Housing block wins engineering award

Wah Ha Estate, a housing block converted from a historical factory building in Chai Wan, was granted the Project of the Year Award - Residential Building (2021) by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Hong Kong Region.   The Government announced the conversion in 2012 to increase the short-term public housing supply and preserve the only remaining H-shaped factory in the city.   The Housing Authority (HA) project team successfully converted the only remaining match box factory to a sustainable public rental housing block in 2016, providing homes to 187 families after overcoming various site constraints.   “This award recognises the HA’s design, construction, installation, commissioning and operation of a low energy building,” Housing Department Chief Building Services Engineer Henry Chang said today.   He explained that the project team’s biggest challenge was to provide affordable housing with a sustainable living environment from a Grade II historic building located within an industrial area, and at the same time to maximise the site’s development potential and conserve the historical value of the 55-year-old Chai Wan Factory Estate during the conversion.   The estate’s building design and building services systems promote energy savings and address residents’ needs.   Inhabitants can enhance lighting levels in lift lobbies, corridors and staircases by pressing a manual button integrated with the door phone handset in their flats or a manual switch at the lift lobby.   The goal is to minimise energy consumption while meeting the requirement for barrier-free access.   Other features include a rainwater harvesting system on the building block's green roof, a special acoustic balcony for flats close to Chai Wan MTR Station, and a 49-inch TV panel at the lift lobby that displays electricity, water and gas consumption information.
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