The City University of Hong Kong and a surveyor have given different versions of events regarding the approval of the greening work on a rooftop that collapsed last week.

CityU said last Friday that it did not submit the structure work plan for the rooftop at the Hu Fa Kuang Sports Centre – completed early this year – to the Buildings Department. Two staff members were injured and one was treated for shock after the incident.

It said the work was completed by Sinoway Construction Engineering Ltd, and approved by surveyor Kenneth Chan Jor-kin. Chan on Saturday issued a statement saying that what CityU stated was wrong.

Kenneth Chan Jor-kin.

CityU then issued another statement on Sunday: “According to the documents submitted to CityU by Sinoway Construction Engineering Ltd in March and October 2015, they had showed clearly that the authorized person of the green construction work of CityU sports centre was Kenneth Chan Jor-kin.”

The row continued into Monday, when Chan issued another statement saying that he was not hired by Sinoway as an authorised person for the project. He only provided written advice explaining whether the greening work should be counted as construction work under the Buildings Ordinance.

Chan added that it was not appropriate to deduce that he was an authorised person for the project on the basis of these documents, and he reserved all legal rights.

Chan was the president of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors in 2003. He has also been a director of the BEAM Society Limited, which promotes green innovations in buildings and related policies.

A partial map of CityU. Photo: City University

Safety checks

City U said on Saturday that all the green work in some older buildings, namely Academic Building 1 and Amenities Building had been approved by an authorised person and contractors according to the regulations.

Some new buildings, including Academic Building 2, Academic Building 3, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre and student halls 10 and 11, have included green work in the design, and were approved by the Buildings Department.

The school has employed authorised persons and a structural engineer to conduct checks on the whole school on Monday.

City University of Hong Kong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.


Meanwhile, the school’s eight-member investigation committee met on Monday.

The committee was chaired by Chief-of-Staff Paul Lam Kwan-sing and included Vice-Presidents Sunny Lee Wai-kwong and Horace Ip Ho-shing. Other members included a member of the school’s governing council, an external structural engineering professional, a staff representative and two student representatives.

Sunny Lee was said to be a member of the school’s greening work committee. Lee was not included in the committee after the meeting to avoid a potential conflict of interest, reported RTHK.

Paul Lam said that the school has requested all vice-presidents to cancel their vacations if they were needed for the committee, which is expected to submit a report in two weeks.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.