PRAISE-HK team member Dr. CHE Wen-wei was invited by The Hong Kong Green Building Council to present her findings based on a study showcasing how the TAL Building achieved multiple benefits on improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy-saving, as well as maintaining comfort levels after retrofitting its ventilation system. About 400 people mostly from the engineering sector joined the Webinar, and actively asked many practical questions during the discussion session.
Retrofit on existing buildings for better energy performance is highly desirable due to their large share of building energy consumption. Meanwhile, the importance of thermal comfort and air pollution exposure has attracted increasing attention on occupant health, productivity and sustainable development. Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems are responsible for a substantial proportion of energy use in buildings and are closely related to indoor environmental quality. Unfortunately, there is some stigma around energy-saving measures, as many people believe they will make their lives less comfortable.
This study led by HKUST IENV to examine the energy consumption and indoor environment at TAL Building, a commercial building in Tsim Sha Tsui, with a retrofitted HVAC system. The retrofitting measures included a sensor-based building management system, dehumidification of outdoor air and a two-stage particle filtration system. Energy data were collected before and after the retrofit. Field measurements were conducted in both winter and summer to evaluate the thermal comfort and indoor exposure to air pollutants in the retrofitted area. An experiment was designed to assess the benefits of upgraded filters on exposure to ambient particles during summer. By combining all of these measures, the retrofitted HVAC system was able to reduce energy use by 50% while maintaining generally acceptable indoor thermal comfort. Most of the time, the indoor particle levels complied with the World Health Organization’s guidelines. The upgraded filtration system with a pleated filter reduced outdoor PM ingress by 30% to 60% more than the aluminum filter used before the retrofit. The co-benefit assessment provides insights into sustainability in building development during a retrofit by holistically examining energy use and the environment.
Watch the video highlight:
- Download research findings: Wen Wei Che, Chi Yan Tso, Li Sun, Danny Y.K. Ip, Harry Lee, Christopher Y.H. Chao, Alexis K.H. Lau, Energy consumption, indoor thermal comfort and air quality in a commercial office with retrofitted heat, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, Energy Build. 201 (2019) 202-215. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378778819303640
- Event Flyer: CLICK HERE
- Full webinar with CPD Hour is available at HKGBC CPD Online Training Portal
- To learn more about our work with high-performance buildings and better IAQ, visit: https://ienv.ust.hk/BuildingEffeciency
Speaker: Dr CHE Wen Wei
Dr CHE Wen Wei is the Research Assistant Professor of Division of Environment and Sustainability at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Dr Che’s research focuses on methods, measurements, and models for assessing human exposure to contaminants, e.g. air pollutants, in their daily life as a basis for assessing public-health threats and developing strategies for prevention. Her current research interests include the development and application of computational exposure methods for smart cities, evaluating behavioral determinants of exposure using IoT and big data analytics, and methodologies to account for the exposure impacts on humans in designing smart green buildings.
Commentators: Dr Harry LEE, Mr Danny IP and Mr Leo LEE
Dr Harry LEE, SBS, JP, OBE, Chairman of TAL Apparel, has made many valuable contributions to the development of the fashion and apparel industry during his 40 years in the textile and garment industry. He is the Honorary Chairman of Textile Council of Hong Kong Ltd. and the Hong Kong Garment Manufacturer’s Association. As a trained engineer, Dr Lee is also passionate in integrating innovation and technology into his garment business as well as sustainability operations – from saving energy, saving water, wastewater treatment, to cleaning indoor air quality. Dr Lee holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College, London, UK and a Doctorate degree from Brown University, U.S.A.
Danny Yu Kin IP, Director of KINS Engineering Limited, holder of a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master degree in Engineering from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, has been contributing in the aspect of MVAC industry over 35 years. As an engineer and company director, not only did he accomplish all the challenging requests of his clients in a wide variety of projects in the industry, he also devotes himself into the researches and innovations of new MVAC system with respect to buildings and factories automation, energy conservation and saving, green building implementation and indoor air quality control. He is a very experienced and rare professional for both practical and researchable practices in the engineering field.
Leo YW LEE, RPE, FHKIE, FCIBSE, Director of KINS Engineering Limited, is a senior professional engineer with over 40 years experience in the engineering field. He has been involved in the design of many prestige infrastructure projects in HK and in the regions including various lines of HK MTR, two cross harbour tunnels and other vehicular tunnels in Hong Kong. He is an expert in the engineering field of ventilation and air conditioning. The design adopted in his projects never lacks innovation and new design ideas. Low carbon footprints is one of the key considerations in all his projects as a means to preserve the limited resource of the planet earth.