CU charts sustainable future with campus master plan

The Council of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU) has endorsed a campus master plan (CMP) which lays out a blueprint for the sustainable development of the CU campus in the years up to 2021 and beyond.

The CMP sets out the vision of campus development for reference by planners and architects and is expected to be a living document that evolves with changing circumstances and needs.

Following a year-long period of consultation, six planning 'precepts' were distilled from the engagement exercises:

1. planning and design of places for education and research activities;
2. enhancing college life;
3. promoting a pedestrian-friendly campus;
4. conserving places of value;
5. creating a landscape of vital importance; and
6. making a sustainable campus.

The CMP gives the highest priority to preserving and enhancing the lush and green campus and provides guidelines for cutting energy use by 25% (per capita) and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% (per capita) by 2025. It also calls for further enhancements in environmental management in areas ranging from building design methods and materials, energy and water conservation, to transport management. The CMP also recommends a comprehensive transport framework that will give priority to pedestrians over motor vehicles and the maintenance of a pastoral landscape.

The CMP Synoptic Report can be obtained from www.cuhk.edu.hk/cmp.


CU's campus master plan

IT award for CityU academic

Dr Andy Chun Hon-wai, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU), has won the IT Research Award and IT Professional Competency Award from the Hong Kong Computer Society (HKCS) at the Outstanding IT Achiever Awards 2008 (OITAA 2008).

The IT Research Award recognises Dr Chun's contributions to artificial intelligence (AI) research and its application to Hong Kong. The IT Professional Competency Award recognises his achievements in directing AI research towards practical everyday use through his AI system design and engineering development efforts. Dr Chun's research focuses mainly on using AI for optimisation, scheduling, rostering and timetabling, as well as data-mining and knowledge management.

The OITAA 2008 recognises IT professionals who have made a significant contribution to Hong Kong society and economic development. It also recognises the value and influential role of IT professionals in industry and society. There were four award categories, namely the IT Professional Competency Award, IT Research Award, IT Leadership Award and IT Project Management Award.

There were nine winners in four categories in this year's awards, namely:

• IT Lifetime Achievement Award: Henry Wai Kwan Chow, IBM Greater China Group

• IT Leadership Award: Raymond Wai Man Wong, Hong Kong Immigration Department (retired)

• IT Professional Competency Award: Douglas Lap Tap Chan, eBroker; Andy Hon Wai Chun, CityU and Denise Hwei Jen Tung, IBM China/Hong Kong

• IT Project Management Award: Rosemary Lai Ngor Chan, Morgan Stanley (Asia) and Roy Sai Lit Pun, IBM China/Hong Kong

• IT Research Award: Andy Hon Wai Chun, CityU; Thomas Yau Tat Lee, The University of Hong Kong and Jack Yiu Bun Lee, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Tenders invited for Kai Tak infrastructure works

Tenders are being invited by the Civil Engineering & Development Department for infrastructure works for the Kai Tak Development.

The scope of the project, "Kai Tak Development – Advance Infrastructure Works for Developments at the Southern Part of the Former Runway, Stage 1", comprises construction of roadworks, associated drainage, sewerage and water main works, and a fireboat berth and public landing steps at the former runway and south apron of Kai Tak Airport.

The construction works are scheduled to begin in July for completion in 2013 to serve the early developments in the southern part of the former runway area - the first berth of the cruise terminal and the runway park.

Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd has been commissioned to design and supervise the construction works.

The closing of the tender is noon on May 29.

China State gets NT roadworks

The Civil Engineering & Development Department (CEDD) has awarded a HK$100 million contract to China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Ltd for improvement works at the Ha Tsuen section of Ping Ha Road.

The project involves widening and realignment of the section of Ping Ha Road between Sha Chau Lei and Hung Tin Road/Tin Ying Road, including widening of a vehicular bridge across an existing nullah, construction of noise barriers, retaining walls, footpaths, cycle tracks, stormwater drains, waterworks and landscaping works.

The works are scheduled for completion in about 28 months.

Building energy efficiency funding schemes launched

The Government has launched HK$450 million worth of funding schemes to promote building energy efficiency with funding from the Environment & Conservation Fund (ECF).

The funding schemes provide subsidies to incentivise building owners to conduct energy-cum-carbon audits and energy efficiency projects for their buildings. Financial incentives will also be provided to encourage building owners to carry out alteration, addition or improvement works to upgrade the energy efficiency performance of their building services installations. Subsidies will be provided on a matching basis. For applications involving a single building, the funding caps will be HK$150,000 and HK$500,000 per building for energy-cum-carbon audits and energy efficiency projects respectively. For applications involving more than one building, a limit of 50% of the approved total actual expenditure spent will be provided without a maximum cap.

According to ECF committee chairman Prof David Lung, the schemes are expected to subsidise more than 1,600 projects and create business opportunities for the electrical, mechanical, building services and environmental engineering sectors.

Building owners interested in the funding schemes can obtain more information from www.building-energy-funds.gov.hk.

Zhan Tianyou Award for Arup

Ove Arup & Partners has been presented with this year's Zhan Tianyou Civil Engineering Award, the highest award of its kind in China, for its work on the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 and the Fencing Hall/National Convention Centre.

Co-organised by the China Civil Engineering Society and the Zhan Tianyou Civil Engineering Fund, the prestigious engineering award recognises technical innovations in the building and construction, tunnel, highway, port, water conservancy and residential sectors.

The firm previously won the award for Route 3, in 1999; Hong Kong International Airport, in 2000; and Two International Finance Centre, in 2006.


The Bird's Nest. Photo: Arup

Ngong Ping 360 introduces crystal cabins

Ngong Ping 360 introduces crystal cabins


Ngong Ping 360, the Lantau cable car experience, has introduced 12 new glass bottom crystal cabins for the 25 min cable car journey from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping Village. Each cabin has the capacity to hold ten passengers and the cable car system is believed to be the first in the world to feature a full-width glass cabin bottom. Concurrently, the company has announced that its cable car operations department has received ISO 9001:2008 certification

IBM sets up cloud computing lab

IBM has announced the establishment of a cloud computing laboratory at Cyberport.

The new facility will provide a global hub for web-based messaging services to support IBM's emerging LotusLive cloud service portfolio, which offers affordable, company-to-company social networking and online collaboration tools.

The company plans to increase its investment in the laboratory to take advantage of the global opportunity for online web 2.0 collaboration. The new facility brings the number of IBM's worldwide Cloud Labs to ten.
"IBM is focused on helping businesses, large and small, work smarter to drive innovation up and costs down and this new cloud lab will reinforce that," said Bob Picciano, general manager, IBM Lotus Software. "LotusLive.com will soon include the most secure, scalable, business-ready web mail in the industry as part of a full-service collaboration suite to help simplify and improve the way organisations work with their customers and partners."

The laboratory will build on the email technology and expertise of Outblaze Ltd, a Hong Kong whose email assets have been acquired by IBM.

CLP expands renewables portfolio

The CLP Group has entered an arrangement with Hydro Tasmania to acquire from Roaring 40s Renewable Energy Pty Ltd its wind farm portfolio in China for approximately HK$730 million.

Roaring 40s is a joint venture, formed in September 2005, between CLP and Australian-based Hydro Tasmania to pursue renewable energy projects in Australia and Asia. CLP is expected to acquire the India business of Roaring 40s as well in the future.

The acquisition of the China portfolio will increase CLP's renewable energy capacity by 122 equity Megawatts (MW) to over 1,200 MW, taking its renewable energy portfolio to over 9% of its total generation capacity. Currently, CLP has renewable projects in Australia, China, India, Thailand, Laos and a diversity of renewable energy sources, including wind, hydro, biomass, solar, and geothermal.

HKUST and Boeing to develop wireless system for higher maintenance efficiency

The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) has teamed up with aircraft manufacturer Boeing to develop a wireless system that will drastically improve the efficiency of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

"There are millions of parts in an aircraft, and work sheets can run up to hundreds of pages. Currently a lot of time and effort is spent on travelling on foot between the aircraft and the maintenance office, updating the logbooks and signing off worksheets," said Prof Gary Chan, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of HKUST.

Prof Chan currently leads a team of researchers working on the project called Lean Aviation Network, or LAviNet in short, which will also enable on-site maintenance staff to execute many essential tasks with wireless-enabled hand-held devices. These include obtaining worksheets, looking up maintenance procedures, ordering spare parts, renewing work cards, and updating log books.

Apart from Boeing, the project is supported by Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO) and Altai Technologies Limited, a spin-off company from Hong Kong Applied Science & Technology Research Institute (ASTRI).

The design, testing and commissioning of LAviNet is expected to take two years.

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