The living environment of subdivided flats in Hong Kong has aroused extensive public concerns. A lot of community groups and research teams are committed to providing support for improvement. The Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI) of Lingnan University strives for driving the development of humanitarian technology for the betterment of humankind. Under its pilot project, a low-cost mini air purifier is developed to fit in sub-divided flats. The LEI collaborated with Sham Shui Po District Office of Home Affairs Department and Sham Shui Po Residents Association Limited today (23 December 2022) to arrange volunteers to distribute 1,000 free air purifiers, spreading care to families living in sub-divided units before the Christmas.
Prof Albert Ko Wing-yin, Director of LEI said that the air purifier developed by the research team has undergone a series of field tests and is proven to be effective in reducing the indoor concentration of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) by 80 per cent to less than 5 μg/m3. The result demonstrates an effective improvement of air quality of subdivided flats that meets the recommendation under the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Air Quality Guidelines revised in 2021. The most distinctive features of the air purifier are high efficiency, small size and low power consumption, which can address the needs of subdivided flat residents.
“The length, width, and height of the mini air purifier are less than 20cm with a total weight of only 529 grams which allows users to place it anywhere in tiny subdivided units.Moreover, the modular air purifier is made of cardboard, which is light, convenient, space-saving, and easy to assemble. The production cost is just under HK$100,” said Prof Ko. He added that the air purifier is also suitable for the use in developing countries with its compact size, low-cost, and portable design. The research team has been working with various universities in Philippines on application scenarios and supply chain models in order to explore a cost-effective way to improve indoor air quality for people in developing countries. The whole design and assemble processes are conducted by the LU humanitarian technology research team, and it showcases the diversity of innovation and technology in Hong Kong, and its commitment to global sustainable development.
Paul Wong Yan-yin, JP, Sham Shui Po District Officer of the Home Affairs Department welcomed this cross-sector collaboration. He said: “Sham Shui Po District Office has been advocating the use of technologies in meeting people’s daily needs. This programme not only improves subdivided units’ indoor air quality but also a testament to the concerted effort of the government, the community, and academia in solving real-life problems of our residents. He added that if this pilot is successful, the District Office hopes to take it further by providing all households living in subdivided units in Sham Shui Po with an air purifier by working with other stakeholders. The District Office aims to introduce more local technological solutions to serve the Sham Shui Po community in the future through more similar collaborations.”
Samuel Chan Wai-ming,BBS, MH, JP, Director of Sham Shui Po Residents Association Limited also welcomed the caregiving programme. He said: “Sham Shui Po is the focal point of subdivided units occupied by dilapidated residential buildings and the residents have limited means. Giving them high-efficiency mini air purifiers is a thoughtful arrangement.”
About 100 residents were invited to the launching ceremony. Under the guidance of LU faculty members and students, they assembled the air purifiers and most of them could completed the process within half an hour. The assembled air purifiers will be distributed to subdivided flat families in Sham Shui Po later.
Some subdivided flat families also joined the event, assembled their own air purifiers and brought them home immediately afterwards. In addition, all participants were given gift packs prepared by Sham Shui Po District Office and Sham Shui Po Residents Association Limited in celebration of Christmas.