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19 Jan 2010
Swire Properties and Tsinghua University Jointly Establish Building Energy Efficiency Research Fund

Swire Properties ("SPL") and Building Energy Research Centre of Tsinghua University ("THU") jointly announce today the establishment of Research Fund for Building Energy Efficiency: Integrated Design and Management (the "IDM Fund"). Mr Gordon Ongley, SPL's Chief Executive Officer - Mainland China and Academician Jiang Yi, Head of THU Building Energy Research Centre, officiated the signing ceremony.

SPL has for many years been committed to improving the energy efficiency of its property portfolio. With the Company's rapid development in China, energy-saving technology that is applicable to the local projects has become an important factor for advancing sustainable development. THU Building Energy Research Centre, being the leading research body on building energy efficiency in the PRC, shares the same vision with SPL and together will establish the IDM Fund on "Integrated Design and Whole-process Management of High Efficiency Buildings." Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, SPL will offer initial funding of up to HK$2.5 million per annum for three years starting from 2010 for the research fund, which will help build channels for collaboration and promote integrated design concept in the industry.

"We are honoured to join hands with THU again on this second research fund," said Mr Ongley at the ceremony. "Through this further collaboration, Swire Properties' long-term commitment to environmental protection will be extended to our development projects in China. We look forward to sharing our research findings and achievements with the industry."

Under the IDM Fund, the research will be conducted in three of SPL's projects in the PRC: for the operating centre in Beijing, Sanlitun Village, energy efficiency will be improved by introducing relevant green features such as solar energy facilities and through enhancing natural light to the below ground levels. Studies will be undertaken at the Jiang Tai Project in Beijing and TaiKoo Hui in Guangzhou, which are currently under design and construction. The research findings will enable informed decisions to be taken to ensure energy efficient solutions in respect of projects' overall design thereby setting higher energy saving targets to guide the future operation and maintenance.

Academician Jiang presented the keynote speech and said: "This IDM Fund collaboration with Swire Properties will allow us to explore advanced and practical approaches for building energy efficiency, by applying integrated design and management solutions to the whole building lifecycle, from design and construction, to project completion and operation in the long run."

The first research fund between two parties was set up in March 2008, at an annual funding of HK$1 million for three consecutive years. The research was conducted in Swire Properties' large-scale shopping mall in Hong Kong and a total energy saving of 9 million kWh electricity was achieved in the last two years, which is equivalent to a reduction of 6,300 tonnes carbon dioxide emission or the annual carbon dioxide absorption of 400,000 trees.

Professor Yuan Si, Vice Principal of THU and Professor Zhu Wenyi, Dean of School of Architecture of THU expressed gratitude to Swire Properties for its support to the University's building energy efficiency research, while the establishment of the research fund has received recognition from Mr Liang Junqiang, Deputy Director of Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and Mr Wu Desheng, Deputy Director Commissioner of the National Committee of HVAC and former President of Beijing Institute of Architectural Design.

Following the signing ceremony, Mr KS Wong and Mr Colin Chung from Hong Kong, Professor Zhu Yingxin and Deputy Professor Wei Qingpeng from THU, shared the latest research achievements at the academic seminar attended by more than 150 government, academic and industry representatives.

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About the IDM Fund

Whole building research consists of two components: using an integrated design approach combined with an integrated management process. The integrated design and management asks all the members involved in the construction of a building, from those in charge of the design and construction of a building (building owners, developers, architects, engineers, etc.) to the people who will occupy or work in the building (homeowners, tenants, maintenance personnel, etc.) to work as a team to look at the technical planning, design, and construction of the building before it is designed, constructed and commissioned to predict and correct problems earlier.

This process differs from the traditional method of building construction not only because it uses a "design team" to make all the design decisions rather than a single person but also because it relies on the input from an energy analyst and others on the design team to ensure that the building meets its energy savings and environmental impact goals. The building's individual components, i.e. windows, walls, HVAC systems, building orientation, etc. act as a "whole system" rather than separate elements combination.

A group of researchers led by Professor Jiang Yi of Tsinghua University (THU) has developed their own simulation tool, DeST (Designer Simulation Toolkit) since 1980. The group had initiated integrated design research by participating in building design evaluation of the National Center for Performing Arts, the National Aquatics Center, New CCTV Tower, Terminal 3 of the Beijing International Airport with the help of DeST for simulation. The research development is in line with the PRC strategies for building energy conservation.

Following the establishment of the Fund, representatives from both parties will meet on a regular basis to study and apply research results and experiences to add synergy to the collaboration. The Fund would be jointly managed by Swire Properties and THU on a yearly basis and to be reviewed every six months.