Embedding Sustainability into Each Stage of the Project
We attach great importance to every aspect of sustainable development, which can be fully manifested in every stage of project delivery. We set our sights on achieving an optimal balance between creating better infrastructure for the society and attaining sustainable development, ensuring the project meets the overall needs of the current and future communities.
Agriculture and Fisheries
Landscape and Visual
Hazard of Life
First Stage: Planning and Design
When formulating project details, we have consulted relevant stakeholders in a timely manner. Upon understanding the needs and concerns of different parties, we have developed schemes that are beneficial to the community as a whole and technically feasible. For example, the Northern Link project adopts an underground railway alignment and station design, which is more sustainable than the above-ground option as it provides more flexibility for the future use and development of the above-ground lands while posing comparatively fewer impacts on the nearby ecology. The design of the alignment also avoids sharp curvature to maintain the stability of train speed, which in turn reduces the frequency of train braking and restarting, and the associated large electricity consumption. In addition, the stations will incorporate sustainable features such as natural lighting and inclusive designs.
We have also appointed consultants to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Northern Link project per statutory requirements, including assessing the project’s potential impacts at an early stage. Based on recommendations in the EIA and actual needs, we have adopted alternatives or formulated mitigation measures to avoid or minimise possible impacts on nearby communities and the environment, as well as to ensure the project complies with legal requirements.
We are also applying Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology to visualise the internal and external designs of various railway structures under the Northern Link project. This helps us to integrate and provide more accurate construction data, enabling different professionals in the project team to communicate, coordinate and make adjustments to the construction process on the same digital platform, thereby enhancing efficiency and productivity throughout the whole construction cycle.
Second Stage: Railway Construction
According to the requirements of the EIA and Environmental Permit, we are implementing mitigation measures per actual needs and closely monitoring the contractors for their effective implementation of the relevant works. In addition, we also audit and review the effectiveness of the mitigation measures through regular environmental monitoring during the construction period, which includes making use of equipment to monitor the air quality, sound level, water quality, etc., near the construction sites. Appropriate follow-ups are made in response to the monitoring results to ensure all works comply with the relevant statutory requirements and the mitigation measures in place are effective. The associated monitoring data and monthly environmental reports are submitted to relevant government departments such as the EPD and made available for public inspection.
Moreover, we have been communicating with communities and green groups on construction arrangements and responding to their concerns to ensure the works meet their expectations and are beneficial to the long-term development of the communities.
To promote the idea of "Smart Construction Sites", we are actively studying the application of 5G wireless networks, emerging technologies and construction techniques at our construction sites. This helps further enhance industrial safety and construction efficiency. For instance, with "Smart Helmets", the project team can closely monitor the safety and health conditions of the workers. Besides, using portable electronic devices and cameras can enable us to manage and share information more quickly and accurately while reducing paper use. By adopting the Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) and Modular Integrated Construction method (MiC), we can minimise on-site construction processes, including concreting works, to enhance project quality and efficiency. As a result, potential sound, waste, dust, sewage, etc., generated by the works are also reduced, which helps better uphold the principles of sustainable development.
Third Stage: Operation and Maintenance
Upon completion of the construction and service commencement of the Northern Link, passengers will experience the efforts we have made in advancing sustainable development. We are now actively studying and formulating energy-saving strategies for the Northern Link project, which include adopting various energy-efficiency measures in the new stations, trains and railway facilities. For example, the use of high energy-efficiency lighting equipment and air-conditioning systems; applying the Comprehensive Energy Consumption Monitoring System with energy management functions to continuously monitor energy consumption at different levels of railway operations such as that of stations and trains, and carrying out real-time monitoring of energy consumption and effectiveness of energy efficiency improvement initiatives; and adopting the Regenerative Braking System to transform the kinetic energy of a moving train into electric power, which is then fed back to the overhead line for use by other trains.
Besides, we are accelerating digitalisation and the adoption of smart initiatives by using emerging technologies and innovative techniques to enhance efficiency and work quality, which in turn helps us to offer a better travel experience for passengers. For example, we are actively exploring the introduction of Smart Maintenance, Smart Facility Management, Smart Mobility, Smart Commuting systems, etc., in the Northern Link project to realise sustainable development and enhance the public’s quality of life.
Green Building Certification
The Corporation has been striving for excellence in promoting sustainable development, keeping abreast of the latest information and trends for sustainable development in the industry. We are also actively adopting internationally recognised green building standards to extensively integrate sustainable building features into the entire construction cycle of the Northern Link project.
We hope our efforts on sustainable development in the Northern Link project will help enhance project efficiency while reducing carbon emissions and environmental impacts from the railway infrastructure. We will also make contributions to the environment where feasible, supporting Hong Kong’s transition towards a "Zero-Carbon" city.
To demonstrate our commitment to promoting sustainable development, we target to obtain Gold Certification for the Northern Link project at the BEAM Plus assessment, which is a locally developed certification in Hong Kong with international recognition. We promote sustainable development through various aspects such as Integrated Design and Construction Management, Energy Use, Materials and Waste, Water Use, and Innovations and Additions. For instance, we have adopted a low-carbon and environmentally friendly station design. This includes building a new-generation green roof system and using environmentally friendly construction materials. Implementing energy-efficiency measures, enhancing natural lighting and ventilation, as well as introducing renewable energies are also among our initiatives.
As a member of the community, apart from formulating suitable schemes with relatively fewer impacts on the surrounding environment, the Corporation has actively adopted various feasible mitigation measures based on recommendations in the EIA and actual needs throughout the construction, operation and maintenance stages. We aim to avoid or reduce the potential impacts arising from the project on the neighbouring community and the environment as much as possible.
Making Further Efforts for our Future
We have been working with a wide range of suppliers and business partners during project delivery and encouraging them to implement environmental practices within their operations with the purpose of further promoting Sustainable Procurement. Our Green Procurement Policy also incorporates green specifications, such as resource efficiency, recyclability and biodegradability into the decision-making process to further entrench sustainability into the procurement process and extend our sustainability considerations beyond the Corporation.