1. What is HKGBC Benchmarking & Energy Saving Tool – Commercial Buildings (Office/Retail)??

The HK Benchmarking & Energy Saving Tool – Commercial Buildings (Office/Retail) is launched by the Hong Kong Green Building Council and aims at promoting energy efficiency for commercial buildings in Hong Kong. It recognises the buildings for their energy performance, in comparison to their peers.

2. Which buildings are eligible to apply?

The following two options are eligible:

1. Commercial Buildings (Office/Retail) Served by Centralised Air-conditioning System:

This option covers pure office building, pure retail building, mixed-use building with both office and retail portions. No limit on area percentage is set for office and retail portion as long as the majority of the building is served by a centralised air-conditioning system. The eligible major type of air-side system type** should be one of the following:

·         AHU (CAV/VAV)

·         FCU

** Major type refers to the one type of air-side system which consumes the most energy in central building service installations (CBSI)

2. Office Building Served by Decentralised** Air-conditioning System

The building is eligible for this option only if the office area 40% of the building’s internal floor area (IFA) and larger than areas specific for other major uses based on IFA.

** Decentralised air-conditioning system refers to unitary or split-type systems


Non-eligible Building:

·         Building with provision of condenser water only

·         Building with cooling served by district cooling system (DCS)

·         Building sharing use of chiller plant(s) with any other building(s)

·         Building with vacancy rate exceeding 20% of the total rentable area at any point within the past twelve months prior to submission of the Application

3. Who are the target applicants of the Recognition Scheme?

Eligible applicants shall be the owners or the property management company of the premises who have the ownership or right of operation and management of the premises. The copy of documentary proof of the identity shall be provided upon request. 

HKGBC reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any applicant.

4. What is Free Benchmarking Tool?

The Free Benchmarking Tool allows the users to use the online platform anytime for free. By using the Free Benchmarking Tool, the user can get fast assessment of the building energy use and obtain general rating  by comparing the energy performance with other similar buildings.

5. What is Building Energy Performance?

It is used to describe the energy utilisation efficiency of a building. The energy performance as assessed by the Free Benchmarking Tool in this website is presented as “Good”, “Average” or “Below Average”, depending on the energy performance of the building.

6. How is the result of Building Energy Performance determined?

The result is determined by comparing the individual energy performance with the peers that have similar building characteristics.

7. What are the Certificate and Label?

Certificate and Label are the awards of this Recognition Scheme for Commercial Buildings (Office/Retail) that have higher average building energy performance than the peers.

8. How can I apply for the Certificate and Label for my building?

You can apply for the Certificate and Label by clicking the Recognition Scheme Application at menu bar, then follow the steps as stated in the Applicant Guide.

9. Should I apply for the Certificate and Label for my building?

You can check the general rating of the building by using the Free Benchmarking Tool. Buildings with the performance rating of either “Good” or “Average” are recommended to join the Recognition Scheme and apply for the Certificate and Label. Additionally, you need to appoint an Authorised Assessor to perform the verified assessment and provide necessary input/information for completing the document submissions.

10. What is an Authorised Assessor?

An Authorised Assessors is an energy professional, who are capable of verifying the data/information from submitted applications of the scheme and possess the following qualifications:

A qualified Authorised Assessor should possess the qualification and meet the requirement as stated below:

·         be a Registered Energy Assessor (REA) under The Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance Cap. 610; and 

·         be a qualified BEAM Pro; and   

·         have completed training for the Scheme offered by HKGBC; and 

·         registered with HKGBC; 

The HKGBC Secretariat will verify the genuineness of the qualification as claimed by the Authorised Assessors.

11. What is One-step & Two-step Assessment?

One-step Assessment Application
In the ‘One-step Assessment’ application, a final result will be released upon the completion of the assessment. The applicant will obtain the official certificate and receive advice on possible measures to improve the building energy performance. 


Two-step Assessment Application
In the ‘Two-step Assessment’ application, a 'preliminary' result will be provided upon completion of the '1st step' assessment. The applicant can choose to accept the 1st assessment result and obtain the official certificate, or pursue a 2nd assessment following recommended measures to improve  the building energy performance within a period of 36 months and the official certificate will be awarded to the applicant based on the 2nd assessment result.

12. I have created a paid account for the Recognition Scheme and would like to opt out of the Scheme. Can the registration fee be refunded?

According to the Terms and Conditions, once your temporary account has been approved and changed to paid account upon confirmation of payment, the registration fee cannot be refunded. 

13. I do not have the As-built Architectural Layout in AutoCAD format, how can I apply for the HKGBC Benchmarking & Energy Saving Tool – Commercial Buildings (Office/Retail)?

It is strongly recommended to submit the required As-built Architectural Layout (in AutoCAD Format) in order to facilitate the verification of the building information by the Authorised Assessor and the HKGBC. 

If it is not available, Authorised Assessor has to ensure that the As-built Architectural Layout is of reasonable standard for Authorised Assessor and the HKGBC to assess and verify the floor area dimensions. In this case, during the Assessment Stage, Authorised Assessor has to submit the soft copy of the As-built Architectural Layout (PDF-format) with clear indication of the different types of floor area included in the scope of assessment, detailing all measurements necessary to facilitate the verification process. The As-built Architectural Layout (PDF-Format) is to be set at A4 or A3 size and MUST be with a scale of 1:100 or larger (and should be of a rounded up scale with interval of 50 e.g. 1:150, 1:200), as appropriate. If the scale needs to be larger than 1:200, a hard-copy is to be submitted to HKGBC for review. On a case-by-case basis, the HKGBC shall approve the application based on the quality of submission.

14. How to become a HKGBC Benchmarking and Energy Saving Tool (HK BEST) Series Authorised Assessor (BESTAA)?

To be qualified as a HK BEST Authorised Assessor, he/she must:

a) be a qualified BEAM Pro cum a Registered Energy Assessor (REA) of Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) of HKSAR Government under The Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance Cap. 610;

b) have completed the training* and passed the examination of the Scheme offered by the HKGBC Secretariat; and

c) be registered with the HKGBC Secretariat as HK BEST Authorised Assessor.

*The details of the training can be found here: http://onlinecpdtraining.hkgbc.org.hk/index.php?thispage=details&c=1&s=1&p=43