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BEC 2018 Edition
15 May 2019

John Herbert
John Herbert
REA (Registered Energy Assessor)


The new BEC 2018 edition issued last year will take effect tomorrow on 16 May 2019. Thereafter, projects obtaining BD consent after that date, must comply with the new 2018 version.

The new BEC 2018 code is available to download from the EMSD website BEC 2018 version

building energy code BEC2018



The BEC 2018 edition provides marginal improvements over the 2015 version, highlights vs BEC 2015, include:

Lighting Power Density (LPD) - new types of spaces added, with new LPD criteria

Lighting Power Density (LPD) - all defined spaces marginally strengthened

Automatic Lighting Control (ALC) - new types of spaces requiring ALC added

Automatic Lighting Control (ALC) - ALC with occupancy sensor is now permitted in toilets

COP VRF - for water and air cooled units, COP requirement marginally strengthened

COP Chiller - for all types of chillers, full load and where applicable 75% load, COP requirement marginally strengthened

COP Heat Pump - new requirement, list of COP requirements for air and water cooled list in Table 6.12c

Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency - new requirement 1.7 L/s per kW for centrifugal fans, 3.4 L/s per kW for propeller or axial fans (not mentioned in the official EMSD summary)

Cooling Tower Fan Speed Control - new requirement (clause 6.12.5)

Motor Efficiency - 3 phase motors 7.5kw and larger remain unchanged. 3 phase motors below 7.5kw the energy efficiency requirement has been marginally strengthened, the EMSD summary points to IE2 to IE3, view our summary table here

Total Harmonic Distortion - 15min, hourly, daily, monthly and annual data captured, recorded and stored for 36 months

Lift and Escalator - minor strengthening of requirements for lifts and escalators


BEC 2015 vs 2018 Summary

In summary, comparing the BEC2015 vs 2018 version, the updated 2018 version has been marginally strenghened across the board. The largest impact, energy wise, will be the updated chiller COP criteria, since air conditioning is highest portion of building energy usage.

The requirement for recording the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) data for 36 months will be challenging for buildings without providing a BMS because most energy sub-meters that record harmonics, don't record data for 3 years. It will be a challenge for smaller projects, the requirement practically demands BMS installation for every building.

About the Author

John Herbert is a veteran chief engineer with more than 30 years international engineering experience, educated in the United Kingdom, he worked in the UK and then across Asia for more than two decades engaged by international and local companies. He is a Hong Kong Registered Energy Assessor (REA) and BEAM Professional, and is stationed in Hong Kong.



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date: 24-10-19
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