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Architect tipped for environment job

Wong Kam-sing, a specialist in green buildings, is expected to increase public’s role in policymaking
Olga Wong and Gary Cheung
May 08, 2012

An experienced architect who specialises in low-carbon buildings is expected to head the Environment Bureau in the new government.

Wong Kam-sing, a core member of the Green Building Council and a key government adviser on rules to stop developers inflating the size of flats through “environmentally friendly improvements”, refused to comment on the job yesterday.

But Wong (pictured) is understood to have been invited by chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying to take up the post, and is expected to increase public involvement in policymaking.

Wong’s possible appointment was welcomed by environmentalists and green activists.

Edwin Lau Che-feng, from Friends of the Earth, has known Wong for about 15 years: “I sought advice from him on a renewable energy project launched in Tai O in the 1990s. He is happy to listen to people and has an international vision.”

Lau said Wong would be a capable secretary who could apply his green vision for architecture on a broader scale. He urged him to use the new government headquarters in Admiralty as an example of cutting energy consumption in buildings.

Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong said: “He’s really an environment-friendly person. But I’m afraid he would face many challenges and would need much more political determination to handle controversial projects like waste incinerators.”

Wong has been a member of the Council for Sustainable Development for several years. Its duties included reviewing controversial building rules that let developers inflate flat sizes by adding environmentally friendly building features.

The review led to a set of objective guidelines to ensure green features added are really environmentally friendly to both residents and the community. Wong worked closely with the development chief Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the likely new chief secretary, on the review.

Wong, who has spoken publicly of his pride at having an electricity bill of “zero” for his home, has been a leading advocate of low-carbon buildings and sustainability.

He teaches at Chinese University, and is director of sustainable design at Ronald Lu & Partners.

Meanwhile, New People’s Party chairwoman and former security minister Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee is understood to have been invited to join the Executive Council. Ip, whose party’s seven Election Committee members voted for Leung to become chief executive, would not comment.


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