Hong Kong’s green supermarket superstar
Willow Aliento | 23 August 2016
A new supermarket in Hong Kong could be setting the pace for powerful sustainability messaging.
The Green Atrium on a small plot of land in Yuen Long next to a nine-tower 1600-plus Park Signature development features everything from an organic and health foods supermarket to farmers’ market, lifestyle and learning hub, restaurant, organic community farm and event space. It even has its own bee farm, butterfly garden and aquaponics system on the roof.
The building, developed by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises’ New World Development,
was designed by Christopher Leung and Associates, with interior design by MaS studios and Arup contributing sustainable design and engineering. Meinhardt HK was mechanical and electrical consultant.
The structure is wrapped in a climate-responsive façade. A split in the middle of the building creates a “breathing deck”, with a permeable green wall and louvred windows that minimise heat gain and draw cool air into the space.
An atrium through the core of the building allows for extensive natural light penetration. On the roof, lighting is powered by small wind turbines, and a solar photovoltaic system reduces mains energy use for the building.
Grey water is treated as part of the aquaponics set-up, which also produces perch for the restaurant and vegetables. Water from the fish ponds is used to naturally fertilise other garden beds including a chef’s herb garden.
All food waste is processed with a composting unit that supplies the organic farm garden beds and orchard, with another recycling unit for glass, paper and plastics. The interior fitout includes exposed concrete floors, and shelving made from materials including compacted recycled cardboards, recycled timber and upcycled old bicycles.
As a learning centre, it provides workshops on DIY topics, low-carbon healthy cooking, gardening and other sustainability topics.
One of the newest technologies in the building is an Air Induction Unit. This is an energy-efficient bladeless fan developed by Arup for semi-outdoor environments, which was installed in the restaurant area. It uses aerodynamic principles to induce large volume air flows at low speeds. The AIU won the Grand prize at the 2016 Hong Kong Awards for Industries in the Innovation and Creativity category. A patent is in the process of being filed.
Awards received by the development as a whole include the Hong Kong Green Innovations Awards and the IMechE Best Project Award 2015/16. It was also one of three finalists in the Cityscape Global Awards for Emerging Markets in the Sustainability category, and is a finalist in the Hong Kong Green Building Council’s 2016 Green Building Awards.
New World Development claimed that in 2015, 98 per cent of its total gross floor area of its HK projects had been certified to the HKGBC’s BEAM or BEAM Plus certification – up from 62 per cent in 2010.
The company is owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd and was founded by Dr Cheng Yu Tung. It has about 50,000 employees.
In Australia the company is part of the Destination Brisbane Consortium along with Star Entertainment Group and others developing a new casino based entertainment precinct in that city.