24 May 2016

Green Roofs in CUHK



Dear Colleagues and Students,

To allay rising concerns in the campus community over the safety of the green roofs on campus, we are writing to give an overview of our various green facilities, and the measures and procedures taken in the construction and maintenance of these facilities.

The University has been committed to developing a sustainable and pleasant campus through various green initiatives and facilities. The development of green buildings is one of the initiatives that not only provides University members with amenities which have practical uses, but also helps lower indoor temperatures and electricity consumption. As such, various green facilities and activities have been introduced on the rooftops and podiums of certain campus buildings. Throughout the planning and development processes, the standards of these amenities and user safety are always our prime concerns. The Campus Development Office has engaged professional consultants including architects (authorized persons), structural engineers, building services engineers and landscape design specialists to carry out detailed assessment, design and statutory submissions where necessary. In addition, the Estates Management Office carries out regular annual checks and maintenance to ensure the safety of all building structures.

Of the major new campus buildings completed in the past ten years, ten of them have been built with turfed green roofs or podium planters. These ten buildings include An Integrated Teaching Building, Yasumoto International Academic Park podium, University Library Extension, Lee Shau Kee Building carpark, Cheng Yu Tung Building podium and the five new Colleges: S.H. Ho, Morningside, Lee Woo Sing, Wu Yee Sun and C.W. Chu. Green facilities in these buildings formed part of the integrated building design and statutory submissions were made to the Buildings Department by authorized persons to obtain approvals.

The rooftops of some designated buildings or Colleges are available for colleagues and students to experiment with gardening or planting, and some are decorated with artificial green carpets. The Estates Management Office will advise the organizers on the arrangement of these temporary and removable installations according to the designed loading capacity of the roofs.

As an experiment for vertical greening on campus buildings, the University carried out trial projects on the roofs of the metal huts near the Sir Philip Haddon-Cave Sports Field by planting different types of greenery. The trial projects have been completed and the vegetation will be removed in the near future.

CUHK has always maintained standards of good practice to ensure building and user safety, and that annual examinations and maintenance are carried out. In view of the recent issues and concerns about the safety of green roofs, the University will inspect all green roofs and facilities on campus and put the safety of our colleagues and students as our first and foremost priority. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the Estates Management Office at emo@cuhk.edu.hk, or the Campus Development Office at cdo@cuhk.edu.hk.

Fung Tung, Associate Vice-President
Edmond Lam, Director of Estates Management Office
Fung Siu-man, Director of Campus Development Office