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Sick Buildings in Hong Kong

published - 15 December 2020
updated - 21 Jan. 2021

John Herbert, hong kong energy saving expert, BEAM expert
John Herbert
Director


It seems the knowledge from the historical 2003 SARS outbreak has been largely ignored. In 2003, a faulty drainage system design helped spread SARS vertically to different floors of the same building at Block E, Amoy Gardens, and the residents were evacuated.

The Government reported (30-12-2020) that around 1,200 housing blocks in public housing estates have been inspected, and defects repaired! But it took a global pandemic before the risk to the lives of those residents was assessed.

Today we have the same situation, with the vertical spread of infection (COVID19) on different floors of the same building. Is it the drainage system again? Probably.

Generally, each estate comprises several tower blocks following the same standard design. For example all the tower blocks in Richland Gardens are essentially identical, therefore it is reasonable to think that identical blocks will have identical issues.

Want to discuss fixing unhealthy buildings call John Herbert 2335 9830 today!

The following buildings are suspected or have been recorded as spreading of COVID19 within the building, because there is a time delay between infection and detection, that means secretions, virus, and bacteria have already spread contamination!


21-1-2021
Multiple buildings

We have been monitoring sick buildings for more than a month, the list keeps getting longer!

Instead of the usual practice, on 20-1-2021, thankfully CHP actually provided the buildings names! Seven new building require mandatory testing, as follows:

1. Sheung Hong House, Upper Ngau Tau Kok Estate
2. Man Yiu Building, 25-47 Man Wai Street, Jordan
3. 7 Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei
4. Block N, Kornhill, 14 Hong On Street, Kornhill
5. 571-573 Canton Road, Yau Ma Tei
6. 511 Canton Road, Yau Ma Tei
7. 27-31 Ning Po Stret, Jordan


From the new list, notice most of the buildings are located in Yau Ma Tei / Jordan area.

UPDATE: Hiu Fung House, Fung Wah Estate,
Fung Ha Rd, Tai Tam Gap Road, Chai Wan

Also another update for Hiu Fung House, on 20-1-2021 one additional case was recorded. This residential building is just one of three identical style blocks in the Fung Wah Estate.

Also CHP reported that a few days ago eleven (11) environmental samples were taken from the flats in the building, and three results have returned positive from two units. Dr. Chuang said the CT values were low and the samples that tested positive were found in toilet drains and kitchen exhaust vents.

-------------------------------
Demonstrating vertical spread? Cross contamination from the toilet and kitchen drains? Positive results have been found in the drains pipes and exhaust fans in other buildings, like Richland Gardens block 6 last year. This finding is noteworthy because it specifically states "kitchen exhaust" therefore, the COVID19 virus was airborne and drawn into the fan from the kitchen! and the fan pushes the contaminated air outside. And when the fan is idle, it becomes a surface (fomite) risking contact transmission.

CHP should be reminding the public at home, and HVAC technicians to exercise special care handling air moving equipment, particularly exhaust fans.


17-1-2021
Hiu Fung House
Fung Wah Estate
Chai Wan

Fung Wah Estate has three similar tower blocks, typically provided the same style drainage system in each block, if the design is defective in one block, logically it is defective in every block.

RTHK reported that a partial evacuation has been ordered for residents of Hiu Fung House after 10 cases were reported from five units. Three of the flats end with the number "13" and are on different floors but face the same direction. Professor Yuen Kwok-yung of the University of Hong Kong said residents of unit 1213 fell ill first, followed by those in units 913 and 1113, where vent pipes had been altered. Residents of units ending with "13" on or below the 12th floor will be evacuated.

18-1-2021 RTHK report

Vent Pipe ISSUE, vertical transmission likely. It is unclear from the reporting whether or not the drainage was modified by the occupants.

Checkout this brief video animation showing how COVID19 and other bacteria could enter your home!



Yau Ma Tei District

The outbreak in Yau Ma Tei area continues and requires residents to undergo mandatory testing, there are thought to be about 20 different residential buildings involved! No building names listed in the report.


15-1-2021 - evening update

Everyday thousands of people use little shortcuts through various buildings to navigate the shortest route from A-B, just like the buildings located at 20,22,24,26 Reclamation St, the local residents know the shortcuts.

CHP report more cases are appearing in that area, specifically 15-27A Pitt Street, with four cases from three different flats, requiring mandatory tests for all residents.

But insanity continues, quoted by RTHK news "Chuang urged people to go on-line later to find out the exact buildings involved" because apparently it is not their job.

So CHP wants everyone, millions of people, to navigate the CHP website everyday to figure out which new buildings were involved with COVID cases, so you have to visit the website tomorrow because the list is always changing!

I sincerely doubt that anyone will scroll through the CHP website to find a link to the list, download the PDF document, open the PDF document, scroll through pages and pages of records just to identify the new buildings. Perhaps, CHP would rather keep their arcane list and conceal the fact that we already have 280+ buildings implicated.

RTHK report dated 15-1-2021 last assessed 15-1-2021 21:00

15-1-2021

281 buildings are listed by CHP associated with COVID19, published in this PDF updated 14-1-2021 (20210114 version LINK)

Perhaps CHP would rather hide the number than publish the data. However, since it is organised by case, some building names appear to be duplicated, presumably the person visited several areas in the building.


14-1-2021

Another three buildings implicated with COVID19. CHP is listening? three buildings were named in this press conference.

Long Ping No 8
Block 1
Yuen Long

CHP reported two units have tested positive. 1 unit has 3 people, and the other unit has 1 person.

163-165 Shanghai Street
Yau Ma Tei
Kowloon

CHP reported two units have tested positive. 1 person in each unit.

Physically located close to outbreak at 20, 22, 24, 26 Reclamation St.

Yan Shek House
Shek Yam Estate
Kwai Chung

CHP reported two units have tested positive. 1 Unit has 4 people and the unit 1 person.
Dr. Chuang said an additional unit that has tested preliminary positive today.
All the residents live in units numbered 09, therefore CHP has issued quarantine order.

CHP has asked Professor Yuen Kwok-Yung to visit the building. Professor Yuen will give his findings later.


13-1-2021

Multiple Buildings suspected.

Ping Shek Estate
2 Clear Water Bay Road
Ping Shan

13-1-2021 - Waste water samples from __several__ buildings in Ping Shek Estate (located near Choi Hung MTR station) have signs of Covid19. Mandatory testing will be required for several buildings in the Estate.

Note the term "several" buildings, it is not limited to one building in the estate. Specifically, 1 new case from Kam Shek House, Ping Shek Estate has tested preliminary positive.

Another No Name Building

13-1-2021 - And one mystery building was added, but useful information, such as its name, was not mentioned.

Both CHP (and RTHK) did not announce the name(s) of the building to undergo mandatory testing, which is surely adding to the confusion.

Does anyone expect members of the public to download and search for the additional buildings everyday? If you try, have fun, the additional buildings are not identified in the PDF, you can guess.

20, 22, 24 and 26 Reclamation Street
Jordan

Following up on the yesterday's (12-1-2021) report, the block comprising four buildings at 20, 22, 24 and 26 Reclamation Street, Jordan were highlighted again, pipes mentioned, perhaps inspection planned?


More Suspect Buildings Announced
12-1-2021


Four connected buildings located at 20, 22, 24 and 26 Reclamation Street, Jordan have been recorded as spreading of COVID19 within the building, requiring compulsory testing for residents.

CHP has been adding 2 or 3 buildings a day but has not been publishing the building names in the press release.


3 More Suspect Buildings Announced
2-1-2021


Following the list of buildings issued on 30-12-2020, the Government has ordered the residents in three (3) additional buildings to undergo COVID19 testing, continuing the building list:

    44. Wah Po Mansion, Fuk Wah Street, Sham Shui Po
    45. Shui Pin Wai Estate, Chuen Shui House, 17 Ma Miu Rd, Yuen Long
    46. Lohas Park Block 9



43 Suspect Buildings Announced
30-12-2020


The Government ordered the residents in the following 43 buildings to undergo COVID19 testing:

    1. Hibiscus House, Ma Tau Wai Estate, 9 Shing Tak Street, Kowloon City,Kowloon, Hong Kong
    2. David Mansion, 93-103 Woosung Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    3. Tung Hoi House, Tai Hang Tung Estate, 88 Tai Hang Tung Road, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    4. Un Mun House, Un Chau Estate, 303 Un Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    5. Fu Wen House, Fu Cheong Estate, 19 Sai Chuen Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    6. Cherry House, So Uk Estate, 380 Po On Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    7. Tao Tak House, Lei Cheng Uk Estate, 10 Fat Tseung Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    8. Scenic Court, 451-461 Shun Ning Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    9. Block 11, Rhythm Garden, 242 Choi Hung Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    10. Chi Siu House, Choi Wan (I) Estate, 45 Clear Water Bay Road,Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    11. Sau Man House, Choi Wan (I) Estate, 45 Clear Water Bay Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    12. Kai Fai House, Choi Wan (II) Estate, 55 Clear Water Bay Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    13. Ching Yuk House, Tsz Ching Estate, 80 Tsz Wan Shan Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    14. Ching Tai House, Tsz Ching Estate, 80 Tsz Wan Shan Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    15. Tsz Fung House, Fung Tak Estate, 111 Fung Tak Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    16. Hong Tim House, Tsz Hong Estate, 75 Yuk Wah Street, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    17. Block H1, Telford Gardens, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    18. Lee Hong House, Shun Lee Estate, 15 Lee On Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    19. Lei Lung House, Lei Yue Mun Estate, 33 Ko Chiu Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    20. Kai Yin House, Kai Yip Estate, 18 Kai Yip Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    21. Kam Shek House, Ping Shek Estate, 2 Clear Water Bay Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    22. Wong Shek House, Ping Shek Estate, 2 Clear Water Bay Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    23. Lam Shek House, Ping Shek Estate, 2 Clear Water Bay Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    24. Tin Kuen House, Shun Tin Estate, 9 Shun On Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    25. Tak Lung House, Tak Tin Estate , 223 Pik Wan Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    26. Lam Tai House, Lam Tin Estate, 7 Hing Tin Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    27. Hiu Sing House, Hiu Lai Court, 21 Hiu Kwong Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    28. Lascar Court, 3 Lok Ku Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
    29. Sau Fung House, Fung Wah Estate, 4 Fung Ha Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong
    30. Jet Foil Mansion, 415-421 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
    31. Wah Cheong Court, Fortune Plaza, 4 On Chee Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong
    32. Block 2, Grandeur Terrace, 88 Tin Shui Road, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong
    33. Tin Yue House, Tin King Estate, 10 Tin King Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong
    34. Block 2, Phase 1, Tai Hing Gardens, 11 Tsun Wen Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong
    35. On Lam House, Tsui Lam Estate, 11 Tsui Lam Road, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong
    36. Block 4, Hong Sing Garden, 1 Po Lam Road North, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong
    37. Kwong Ning House, Kwong Ming Court, 108 Po Hong Road, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong
    38. Kwai Shing House, May Shing Court, 32 Mei Tin Road, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong
    39. Wah Yan House, Ching Wah Court, 22 Tsing Chin Street, Tsing Yi, New Territories, Hong Kong
    40. Tak Tai Building, 19-23 Tai Ha Street, Tsuen Wan, New Territories,Hong Kong
    41. Wah Fung Garden, 274 Lai King Hill Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong
    42. Lai Ying House, Lai Yan Court, 278 Lai King Hill Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong
    43. Seung Lai House, Wah Lai Estate, 282 Lai King Hill Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong


Source: Link to the CHP official list of buildings issued 30-12-2020 in PDF format



Housing Authority Announcement
30-12-2020


Separately, Housing Authority Press Release issued on 30-12-2020, stated that it has inspected 100,000 flats, comprising around 1,200 out of 1,500 domestic blocks, and expects the inspection of the remaining 300 blocks to be completed by March 2021.


Fung Chak House
Choi Wan Estate (phase II)
Ngau Chi Wan
28-12-2020

COVID19 testing of building sewerage found positive test result, on four consecutive days, although no known case in the building is reported yet, so all residents and visitors must be tested.
The report also indicates government has been testing some building sewer systems, such as Richland Gardens, without positive result so far.

28-12-2020 RTHK news


Lei Sang House ---- possible -----
Lei Yue Mun Estate
33 Ko Chiu Road
26-12-2020

CHP called for mandatory testing for all residents because infection has been identified in four units all on different floors of the building, but no environment factors identified.


Lotus Towers
Kwun Tong Garden Estate
Ngau Tau Kok
25-12-2020

CHP called for mandatory testing at Lotus towers because a infection identified in the fourth unit in the building. no environment issues reported so far. 25-12-2020 RTHK news


Wing Shui House
Lek Yuen Estate
Shatin
24-12-2020

CHP press conference on 24-12-2020 noted there are 3 units with residents that tested positive. Two of the three units are directly opposite one another. CHP will be handing out testing bottles for this building.


Fu Yan House -- possible --
Fu Shan Estate
Diamond Hill
update 24-12-2020

Another case has been found on a different floor, four flats are involved, CHP has instructed all residents to undergo testing 24-12-2020 RTHK news

Although cases reported on different floors of the tower block, no environment issues have been reported so far, therefore considered to be possible.


Ming Yan House
Shatin
update 23-12-2020

23-12-2020 - CHP checking all residents in building 23-12-2020 RTHK link
16-12-2020 - floor 32 evacuated


King Tsui Court
8 Feng Ha Road
Chai Wan
18-12-2020

There are 5 units that have been affected by Covid. Dr. Chuang said 3 of these 5 units have links. CHP will be issuing testing bottles to residents of this building.


Lung Poon Court Block A - possible --
Diamond Hill
15/12/2020

There must be a reason for CHP requiring residents of Lung Poon Court to be tested. Possible, awaiting information.


Kwai Tung House
Tung Tau Estate
Nga Tsin Wai, Wong Tai Sin
14/12/2020

Kwai Tung House is a residential building located in Tung Tau Estate, Nga Tsin Wai in Wong Tai Sin district.

The estate has several housing different styled blocks, one other block is the same style as Kwai Tung House.

COVID19 spread vertically to different floors (23, 24 and 29/F) in the same building through structural issues, and some residents have been evacuated from flats numbered 15.

RTHK news



Block 6
Richland Gardens
Kowloon Bay
10/12/2020

Richland Gardens is a residential housing estate having around twenty two identical tower blocks located in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong.

COVID19 spread vertically to residents on different floors in the same building (block 6) through structural issues. Residents in flats have been evacuated from Block 6. Further cases have been reported in Block 18.

It appears that the block 6 drainage stack, mounted on the external wall, does not have a vent/balance pipe that would prevent pulling the traps (means sucking water out of the the U traps) that would potentially allow contamination from the drainage stack to enter the flat.

Since the design of these residential blocks appears to be identical, logically every block is a sick building.

RTHK news

Richland Gardens, kowloon bay, hong kong



Ming Lai House
Choi Wan Estate Phase II
Ngau Chi Wan
14/12/2020

Ming Lai house is a residential tower block located in Phase 2 Choi Wan estate, one other block of the same type is located nearby.

COVID19 spread vertically to residents on different floors in the same building, testing all residents is under way CHP reports.
14-12-2020 RTHK news

Update 16-12-2020

This building was listed as --possible--.
Now it is confirmed. On 16-12-2020 RTHK reported the partial evacuation of flats with flat numbers ending with 33 and 34 after a government inspection.
16-12-2020 RTHK news


Heng Tai House
Fu Heng Estate
Tai Po
15/03/2020

Heng Tai House is a residential building located in Fu Heng Estate, Tai Po. The estate estate having several blocks of the same type.

COVID19 spread vertically to residents on different floors in the same building through structural issues effecting flats numbered 13.

Heng Tai House report

RTHK news

Heng Tai House 03/2020 hong kong

CREDIT: Apple Daily -- Heng Tai House Tai Po Evacuation





Block 8
Kwai Shing West Estate
Kwai Chung
update 16-12-2020

Block 8 is a residential building located in Kwai Shing West Estate. This estate has 10 blocks of different sizes and types, and a standalone wet market.

Few details of the cases are provided, one extra case was reported on 16-12-2020.

16-12-2020 RTHK news


Hong Mei House
Cheung Hong Estate
Tsing Yi
11/02/2020

Hong Mei House is a high rise residential building located in the Cheung Hong Estate, Tsing Yi, Kowloon.

COVID19 spread vertically to residents on different floors in the same building, and the building was evacuated.

RTHK news


To discuss fixing unhealthy buildings call John Herbert 2335 9830 today!

About the Author

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



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tags: Hong Kong sick building, Sick Building Syndrome , SBS

date: 21-01-21