HKUST Institute for the Environment

The HKUST Institute for the Environment (IENV) is an interdisciplinary research institute of HKUST that combines applied environmental research and stakeholders engagements into policy-making in improving the environment of Hong Kong, the Pearl River Delta (Greater Bay Area), and beyond.

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Civil Sector & Individuals
Improving Regional Air Quality Management(Ongoing)
IENV co-organises the International Symposium on Regional Air Quality Management (RAQM) in Rapidly Developing Economic Regions, a forum series for science-driven and policy-oriented discussions on improving air quality in economic regions. IENV is in pursuit of the latest and most advanced insights on atmospheric environmental science in the context of improving China’s national and regional air quality.
At RAQM, IENV fosters timely discussions and effective cooperation in order to harness the golden opportunities presented by the GBA Plan. High-level exchanges between scientists, policymakers, environmental experts, and regional and overseas environmental protection stakeholders happen across the following themes: 1. Regional Air Quality Management - Cooperation Opportunities Among Different Regions and/or Sectors 2. The Rising Photochemical Pollution Problem and Solutions: VOCs, Ozone and Fine Particulate Matters 3. Source, Transport, and Prediction of Air Pollutants 4. Exposure and Health Impact Assessments 5. New and Emerging Issues, including COVID-19 and Lessons Learned
  • IENV seeks to create high-impact research to address the region's urgent need to decarbonize
  • IENV fosters cross-border collaborations to ensure consistency in climate commitments
Smart Building Retrofit Project Study(Completed in 2012, report launched in 2020)
The retrofitting measures included a sensor-based building management system, dehumidification of outdoor air, and a two-stage particle filtration system. Energy data were collected before and after the retrofit. Field measurements were conducted in both winter and summer to evaluate the thermal comfort and indoor exposure to air pollutants in the retrofitted area. An experiment was designed to assess the benefits of upgraded filters on exposure to ambient particles during summer.
This project demonstrated a feasible building retrofit design for generating co-benefits on energy saving, thermal comfort and indoor air quality. This is evidenced by the research results, which observed a 50% reduction in energy use while maintaining “generally acceptable” thermal comfort. If retrofit design could be adopted by most of the buildings in Hong Kong, IENV envisage great impacts, including: 1. Reduced energy consumption 2. Reduced electricity cost 3. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions 4. Improved indoor air quality 5. Improved thermal comfort 6. Improved occupants' health and wellness 7. Improved outdoor air quality when filtered indoor air released back to outdoor environment This study and its related policy recommendations were communicated through a successful HKGBC (Hong Kong Green Building Council Limited) webinar. Media engagement was also conducted through TVB.