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Expert advice can help in promoting ecologically aware offices
Wong Yat-hei
update on Friday, March 11, 2011
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Through advising on the design and implementation of green building features, such as solar panels, wind turbines and efficient ventilation systems, environmental sustainable design managers help promote an ecologically aware and comfortable workplace.

Chris Kiernan, head of environmental and energy for property recruitment consultancy Macdonald & Company in Asia Pacific, says the increasing popularity of green offices is driving the demand for environmental sustainable design managers, who are mostly employed by property developers, engineering consultancy firms and architecture practices. Many are architects or engineers who want to develop a career in the green building industry.

"Firms are becoming more aware of [the importance of] being socially responsible and want to be seen as environmental friendly. More multinational companies have demanded to be stationed in green buildings," he says.

However, compared with their peers in the West, some developers in Hong Kong are reluctant to increase spending on green features, Kiernan says, and environmental sustainable design managers should make their case.

"They need to be confident with their demands," he says. "Be in close contact with the design team and let them know you are providing them with important advice."

Wong Kam-sing, chairman of the Hong Kong Professional Green Building Council, says the organisation offers training to engineers, architects, surveyors and property managers wanting to specialise in green buildings. Among the courses is one that provides training in the Building Environmental Assessment Method, a green label system.

According to Kiernan, environmental sustainable design managers usually start as consultants, making HK$20,000 to HK$25,000 a month. After three to five years, they become senior consultants and earn around HK$50,000.

Outstanding performers with more than 10 years' experience may move up to become associate director or director, making more than HK$100,000.

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