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Hong Kong Building Energy Code BEC 2015 vs BEC 2018

REA, John Herbert, Registered Energy Assessor, rea, Hong Kong
John Herbert
REA (Registered Energy Assessor)


The new updated Hong Kong Building Energy Code BEC 2018 code became effective on 16 May 2019 for new buildings, the code is available to download from the EMSD website here is the link BEC 2018 version

Hong Kong BEC 2015 vs BEC 2018

Hong Kong BEC 2015 vs BEC 2018

Comparing the BEC 2015 vs BEC 2018, the main highlights for this update include:

Lighting Power Density (LPD) - 13 new room types added, with new LPD criteria

Lighting Power Density (LPD) - 12 spaces marginally strengthened with LPD

Automatic Lighting Control (ALC) - 13 new rooms types listed with related ALC

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

Hong Kong LPD 2015 vs 2018 LPD table BEC 2015 v 2018 - click for larger image


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

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

COP Heat Pump - new requirement, Heat Pumps were not previously defined, the updated code identifies what appears to be optimistic COP requirements for both air cooled and water cooled 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 - significant amendment - THD to be recorded every 15min, hourly, daily, monthly and annually, and the data stored for 36 months.

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


BEC 2015 vs BEC 2018 Summary

In summary, comparing the BEC 2015 vs BEC 2018 version, the updated 2018 version has been marginally strenghened across the board.

Since air conditioning is highest portion of building energy usage, the largest impact, energy wise, will be the updated chiller COP criteria, the motor efficiency for larger condenser and chilled water pumps remains unchanged. Although new requirements for cooling towers fans have been added.

The requirement for recording the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) data for 36 months is interesting, that 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: 20-11-19
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