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The FEHD Skylight Market is designed with heart (by the Architectural Services Department)

The FEHD Skylight Market located in Tin Shui Wai (formerly known as Tin Shui Wai Temporary Public Market) was opened recently, providing residents with a pleasant shopping environment of fresh food provisions. The project took only about a year from planning, funding approval, construction to commissioning, enabling the public and tenants to benefit from it early. Staff members from the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) are here to talk about how they have completed the project rapidly and share with us the architectural design features of the market.Building a temporary public market for the convenience of residentsIt was announced in The Chief Executive’s 2018 Policy Address that the Government planned to spare space at the section of Tin Fuk Road next to Tin Shui Wai MTR Station for building a new public market. Considering that it would usually take six to seven years to build a permanent public market, the Government announced in October 2019 that a temporary public market would be built at the open space of Tin Sau Road Park so that the public could have an additional option for purchasing fresh food before the completion of the new public market. Construction started at the outbreak of the epidemicSenior Project Manager of the ArchSD, Mr Chan King-tak, Alfred, says that to expedite the completion of the FEHD Skylight Market, the Food and Health Bureau, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) and the ArchSD collaborated in various aspects, including the coordination over the layout arrangement of the market and tackling of technical and environmental difficulties, so as to meet the operational needs of the Market. When the contractor commenced the construction in January last year, it was at a time that coincided with the first wave of the outbreak of COVID-19. Construction materials were in short supply due to temporary closure of factories in Mainland China. The project team responded promptly and rearranged the construction procedures flexibly while the contractor liaised closely with suppliers for contingency measures. He says he is grateful to have such an efficient team that could complete the project within a designated period despite the pandemic. Completion for commissioning in about a yearRegarding the construction, Senior Architect of the ArchSD, Mr Tsang Wai-lun, says that a market usually takes about six to seven years from planning to completion. However, to cope with the community demand for a public market to be completed as soon as possible, the department adopted Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) to have most of the modules prefabricated in a factory before their transportation to the site for installation. For the main canopy, Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) was applied to avoid wet trades with cement on-site. An up-stand foundation design was adopted to minimise excavation, reduce construction time and facilitate construction. As a result, the market took only a year for completion and commissioning. Meticulous architectural designThe project team has been meticulous in the design. Architect of the ArchSD, Mr Lo Yee-cheung, Adrian, tells us that with an aim to strike a balance among aesthetics, functionality and comfort, the design focused on natural ventilation and lighting. The high headroom central corridor with openings on its two sides allow daylight to enter the market. Not only can it reduce energy consumption of lighting but can also block direct sunlight for better comfort of users. Besides, the linear layout of the market promotes cross ventilation and brings coolness and comfort. The pitched roof design copes with the rainy weather in Hong Kong and is good for draining.Creating more entrances/exits to enhance accessibilityWith 36 fixed stalls and four temporary stalls, the Skylight Market offers 40 stalls in total. The market has wide pedestrian passages and provides barrier-free facilities. Besides the main entrances/exits located on the east and west sides of the market, there are four secondary entrances/exits to facilitate access from the park, nearby residential buildings or transportation nodes. Greening and benches are provided on both sides of the building for the public especially the elderly to take a rest after shopping. The soft wood tone of the market and the theme colours of the ceiling – blue, orange and green, echo with the fresh food sold by the stalls. Bringing technology into the communityFurthermore, to help the public feel at ease shopping at the market amid the epidemic, the project team has specially introduced new technologies in collaboration with the Nano and Advanced Materials Institute (NAMI) and innovation and technology companies of the Hong Kong Science Park. For example, anti-fouling and anti-bacterial ceramic panels have been installed between stalls, “nano-coating” technology has been applied to ventilation areas to reduce dust accumulation, and smart litter recycling machines have also been installed. Other than bringing technology into the community, the market has, by providing a testing ground, also helped promote the development of innovative technologies in Hong Kong.Popular with tenants and residentsThe market has been running smoothly since its opening. Miss Lam, a vegetable vendor of the market, says that the market has the most customers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The comfortable environment of the market has attracted many local residents to visit it. After doing business for a week, she already has many regular customers. Mr Chan, a vendor selling dry goods (figures), says that as the market is clean and tidy, parents would shop at the market with their children. His stall started running during the Christmas holidays, so business was quite good. Mrs Leung, a local resident, says that as the market has a good variety of goods and is at a convenient location, she will come shopping again for daily necessities. Markets are one of the main outlets where residents purchase fresh food. Leading the project team, colleagues from the ArchSD have overcome difficulties and challenges brought about by the epidemic to give the market a good design. Also, by collaborating whole-heartedly with various departments, they have completed the project within a short time to provide convenience for members of the public. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

[Construction Industry] The Intermediate Tradesman Collaborative Training Scheme (4/8 Recruitment Day)

The Intermediate Tradesman Collaborative Training Scheme (ITCTS) follows "First-hire-then-train" approach. Trainees are first employed by the employer, then they will receive an initial training provided by the CIC with up to HK$10,200/month allowance. After the initial training, trainees will undergo on-site training provided by the employer. During on-site training period, trainees can get at least HK$13,400 monthly salary. At the end of training, trainees are required to take the relevant Intermediate Trade Test (ITT) / Certification Test provided by the CIC. Trainees who pass the ITT / Certification Test will be awarded a one-off bonus of HK$10,000. >>> Intermediate Tradesman Collaborative Training Scheme Recruitment Day (4 August) <<< Mode of Training- Initial training provided by CIC- On-site training provided by the employerEntry Requirement- Aged 18 or above; and- Hong Kong residents and have permit to work in Hong Kong; and- For those who have not taken the below courses within one year:(i) Full-time Short Course/Enhanced Construction Manpower Training Scheme (ECMTS) offered by Construction Industry Council (CIC) or Hong Kong Institute of Construction (HKIC);or(ii) Other full-time training courses offered by CIC or HKIC or other training bodies funded by CIC or HKIC;or- For those who have not taken CIC’s or HKIC's Technician programmes within two years.- To ensure the optimal use of training places, holders of trade test or intermediate trade test qualification are not eligible to participate in the Scheme of relevant trades.Employers may have other requirements. The applicant may consult the employer directly.Enquiry: 2100 9000 For details, please visit Construction Industry Council website or the Year 2021 Recruitment Day Schedule for "Intermediate Tradesman Collaborative Training Scheme" (ITCTS).   Here below is the sharing of students from Hong Kong Institute of Construction. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)

[Intangible Cultural Heritage] 360° video on Bamboo Theatre Building Technique

Intangible Cultural Heritage Promotional Videos ProjectThe Intangible Cultural Heritage Office and the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong co-organised the “Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Heritage Promotional Videos Project” in 2019. Through this project, students have produced 7 sets 360-degree virtual reality videos and documentaries for introducing local intangible cultural heritage (ICH) items. Under the guidance of instructors, students seized the opportunity to have close contact with local ICH items, interact directly with ICH bearers, as well as to conduct video recordings of the activities by themselves, so as to deepen their understanding of each of the ICH items. Let’s enjoy their works together! For more about Intangible Cultural Heritage, please visit the website of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office.

Architectural features of Che Kung Temple Sports Centre

Located at Sha Tin Tau Road, easily accessible from the nearby MTR Che Kung Temple Station and Chun Shek Bus Terminus, a new sports centre, Che Kung Temple Sports Centre, has just opened for public use since 17 September 2020. A lot of thought has been put into the design of this new sports centre. In particular, architects have deliberately broken the tradition of adopting an all-indoor layout for sports centres. Instead, with transparent layering, the indoor and outdoor areas are connected to integrate with the surrounding landscape. Apart from offering a wide range of recreation and sports facilities, the centre also provides a comfortable place full of nature for neighbourhood residents to hang out and take a break in. Connect different facilities with a layered layoutUnlike traditional sports centres, the Che Kung Temple Sports Centre has adopted a layered layout to maximise the sense of spaciousness. Senior Architect of the ArchSD, Mr LEUNG Kin-hong, Donald, says to us that corridors and staircases are built throughout the premises to enable visitors to easily access different floors, facilities, courtyards and terraces, and to encourage interactions among users. For example, large-size glass panels are used in the children’s playroom on the ground floor to let in the views of the forecourt; at the same time, one can see the indoor corridor and other activity rooms through the high windows on the other side, the visual connection among the three areas gives a sense of spaciousness, openness and brightness. Moreover, the architects deliberately do away with air-conditioning in all open access to promote natural ventilation and also let in sunlight, thereby protecting the environment and reducing electricity consumption. Letting in sunshine and natural sceneryThe sports centre is located in a peaceful environment with a backdrop of the mountains. Taking advantage of the natural setting, the project team has adopted floor-to-ceiling transparent glass panels to let in natural views to various indoor areas. The design focuses on brightness and transparency to give a more open view, breaking the tradition of adopting an all-indoor layout for sports centres in Hong Kong. Besides the trees specially planted by the project team in the atrium, the natural light coming in through the glass ceiling also creates a natural and comfortable environment. Different materials for indoor and outdoor areas to give different feelingsThe Che Kung Temple Sports Centre is the seventh public indoor sports centre in Sha Tin District, and provides facilities including a multi-purpose arena, which can serve as two basketball courts or two volleyball courts or eight badminton courts; a dance room; an activity room; a table tennis room; a fitness room; and a children's play room. Architect of the ArchSD, Mr SUEN Chun-sing, says that different finishes materials are used in indoor and outdoor areas to give people distinctly different feelings. Fair-faced concrete is mostly applied to the façades to give a natural and raw feeling. On the contrary, wooden and warm-coloured materials are used mainly on the walls and floors of the arena to create a relatively warm environment. An oasis in the citySince the commissioning of the facilities and public spaces of the Che Kung Temple Sports Centre, it has become neighbourhood residents’ go-to place for exercise and rest. I believe that users will be able to feel the sense of nature and comfort offered by the premises, green landscapes and surrounding scenery while using the various facilities. As colleagues of the ArchSD say, it is hoped that the new sports centre will become not just a sports centre serving the local residents, but also an oasis in the city. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Technical Officer and Survey Officer (Quantity)

Drawn by the Technical Officer, the working drawing is an essential part of a construction project. Comprising the design concepts of the Architect and the Landscape Architect, etc., the drawing provides the building contractor with the blueprint for carrying out the project. To be a Technical Officer, one should have a keen interest in architectural design and basic knowledge of computer graphics. Meticulous attention to detail and accurate calculation skills are also conducive to more efficient handling of tasks related to the working drawing. Upon receipt of the working drawing, the Survey Officer (Quantity) will begin to produce the bills of quantities, estimating the materials and human resources required in order to prepare the tender documents. To be a Survey Officer (Quantity), one should have a quick mind, sensitivity to numbers and the ability to read architectural drawings. Organisation chart

Site Supervisor

Once the building contractor has won the tender, the Site Supervisor will start work at the construction site. He or she will ensure that the project complies with the contractual specifications and that construction follows the construction plan.He or she will also have to ensure that, throughout the project, the building contractor fully complies with the environmental protection and safety regulations in force.To avoid project delays, the Site Supervisor must also monitor work progress and report to the construction team on a regular basis.Discipline is particularly important for a Site Supervisor, who has little margin for error in his or her monitoring task in order to achieve the highest possible project standards. Owing to its site-bound nature, the job is more suitable for those who enjoy working outdoors. Good communication skills are also required to help resolve disputes among workers. Organisation chart

Structural Engineer

In case of highly imaginative architectural designs, the Structural Architect will, through precise mechanics calculations, ensure compliance with safety standards and retain aesthetic value. For example, owing to the large-span curved roof and column-free design of the Ma On Shan indoor sports centre, coupled with other environmental constraints, it finally took a series of design adjustments to fix the problems. To be a Structural Architect, one should not only be well versed in physics and mathematics, but also have meticulous logical thinking ability. What’s most important is the determination to solve problems. Organisation chart

Quantity Surveyor

Once a building design is finalised, the Quantity Surveyor will get to working out a budget and the financial arrangements for the building project right away. Then the tender documents will be drafted for the building contractor to bid for the project. Once construction is under way, the Quantity Surveyor will check if the building contractor’s accounts are in order and make recommendations where appropriate until the end of the building project. On completion of the project, the Quantity Surveyor will check and settle the accounts, and make sure that the project has been carried out according to contract. He or she will also have to mediate in any contractual disputes. Since a Quantity Survey’s job involves a huge amount of data and contractual terms, he or she must be meticulous, thorough and well-organised in his or her work. In handling contractual disputes, he or she must be patient, has good communication skills, and demonstrate fair judgement and integrity. Organisation chart

Maintenance Surveyor

Buildings in Hong Kong generally last for 30 to 40 years. They owe their lasting looks to Maintenance Surveyors who have done a good job in keeping up proper maintenance and repair. Whenever the need arises, a Maintenance Surveyor is ready to perform a “body check” on a building to find out what’s wrong and, with the right solution to every problem, carry out the maintenance and repair work. Under special circumstances, such as when it’s necessary to revitalise an old building by changing its use, the Maintenance Surveyor will perform a major overhaul on the building by installing modern and safety facilities to comply with the legal and new-use requirements. The job of a Maintenance Surveyor is more suitable for those interested in buildings. In view of the possibility of all sorts of construction problems, practitioners should be determined to come up with solutions to the problems. Organisation chart

Landscape Architect

While Hong Kong is often referred to as a concrete jungle, environmental greening is the way to go. In view of this, the job of the Landscape Architect is becoming increasingly important. A Landscape Architect’s job is to plan and design an outdoor space in harmony with nature as well as a green, beautiful and sustainable environment for a building project. Take Wetland Park for example. The Landscape Architect has incorporated elements of eco-conservation into its design to create an outdoor public space as well as a perfect place for bird watching. To become a Landscape Architect of The Architectural Services Department, one should have creativity, aesthetic and spatial sense, keen awareness of and curiosity about the surrounding environment, as well as basic knowledge of ecological and heritage conservation. One also has to be equipped with good communication skills to work with the project team in order to build a high-quality green environment. Organisation chart

Building Services Engineer

The design and maintenance of the necessities of life in a modernised building, such as daily provision of water and electricity, elevator and air-conditioning services, as well as emergency fire and security systems, are the responsibilities of the Building Services Engineer. To meet today’s requirements, it is also necessary for the Building Services Engineer to address the need for environmental protection. While saving money on water and electricity bills, however, he or she must also try to minimise inconveniences to the users. Building Services Engineers have also begun using energy-saving light bulbs, solar and wind power generating facilities, etc., to fulfil the needs of both modern living and environmental protection. Since it is a Building Services Engineer’s job to design the right equipment for a building, he or she should have strong organisational skills, a logical mind, and profound knowledge in science to properly evaluate various requirements, for example, the electrical system requirements. He or she should also have the drive for innovation to satisfy the needs of modern living. Organisation chart

Architect

In addition to the exterior, space and functions of a building, harmony with the surrounding environment and compliance with relevant building regulations are also part and parcel of the equation. Hence various fields of expertise, including aesthetics, engineering, management and law, are brought to bear by the Architect throughout the entire process. The use of innovative softwares, e.g., 3D interior design programmes, has greatly facilitated the work of an Architect. To be an Architect, one should be gifted at drawing and able to draw one’s architectural designs. Moreover, one should have a deep understanding of the surrounding environment and cultural matters, sensitivity to space and colours, and creativity in order to design buildings for better living. Organisation chart

First Modular Integrated Construction residential project

As technology advances, the construction industry continues to upgrade with the times to make the building process faster and safer. Hong Kong’s first public works project adopting Modular Integrated Construction (MiC), is the Disciplined Services Quarters for the Fire Services Department at Pak Shing Kok, Tseung Kwan O. It is also the first residential project constructed with this innovative construction technology under the co-operation of the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and a contractor.Innovative construction methods bringing multiple benefitsInterior fitting out takes place after the completion of the building structural frame in conventional construction, which requires more workers and longer construction time, and generates more substantial construction wastage on sites. MiC, on the contrary, adopts the concept of “factory assembly followed by on-site installation”, where a building is divided into freestanding modules and the labour-intensive and time-consuming process can be accomplished in a factory before the modules are transported to the site for installation like piling up building blocks. In this manner, it not only minimises the duration of works on site, but also enhances productivity, site safety, environmental performance and cost-effectiveness. One may say that MiC brings multiple benefits.The project of the Disciplined Services Quarters for the Fire Services Department at Pak Shing Kok, Tseung Kwan O, comprises five quarters blocks, among which four have 16 storeys and one has 17 storeys. With 8 units on each floor, the quarters will provide 648 three-bedroom units of 50 square metres. The Director of Architectural Services, Mrs LAM YU Ka-wai, Sylvia, says the project commenced in August in 2019 and the construction process has been accelerated due to the adoption of MiC. The contractor expects the project to be completed by the end of 2020, earlier than the contractual completion date of the second quarter of 2021. Interior finishes and fittings completedThe development consists of about 3 800 modules commonly known as “boxes”. Each box has had most of its finishes, interior fittings, fixtures, etc, assembled ahead in the factory. According to Project Manager Ms AU Siu-man, Amy, of the ArchSD, more than 10 percent of the boxes have been installed at the construction site so far. Block Two, the tallest among the five blocks, has had four storeys installed. She says that the department consulted with the Water Supplies Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and the Fire Services Department regarding the project’s inspection and acceptance standards at the end of last year. Between June and July in 2019, a visit was conducted by the ArchSD and related departments to the contractor’s factory on the mainland to inspect the assembly of the boxes, and to ensure their safe transportation. The process of lifting a module and fitting it to a designated spot, taking only about 15 minutes to complete the entire process. Inside the unit , some essential fittings, partitions and fixtures (such as floor tiles, window grilles, a bathtub, a washbasin, kitchen cabinets and plumbing works) were already in place. Walls had also been painted or paved with tiles.Five days to assemble a storeyThe contractor’s Project Director, Mr NGAN Siu-tak, Emil, says that more than 80 percent of the interior fitting-out processes are completed in a prefabrication yard. The fitting of the modules to the building calls for precise calculations. It takes about five working days to assemble each floor, and 30 minutes to install a module. Lifting units to higher floors takes around five minutes longer. Setting an example for the construction industryIn recent years, the Government has proactively adopted MiC in various public works, with pilot projects including the InnoCell of the Hong Kong Science Park and the Wong Chuk Hang student hostel project of the University of Hong Kong. The second MiC project of the ArchSD, i.e. the Construction of a Multi-welfare Services Complex in Area 29 of Kwu Tung North New Development Area, will commence this month. It is hoped that by piloting the MiC technology in public projects, the Government can set an example for the construction industry and give practitioners greater confidence to use MiC in their projects. In the long run, it is hoped that through this construction technology, which is relatively new to Hong Kong, the industry will overcome severe challenges such as high costs and labour shortages they have been facing in recent years, and together we will promote the sustainable development of the construction sector. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Construction Industry Outstanding Young Person - Tenacity through adversity

Construction Industry Council organises the “Construction Industry Outstanding Young Person Award 2021”  (CIOYPA) with the aims to recognize and honour the achievements of young practitioners who have excelled themselves in their own career, and also contribute to the betterment of the construction industry and the community at large. It is believed that the Award will inspire fellow practitioners and young people as a whole to strive for excellence and pursuing accomplishment, thereby making Hong Kong a better home.The Award will recognise outstanding practitioners engaged in the 3 major categories in the construction industry.- Design and Management (e.g. Engineer, Architect, Planner, Surveyor, Safety Officer, Supervisor, etc.)- Frontline Construction Personnel (Registered Construction Workers, e.g. Registered Skilled Worker, Registered Semi-skilled worker etc.)- Business, Academic and Others (People who engage in business operations, e.g. Developers, Contractors, Subcontractors, Suppliers; OR People who engage in academic activities, e.g. Professors, Instructors etc.) *Please visit their official website for details. Tenacity through adversity - Outstanding Young Person Award WinnersIn time of unpredicatable epidemic, CIOYPA Winners have empowered people and changed their operation modes to combat the epidemic.Expert Decorator - Mr. Will KWOKFrontline Construction Personnel     (The videos are broadcasted in Cantonese) In addition to being a talented painter, Will is also great at putting together complex machinery. During the coronavirus epidemic, he did his part for society by leading a team of colleagues to help a local mask manufacturer set up a production line. Truly an inspiration!   Senior Project Manager - Cr Michael WONGDesign and Management     Although construction progress has slowed to a crawl, Michael knows as a Project Manager, it is now more important than ever to protect the health of his employees, bring leadership, and to never abandon one’s spirit for self-improvement. For details, please visit the Construction Industry Council website.

A different school design

A comfortable learning environment is crucial to the development of our students, and a people-oriented school design would create a pleasant atmosphere that encourages exploration and interaction among children on the campus. Here we will take you on a tour of the Po Leung Kuk Stanley Ho Sau Nan Primary School, another project undertaken by the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) in the Kai Tak Development Area (KTDA), to learn more about the effort put into the project, from planning, design to completion. We will also see how architects have thought out of the box and worked hard to create an ideal campus for the students.Unlike the traditional school buildings, the Po Leung Kuk Stanley Ho Sau Nan Primary School adopts a low-rise 4-storey design, with the basketball court “innovatively” accommodated on the first floor in the middle of the school campus, thus creating a focal point that brings students, classrooms and outdoor spaces all together. In keeping with the concept of sustainable development of the KTDA, the campus has incorporated many green elements. For example, the facades are built with fair-faced concrete to reduce the need for extra finishing materials, and vertical greening is supported by timber and metal screen panels and sunshades to lessen the electricity burden for air-conditioning and create a natural and comfortable setting for the campus. Site-specific design approach      Integration into the communityAs the school is surrounded by residential blocks and highways nearby, the design team has adopted a site-specific design approach to make good use of the surrounding environment. There is a small square outside the school entrance that can be used as a waiting area for parents to pick up and drop off their children. In addition, the architects have used low fence walls instead of high walls to remove the sense of isolation of the campus from the outside. With a higher level of visual permeability, the school can integrate better into the community. Furthermore, in terms of layout, the school and its neighbouring SKH Holy Cross Primary School have been setback from the tall buildings across the road in order to create a sense of spaciousness, facilitate ventilation and help reduce the impact of road traffic noise. As the two schools are separated only by plants, this cleverly designed communal garden can serve to strengthen their connections.Ingenious layout      Connectivity between spatial areasThe Director of Architectural Services, Mrs LAM YU Ka-wai, Sylvia, pointed out that the design team had maintained close communication and interaction with the school when designing the campus in the hope of creating an ideal school environment together. I know that the campus has been built using the design concept of traditional walled villages. Colleagues told me that while a walled village has an ancestral hall and a study hall, the school has an assembly hall, a library and classrooms , all of which housed in three building blocks surrounding the ball court in the centre and linked up together using corridors, gardens and link bridges. The stairs lead to various spatial areas and connect the many functional spaces to one another. All these arrangements can shorten distances, encourage interaction and create an atmosphere of a small community within the school campus. Substantial greening      Building with heartThe greening ratio of the school reaches 30% with green terraces and roofs on various levels. On the day of our visit, several students told us that their favourite place in school is the library with its luxuriant lawn outside exuding an air of tranquility. The floor-to-ceiling glass panels at the entrance of the library are another distinctive feature, which, according to the design team, is intended to link up the indoor and outdoor spaces. This not only brings the natural landscape into the library for an enhanced sense of visual permeability and spaciousness, but also takes school activities outdoors for expanded learning spaces. Students can pick up a book and go outside to sit on the lawn, which makes their reading experience more pleasurable.Regarding construction materials, the school uses metal frames, timber screen panels and steel fences to create a variety of spatial areas with different levels of visual permeability. Large-sized floor-to-ceiling glass panels are used for classroom windows on all floors to let in more daylight and increase the sense of spaciousness. Green plants such as bamboo are specially planted outside some classroom windows not only to function as screens and provide shelter from the scorching sun, but also, according to the school principal, Ms KAM Yim-mui, to create a serene, relaxed and cultural environment on the campus to help cultivate students’ moral character. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)  (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Right Tree, Right Place

When you look at the trees in the street, your attention is often only focused on the tree forms, whether they have beautiful flowers or cause any obstruction to the traffic and pedestrian flow, etc. In fact, you may not realise that the selection of tree species for street planting involves a lot of knowledge as every tree species has its unique “character”, and on top of that, they have to grow in the dense and compact city of Hong Kong. Thus, there are a series of considerations behind the decision.Capability to withstand different roadside conditionsThe Government has been striving to create a quality environment for urban planting to enrich vegetation diversity and enhance the outdoor environs, so as to provide outdoor spaces for public enjoyment. In this connection, the Greening, Landscape, and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau (DEVB) commissioned a consultancy study to provide a reference for selecting suitable tree species for different types of streets in Hong Kong. The GLTMS has completed and issued the Street Tree Selection Guide (the Guide). Here we have invited a landscape architect of the DEVB to introduce the details of the Guide and talk about the considerations in selecting tree species for the streets of Hong Kong. Recommendation on vegetation diversity in tree plantingCurrently, there are only around 20 species of trees planted at roadsides in the urban areas of Hong Kong, which account for about half of our urban trees. However, low diversity in the species planted is making our urban forests more vulnerable to outbreaks of pests and diseases and diminishes soil quality, consequently leading to higher maintenance pressure. The DEVB’s Landscape Architect (Greening and Landscape), Mr CHEUNG Ka-wai, Allen, says that the purpose of the Guide is to explore the possibility of planting a greater diversity of species and encourage the planting of suitable native species to improve the resilience of Hong Kong's urban forests through promotion of vegetation diversity under the "right tree, right place" principle, with a view to improving ecological health and minimising tree risks. Simply put, the width of pedestrian paths, soil volume, distribution of underground utilities and pipes, upper ground space, air flow, sunlight, etc. may affect the planting and growth of trees. Also, different tree characteristics such as buttress roots, forms and sizes may affect the selection of suitable planting locations. Therefore, the Guide provides a reference for government departments and industry stakeholders in selecting street tree species.To enable the public to have a better understanding of the tree species introduced in the Guide and the importance of selecting trees with essential attributes suitable for street environments, Mr Allen CHEUNG talks to us about some tree species suitable for street planting. One example is Xanthostemon chrysanthus, also known as Golden Penda. When Golden Penda blooms, the stamens will form a ball shape and the flowers are in bright colours. Its nectar provides food for wild animals. Most importantly, it has essential attributes suitable for the street environments in Hong Kong. For example, it can tolerate roadside pollution, less prone to pests and diseases, and is wind and drought tolerance. Preparing for more frequent extreme weatherTo address the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather conditions due to climate change, and to meet the challenges brought by ageing street trees, we need to make our urban forest more resilient and adaptable to enable sustainable development. Super Typhoon Mangkhut has caused extensive damage to our tree stock when it hit Hong Kong in 2018, but it also opens up opportunity for planting at the same time. After clearing the tree debris, various departments will carefully inspect the extent of damage of the planting sites and related areas. Trees will be replanted only if it is feasible and suitable to do so. To provide a better growing environment for the new trees, the number of trees to be replanted will depend on the sites’ condition. For example, trees will not be replanted on steep slopes (35 degrees or steeper) to safeguard public safety. Besides, departments will not indiscriminately pursue quantity or blindly follow the compensatory planting ratio of 1:1. Furthermore, departments will examine the feasibility of expanding the size of existing tree pits and study the potential of linking the soil volume below the pedestrian paths before replanting trees.Dedicated tree care and maintenanceAfter selecting suitable tree species, we have to make sure that other aspects of planting are also done properly. For example, tree stock quality, planting standards, and the implementation of associated planting works have to be appropriate. Therefore, we encourage landscape designers and departments to widely apply the Guide when replacing and planting street trees.As proper selection of tree species is only the first step and the work that comes afterwards is very important, departments will pay great attention to the maintenance of trees. Through routine maintenance and management, including regular yearly tree risk assessment, timely inspections and appropriate pruning, we can minimise the risks posed by trees to the public and their property. Moreover, our urban forest will grow healthily and sustainably. (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Landscape Architect

Have you ever wondered about the various landscape designs that are concealed in the streets and buildings we walk past every day? As enthusiasts of nature and design, Irene and Jason chose to become landscape architects at the Development Bureau for one goal: to promote health and environment protection and develop a green city. In addition to taking care of plants and flowers, landscape architects also need to know how to balance citizens’ livelihoods with urban planning while also taking account of the mode of operation of various departments. Furthermore, they must consider the impact that the passage of time has on the environment. The work of a landscape architect is rather challenging because each and every plant or tree should be carefully considered. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page