioned buildings” because it causes mould.’

This phenomenon is not limited to Hong Kong, it occurs in hot tropical climates, whether you are in Singapore, Indonesia, Shanghai, or Hong Kong.

Furthermore, it’s the type of problem that’s not immediately apparent, mould doesn’t just appear overnight, and it is unlikely to surface within the defects liability period (DLP).


So it is obvious, lining the external wall of an air conditioned space with any vapour retarder must be avoided at all costs. But sadly it still happens today, increasing maintenance and costs for building owners and operators.

About Kelcroft

Kelcroft based in Hong Kong provides specialist advice, including energy, built environment, and green building consulting services, advising owners and design teams, to lower the cost of building operations.


#mould #mold #hongkong #buildings #hotels #maintenance

Hong Kong failing behind Emirate green building standards by John A. Herbert


The construction rules in Dubai UAE have changed commencing 1 April 2015, now they mandate Green cement for ALL construction projects, failing to comply means facing tough punishment, the emirate news website (1) reports:

“Besides depriving them from construction permission, violating companies will be fined,” said Ahmed Al Badwawi, studies director at the municipality.


Clearly the goal is to reduce Carbon emissions for all new building work in the Emirate, but it leaves Hong Kong behind in terms of mandatory green requirements.


SB14 Barcelona

by John A. Herbert

Sustainable Building 2014 (SB14) will be held in Barcelona, Spain

Kelcroft at SB14, green building consultant

The global green building event Sustainable Building 2014 (SB14) will be held in Barcelona, Spain in October this year, a large delegation from Hong Kong including HKGBC, BEAM Society, and Kelcroft’s director, and green building guru John A. Herbert will attend. To learn more about the event visit the conference website directly:

Building for BEAM Gold, Kowloon Bay


The HKSAR government tender for a 4,927 sqm commercial site in Wang Chiu Street, Kowloon Bay will close tomorrow, the media is speculating on the estimated tenders. However, interestingly amongst the myriad of the usual conditions of sale that accompany government lands sales is the requirement to attain Provisional Gold or above Rating for all building(s) on the site.  However, they set the bar very low, a “provisional” rating is hardly difficult task, it is a shopping list of commitments, and there is no guarantee that those promised green features will be implemented.

The new development will have 120 metre height limitation, but will dwarf its elderly neighbours which were capped to suit the flight path of the former Kai Tak Airport.


Sustainable Building SB13 Hong Kong

SB13, the regional sustainable building conference started today in Hong Kong. It was held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Tseng Kwan O, Hong Kong, and was co-organised by CIC and HKGBC.

Considering it seems that everyone in Hong Kong now has an opinion about BEAM, there was a distinct lack of #BEAM in the proceedings.

The Secretary for the Environment Mr KS Wong was in attendance, and spoke about the main #greenbuilding issues and challenges ahead. There was a keynote speech by CIC chairman, that was informative, it implied that CIC has been supporting #greenbuilding in Hong Kong for several years.

Here are some pictures from the first day.SB 13 Hong Kong, Kelcroft, green building, sustainable building

SB 13 Hong Kong, Kelcroft, green building, sustainable building

SB 13 Hong Kong, Kelcroft, green building, sustainable building

SB 13 Hong Kong, Kelcroft, green building, sustainable building

SB 13 Hong Kong, Kelcroft, green building, sustainable building

Green Building Reference

by John A. Herbert

My list of green building references:

Green Building Checklist

Green Office / Interiors 

International Green Building Rating Systems