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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Sustainable Engineering Design for Public Housing

Daniel Kong

Sustainable Engineering Design for Public Housing

With a population of 7 million and an area of just over 1,000 km2, Hong Kong has always been facing a housing problem. Property prices are sky-high, which leave nearly half of the population unable to afford owning a property. In view of this problem, the Hong Kong government has been building large scale public housing estates and leasing them out at bargain prices. As public rental housing (PRH) evolves from 7-storey concrete blocks to modern high-rise buildings, there is a potential to provide sustainable accommodation to one-third of the population in Hong Kong.
In this research paper, the focus will be on investigating the potential to implement sustainable building designs to PRH in Hong Kong. As a result, part of the studies will be determining the general trends concerning PRH developments in Hong Kong, and the relevant sustainable development indicators. Various different aspects are then compared, drawing information from 5 PRH estates built in different decades, as well as a number of relevant professional bodies, in terms of 6 categories of sustainability in residential building design. The results are then analysed with reference to a range of professional papers, and conclusions are drawn to provide useful insights in contributing the establishment of new holistic sustainable PRH building design guidelines.

Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.