The HKSAR Government Policy Address 2017 pledged to support non-profit-making organisations to explore the feasibility of constructing prefabricated modular housing on idle sites and proactively promote the adoption of innovative construction methods. The Policy Agenda 2017 elaborated that by promoting the adoption of Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) in the construction industry, labour intensive processes can be accomplished in off-site prefabrication yard with a view to enhancing productivity and cost-effectiveness.
(Courtesy of AMS and CIMC)
The Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Development (CICID) and Department of Civil Engineering have been advising the Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government on the feasibilities of adopting MiC for high-rise buildings in Hong Kong. CICID also provides academic advice for the pilot project of constructing two towers of 1,228 student residential units for HKU at Wong Chuk Hang (WCH). The project, which has been promoted and endorsed for the adoption of MiC technology, values over HK$1 Billion.
HKU WCH project being planned and designed for MiC (Courtesy of HKU Estates Office)
Dr Wei Pan, Executive Director, HKU CICID
The construction industry of Hong Kong is faced with several issues, including shortage of manpower and rapid increase in tender prices in both public and private sectors. It is thus important and necessary to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the construction industry. Dr Wei Pan, Executive Director of HKU CICID stated that MiC is an innovative type of prefabricated construction technology, and has been adopted overseas with demonstrated benefits including shortened construction period, improved site health and safety, reduced construction waste, and enhanced life cycle cost performance. However, there is still no application of such method for high-rise buildings in Hong Kong. Given the high-rise and high-density features of buildings in Hong Kong, the use of MiC should well-address the issues such as strong wind loads and overseas supply chains within the Hong Kong’s regulatory, economic, social and technological contexts.
In additional to advising the Government on the feasibility, CICID has been commissioned by the Government to draft a paper to suggest probable policy directions on the adoption of MiC to the Government.