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Wide Adoption of MiC to Build a Liveable Hong Kong

Wide Adoption of MiC to Build a Liveable Hong Kong

The majority of transitional housing and “Light Public Housing” in Hong Kong are built using the Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) method. These residences offer affordable rents as well as safe and comfortable living environments, improving the living standards of grassroots citizens and enabling them to live with more dignity and happiness. The construction  of the first “Light Public Housing”  project commenced earlier this year, and we expect the construction industry to continue playing an important role in this cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary social engineering project.

Hong Kong Leads the World in Transitional Housing

In the Interim Findings and Policy Recommendations Report of the Study on Effective Transitional Housing Delivery in Hong Kong, which was published last year, researchers from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University suggested that more standardisation is needed when building housing units with MiC components. This would increase production scale, facilitate component reuse, and improve cost-effectiveness.

Prof LING Kar-kan, Director of JCDISI of PolyU and Principal Investigator of the study, has been invited to speak at the "See What I See" seminar on 23 April.   The topic will be " Innovative Collaboration for Future Housing Needs (Insights from “Study on Effective Transitional Housing Delivery in Hong Kong”)". Professionals involved in transitional housing projects will also be invited to share their experiences of working under the new collaborative model. It is expected that the seminar will provide inspiration to contractors and MiC suppliers, as well as deepen industry practitioners' understanding of this important topic. Interested parties are welcomed to join the online seminar.

Technology Combined with MiC for Enhanced Speed, Efficiency and Safety

More than 80 MiC projects are currently underway, with many more in the pipeline. With a minimum of 200,000 MiC units to be built, the demand for MiC is sure to grow.

The innovation of MiC has no limits, and local construction companies are exploring the possibilities of combining information technology and MiC to improve speed and efficiency which has achieved some ideal results. The survey robots and patrol robots used by Yau Lee Construction in its MiC projects can all connect to 5G networks. By taking advantage of the higher speed and low latency of 5G networks, the robots can speed up the construction process, reduce costs and cut down on manual procedures. The company has also set up a MiC management platform that integrates with Building Information Modelling (BIM) and blockchain technology, which enables real-time monitoring of MiC components in production to ensure timely delivery and installation.

There are numerous benefits of using MiC, particularly the reduction in production cycles.  Factories can produce a large number of components in parallel, the impact of adverse weather on construction cycles can be reduced. On average, 30% of the total project construction time can be saved. MiC also improves worksite environment through minimising working at height, lowering worker risks of falls from height, slips and trips. Therefore, worksite safety is enhanced.

MiC for Waste Reduction, Energy Saving, and Carbon Reduction

Since 2020, many transitional housing projects have been completed one after the other, some of which have successfully fulfilled their mission. However, this does not mean that the life of the MiC components used in these projects is coming to an end. Taking Nam Cheong 220 as an example, after removal from the construction site, the components were carefully inspected and refurbished. They were then reinstalled in the transitional housing project at Wong Yue Tan, Plover Cove, Tai Po, to begin their new life cycles.

MiC can also be fully applied to several construction phases. The Chevalier Group's "Full MiC Solution" includes housing, lifts, corridors, engine rooms and staircases made of MiC modules, and the prefabricated modules have a high degree of completion. This solution not only increases efficiency, but also improves the reuse rate of materials after the modules have been dismantled.

Compared with traditional construction methods, MiC is more conducive to sustainability and environmental protection. Relocating on-site procedures to factories reduces the impact of dust and noise on the surrounding environment. MiC enables precision manufacturing to reduce construction waste, reduce waste at source, save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Building Testing and Research Institute Focuses on MiC Research

The CIC is pleased to see that the HKSAR Government and the Guangdong Provincial Government are strengthening cooperation to consolidate the MiC supply chain, enhance cooperation in implementation and regulation, facilitate module production, import, export and overseas sales, and promote a complete construction industry ecosystem in the Greater Bay Area.

The Government's "Building Testing and Research Institute" is due to be established this year. The CIC hopes that it will increase local research on component production, transport, storage and certification, and to provide insights into the supply and demand, operation model and business model of MiC in the future.

Modular Integrated Construction Resource Centre Provides Update Information and Technical Tours

The CIC's Modular Integrated Construction Resource Centre is a one-stop MiC information sharing platform. The Centre features show flats built using the MiC method, various jointing techniques and component displays, etc. Guided tours can also be arranged, industry practitioners are welcomed to visit. To keep the industry informed of the latest regulations and technical requirements, the CIC has published more than 10 MiC-related publications and updates them from time to time. Additionally, the CIC's digital MiC database continuously updates with MiC construction projects around the world and useful information on supply chains, procurement, transport and logistics, QA/QC and inspection, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) and regulations. In recent years, a masterclass training course - "MiC Project Implementation (Project Managers)" has been launched to train more professionals. The CIC is also exploring the creation of new courses on various aspects of MiC to meet the professional training needs of stakeholders in different positions and to promote MiC in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong Institute of Construction Information Day" Receives Extensive Media Coverage

The Hong Kong Institute of Construction's Sheung Shui campus held a two-day information day on March 1 & 2 to give secondary school students and young professionals interested in joining the industry a taste of the courses.

The opening ceremony invited Mr. Deep NG, a construction worker whose popularity has surged recently, to share his journey of joining the construction industry, which attracted many media interviews. He pointed out that the construction industry offers a promising future with a stable income and rewards for hard work. The regular working schedule allows him to spend time with his family during time off, and live with his preferred lifestyle.  The Institute organised a series of activities for the Information Day: laser scanner and welding robot demonstrations, AI Smart Site Safety System tours, craft workshops, campus tours, further education and careers seminars,  teacher and student sharings, etc. During the kick-off ceremony, I appealed to our young people to join the construction industry, take charge of their own future, plan proactively, and build Hong Kong into a liveable city.

The construction industry is intrinsically linked to people's lives. Its impact goes beyond creating buildings, it can even change lives. Through our craftsmanship and  technology, we create comfortable, safe and hygienic living spaces. Residents can benefit from better physical condition and mental health, children can grow up happily, and families can enjoy a harmonious relationship. All of these give us a sense of fulfillment when we work in the construction industry. For young people and those who want to change careers, the construction industry is absolutely a good place to realise their dreams!

The CIC also promises to continue to collaborate with the industry to promote the widespread adoption of MiC, to help the industry to seize the opportunities of MiC, and co-build a liveable Hong Kong where citizens enjoy and thrive.

Ir HO On-sing, Thomas

Last Updated: 2024-04-02 10:33:06