CIBSE YEN Hong Kong trip - Day 3

This week, CIBSE Young Engineers Network (YEN) are in the enviable position of visiting Hong Kong to attend the YEN Conference, as well as meeting fellow engineers and seeing some of the amazing buildings the city has to offer. All week, we will be bringing you blogs and Tweets from the days - which you can see by checking out this page, and by following #YEN15 and #YENHK15 on Twitter.

Here are our Young Engineer's thoughts from Day 3, after a day of field trips to some exciting facilities!

Day 3

Sophie Wing, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
I feel extremely privileged to be able to be a part of CIBSE YEN and have the opportunity to attend the YEN Global Conference Hong Kong 2015. Filled with anticipation prior to arriving in Hong Kong the trip so far has not disappointed, our HK friends have been fantastic hosts and the itinerary has provided excursions, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities, with a lot more to still to come before returning home!

The Young Engineers tour the world's largest casino
for 'research purposes'  ©Jason Smith 
My main driver behind becoming a building services engineer was the opportunity to shape and enhance our built environment and the building users experience; this trip has only fuelled my passion. It is really encouraging to see young and more established engineers in Hong Kong appreciate the whole life cycle of a building and attitude to the installed services post construction to ensure user thermal comfort.

Day 3 involved a high speed ferry to Macau, three islands to the West of Kowloon where we are staying. Macau was a Portuguese oversea territory until 1999 and here there are many casinos.

Guided through the Venetian the largest casino in the world built in 2008 with over 3000 hotel rooms we were all overcome by the scale of the infrastructure and building. 

Due to the extensive 185MW cooling plant it was interesting to learn that the design consultants of the building services systems still kept a presence on site to ensure optimum efficiency and operation of the plant, something that seems invaluable when we strive to a more sustainable approach to design and importance of improving building performance.

Paul Binns, Mitsubishi Electric
As I am currently sat in the airport waiting to meet fellow YEN members I realise that the trip is not just about the destination and what it has to offer. It’s about the shared experience with like-minded young engineers from the international construction industry.

I embarked on my engineering career after completing my engineering degree at Newcastle University. During my studies I realised I had a passion and skill for combining multiple elements of the design process as well collaborative working with other specialists.

After a brief period of work experience in the building services industry I realised that I had found my niche and could work alongside a range of specialists and feel part of the changes that the buildings I work on have on the collective.

President elect John Field addresses the conference
I have been part of the Yorkshire YEN for many years after getting involved whilst working at AECOM. I enjoy organising local events/seminars. Such events help the local YEN member’s network and gain experience. There are many social benefits from the role including having multiple contacts to discuss any designs queries that I am working on.

This trip for me will see the start of my period as local chair. The trip feels like a reward for past efforts and giving my time to the industry and CIBSE. It also feels like the start of a new chapter in my career.

As part of the visit we are due to gain a better understanding of how the UK and HK do business. This is of particular interest as the UK strengthens its political relationship with China. I am also intrigued with how HK using district systems to its advantage. This ties in well with DECC’s water source heat map. I think the UK has a lot of potential to increase utilisation these types of networks and benefit from the heat recovery. 

Young Engineer Elie Choufani visits the market in Macau ©Elie Choufani  
With the global increase in BIM and focus on building whole life cycles I am interesting in the HK approach and lessons that I can learn and apply to my role. As we visit various sites I want to see how the facilities managers approach the day to day running of the systems and energy usage.   

As well as a lesson in Kung Fu I think I will also gain and insight into Chinese culture and the global role of CIBSE. With the shared experience and knowledge gained I also hope that this visit also paves the way for future generations to visit and explore parts of CIBSE family.

Carla Bartholemew, Arup and Graham Stewart, Arup
There were 13 enormous chillers in a plant room which was apparently the biggest in Asia. The size of them was based on 52000 tonnes (of refrigerant) which equates to about 180 Megawatts of cooling energy. They consumed 40% of the building's electrical energy load, which in turn was 90% of the entire site's energy load. 

Although it was an absolutely incredible building architecturally, and they were utilising waste heat from heat pumps to heat domestic hot water systems (which I assume, as they have 3000 rooms, will be a lot of showers worth), the building was incredibly, incredibly energy intensive. To give an idea of scale, their energy bills were $3,000,000 per annum, though admittedly they did not specify whether these were Hong Kong dollars or American.


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