FuturArc Prize 2024 Juror Highlight: Dr Tony Ip
January 26, 2024
Dr Tony Ip is a community-centric, sustainable design architect and urban designer. He has a flair for multi-disciplinary practices, with an academic background spanning architecture; civil, structural and geotechnical engineering; to a doctorate in philosophy. Aside from serving on various advisory boards and committees, he acts as a council member of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and is the Immediate Past Chairman of Hong Kong Architecture Centre.
“There is no Green architecture, only architecture for Green living”, states Tony Ip Green Architects (TiP) on their website. The practice advocates for Green architecture and a biophilic ‘urbanscape’ in response to climate change, with projects across various scales in Hong Kong and beyond. The office also strives to operate sustainably, measuring their environmental impact and management through yearly reports that are in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. Read below for a highlight of projects by TiP that utilise an array of Green technologies.
Construction Industry Council (CIC) Zero-Carbon Building (ZCB)
The ZCB is Hong Kong’s first zero-carbon building, serving an education and research centre that also houses the office of CIC. Completed in 2012, it aimed to showcase the latest low-carbon building technologies and has become a benchmark till today for sustainable construction. In 2018–2020, TiP conducted renovation works that included the multipurpose hall, eco-plaza and the eco-café canopy.
According to the CIC, the building generates on-site renewable energy from photovoltaic panels and a tri-generation system, which uses biofuel made of waste cooking oil. It also exports surplus energy to offset the embodied carbon during its construction process and its materials used. Its design encompasses active and passive systems, alongside landscaping, microclimate and water management.
Heat Sink: Bio-engineering for high rises
“The higher we live from the ground level, the more disconnected we feel from the natural environment and the community,” wrote TiP to describe the impetus behind this installation. Compared with people residing away from the metropolitan area, urban dwellers lack personal and open space, and may seek to escape the hustle and bustle of city living.
In pursuit of environmental sustainability, Heat Sink presents how advanced bio-engineering, nanotechnology and renewable technology can mitigate green-house gas emission, alleviate urban heat-island effect and improve outdoor environmental quality. It was installed at Construction Innovation Expo 2019 and The Mills, a revitalised cotton mill.
The installation includes air improvement photovoltaics (AIPV) that utilise nanotechnology to generate power while decomposing PM2.5 particles and organic airborne pollutants. Aside from having self-cleansing properties, the transparent PV panel can be used for skylights. Furthermore, plants help cool the spaces even more—the greenery was selected for their resilience including: Axonopus compressus that can be used for walkable green roofs; Chamaedorea elegans and Schefflera arboricola that were used for the vertical garden with a built-in no-ponding irrigation system.
Urban Forestry Education Centre: Adaptive use of an undesignated space
TiP, in collaboration with B+G Design Co. Ltd., conducted architectural and sustainable design consultancy services for this environmental education centre in Sham Shui Po. It makes use of an ‘unused’ location underneath the elevated road at Yen Chow Street West, which presented site constraints due to the highway structure, drainage reserve area and waterwork reserve area. The design has been named a finalist in Green Building Award 2021 and aims to receive the BEAM Plus New Building Platinum certification.