Toward energy sustainability in Hong Kong : a life-cycle cost analysis case study on low thermal energy transfer envelopes for a mid-rise commercial building
by Zofia Kristina Rybkowski
M.Phil. Civil Engineering
xiv, 102,  leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Within the past two decades, sustainable development, once a concern of fringe focus groups, has been transformed into priority agenda item for policy makers all over the world....[ Read more ]
Within the past two decades, sustainable development, once a concern of fringe focus groups, has been transformed into priority agenda item for policy makers all over the world.
This thesis offers both a broad-brush overview of the topic of sustainable development and a progressively more focused look, first at the environmental science of global warming, then at the socio-political movements of greenhouse gas reduction and energy-saving. These issues are examined at both international and local levels and potential strategies for Hong Kong are explored.
The paper moves on to offer one partial, but practical, solution to the Hong Kong greenhouse gas (GHG) problem---that of saving energy through the implementation of low thermal energy transfer building envelopes. The research employs two dynamic simulation software programs, HTB2 and VisualDOE 3.0, to investigate the economics of potential energy saving in Hong Kong buildings. Results indicate that, with the current state of building technology, reducing radiative thermal transfer is more cost effective than implementing other means of envelope insulation. In all cases, the client is advised to explore opportunities to reduce payback periods. Normatively, utilizing Building Energy Performance Simulations Tools (BEPS) will more accurately predict diminished utility loads that accompany energy saving measures. This may in turn enable appropriate downsizing of MVAC systems--and the reduced capital costs will result in higher returns on investment that would promote earlier and more frequent adoption of sustainable development techniques.