Skip to main content

Safety Walk with Thomas

ᐅ Central Kowloon Route highway project: setting an example for the industry

Traffic congestion is one of the major urban problems in Kowloon. In order to alleviate the traffic jams, the Central Kowloon Route (CKR) highway project was commenced in 2017. The new road network links Yau Ma Tei Interchange of West Kowloon with Kai Tak Development Area of East Kowloon, forming a trunk road across central Kowloon. The scale of the construction is unprecedented but the project team rose to the challenges by adopting various innovative construction methods. Ir Thomas Ho On-sing, Chairman of the CIC, Ir Albert Cheng Ting-ning, Executive Director, together with Ir Victor Cheung Chi-kong, Council Member, visited the Community Liaison Centre of CKR and Ho Man Tin shaft under Central Kowloon Route – Central Tunnel (CKR-CT) in late May to better understand the construction operations and how the team achieve productivity enhancement, sustainability and improvement in construction safety.


Data is the future of the industry

CKR with a total length of about 4.7km comprises flyovers, tunnels and roads. CKR passes through the busy downtowns and hotspots of Kowloon. The construction of CKR is complicated as it involves construction works like demolition of buildings and temporary reclamations and is being constructed under eight contracts. With challenges ahead, it is a must to employ new technologies. “It’s like a leap in the dark. I encouraged my team to try out technologies even though they are new to us. If it works on a small scale, we can thus apply them on a larger scale.” Said Ir Luk Wai Hung, Project Manager of the Highways Department Major Works Project Management Office. While Ir Wes Jones, Managing Director of Dragages Hong Kong and representative of the contractor of CKR-CT, Bouygues Travaux Publics, stressed on the importance of data as he said that data analysis and integration is the future of the industry.



Smart Site Management Hub

The construction industry has implemented the “Construction 2.0” scheme which advocates “Innovation”, “Professionalisation” and “Revitalisation”, aiming to uplift the productivity and sustainability of the industry. The CKR project team has successfully put “innovation” into practice by introducing an “integrated Digital Works Supervision System (Dwss)” and “Smart Site Management Hub (SSMH)”. The team integrated data from six different ongoing CKR contracts into one single platform, this “6-in1” management approach provides a holistic overview for project team management, hence improving efficiency and safety performance. The “Smart Site Management Hub” functions in four major aspects, namely the Automatic Movement/ Settlement Monitoring System, AI CCTV Monitoring, Worker Management System and Other IoT Devices. The team plans to introduce a Progress Monitoring System in the near future to allow management to grasp the latest construction progress and related information.

CKR includes a 3.9km long tunnel, the adverse working environment in the tunnel such as confined space and risk of collapse has added difficulties to the project. Besides, the tunnel passes through seven MTR lines and seven fault zones, adding complexity to the project. To overcome the technical challenges, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is adopted to generate three-dimensional models by digital representation to assist the project team in making accurate judgments and performs a variety of analysis to enhance construction quality.

CKR_2_Resized.jpegPhoto credit: Highways Department


Reduce the risk of working at height

Tunnel construction relied heavily on manual handling in the past that would inevitably put frontline workers at risk. With the missions to enhance safety performance and improve efficiency, the CKR project team has pursued alternative construction methods by replacing manual labour with the help of machinery. The Automatic Canopy Installation System introduced in the CKR project is the first-ever application in Hong Kong, this system enables the canopy tubes to be installed in a fully mechanised way by using remote controlled operation. Meanwhile, it protects workers by reducing time exposing to the risk of working at height and enhances the productivity.

In conventional practice, tunnel lining formwork demands skilled manual labour works as it requires workers to work extended hours at height. To minimise the risks and wastage of timber panels, the CKR team installed a mechanised lining shutter that consisted of a remote -controlled hydraulic metal formwork, achieving lining of high quality and hence lower the requirement for skilled labour. The team is developing a Concrete Pressure Sensor at present to allow the team to monitor the concrete pressure in real-time so as to ensure site safety and quality.

The use of heavy vehicles is common in sites, workers around are prone to accident from reverse parking, therefore the team has installed Blaxtair, the Artificial Intelligence Cameras at the back of wheeled vehicles to assist drivers in the tunnel. The dual lens of the camera enable depth perception and differentiate humans from other objects. If a worker walks past the back of the truck, the alarm will sound and flashing signals will appear on screen to alert the driver. Chairman Thomas Ho appreciated the way AI contributes to improve safety, and he suggested that our society has to nurture new talents to foster technological breakthroughs.



Design for Safety, Productivity and Sustainability

CKR is an epoch-making construction project, from the public's point of view, it helps ease traffic problems and improves citizens’ quality of living. From the construction industry’s point of view, the project team embraces new technologies and demonstrates how to design for safety, productivity and sustainability. This project has put ‘STEM’ into real practice and it serves as an example to inspire the next generation of the industry.

ᐅ The Sky is the Limit – Innovative R.I.S.E. Technology Exemplify the Possibilities of Mi∞

We are seeing more and more skyscrapers in Hong Kong as the demand for land grows. Elevators are the main axis of buildings. As our buildings grow taller, the importance of elevators to buildings also increases, so as the advancement in elevator installation technology. Ir Ho On-sing, Thomas, Chairman of the Construction Industry Council and Mr. Chan Kim-kwong, Council Member visited the construction site of Two Taikoo Place, which was part of the "Taikoo Place Redevelopment Project". The visit showcased technologies adopted in the installation of elevators, the use of various robotics technologies in the construction site and discuss how to lead the industry to go forward and create a safer environment.


Scaffoldless Lift Installation Method Ensures Safety at Site

Jardine Schindler Group handles the installation of elevator in Two Taikoo Place and the Scaffoldless Lift Installation Method (SLIM) is used. SLIM technology allows engineers to install elevator rails in the lift well without the need for scaffolding. By building an extension platform in front of the elevator door on specific floors, hoisting ropes and hoisting beam can be installed directly. Together with the gondola that has been pre-installed at the lift pit, the guide rail, guide rail bracket and landing door are installed in sections until it reaches the motor room in the top storey.


Faster Installation with Multi-trade Integrated MEP

With the assistance of another contractor, Hip Hing, project team lifted the large pre-assembled motor section to the top floor for installation, which is faster and safer than traditional installation methods. A total of 11 high-speed elevators in the project adopted SLIM technology to save time for the installing and dismantling of scaffolding for such 200-meter-high building, which in turns improved productivity, efficiency and reduced risk. Jardine Schindler Group also adopted the Cast in Channel method which does not need to drill holes like the traditional installation method. Workers only need to pull off the rubber strip and then drill, which can greatly reduce the noise and dust during the installation of the shaft.

Mr Elton Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Jardine Schindler Group, believes that machinery and advanced construction technology can help us achieve zero accidents at site. During the visit, he introduced the Robotic Installation System for Elevators (R.I.S.E.) that will be used for the first time in another project in Hong Kong. The R.I.S.E. robot can move along the guide rail, and drill holes and install fixing bolts while scanning the wall. The use of robots in the elevator installation process can greatly improve productivity and shorten construction time, reduce risks and time needed for working in the lift well, so that project efficiency increases by at least 30%.


Safer Environment for the Benefit of Workers

Mr. Law Ho-kwan, Senior Project Manager of Hip Hing Construction Co., Ltd. pointed out that management should identify tasks with relatively high risk in the project, and find ways to adopt technology for such tasks so as to protect workers from potential hazards and enjoy a more accurate output.

Two Taikoo Place construction site adopts Multi-trade Integrated MEP (MiMEP), pre-assembled drive motor, beams and floor slabs are lifted to the roof for assembly with the main building, so that decoration can be completed before the completion of elevator motor room which simplifies the motor installation. About 70% MEP installation adopted MiMEP to avoid on-site installation and reduce construction site waste, and improves quality control, setting up a good reference for similar projects in the future.

In addition, in order to protect the safety of frontline workers, the contractor applied innovative technology and arranged smart safety helmets with headlights and temperature and heartbeat sensors for workers. The safety helmet is connected to the building information model to monitor the condition and location of workers from multiple angles real-time. The system sends out alert when abnormality is detected through the Internet of Things (IoT) network, which enhances the communication and emergency management in the construction site while ensuring workers’ safety.



Concerted Effort for Success

Ms. Eliza WONG, General Manager, Projects (Hong Kong & South East Asia) of Swire Properties Limited shared that all stakeholders in the industry including developers, contractors or service providers should work together to improve efficiency and site safety. Through enhanced communication, the entire construction process can be pre-planned before project commencement, and project team can explore the possibility of using innovative technologies with contractors and consultants. The Two Taikoo Place project showcased the importance of using Building Information Modelling (BIM) in engineering to improve the efficiency of the entire supply chain from design and construction to operation, strengthen communication and collaboration between different roles, and simplify construction processes. Efforts spent on design and construction will benefit the building’s operations for decades.

The project team collaborated with a number of local start-up companies in this project in the adoption of 3D scanning technology in the lift well to inspect construction quality of the lift well during construction and identify potential problems. Engineers can control the exterior wall cleaning robot remotely to test the facade like a pilot, avoiding the risk of working at height.


Putting Innovative Technology into Play

Self-cleaning and anti-virus coating newly developed by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University was also adopted in the project. The technology used three-dimensional scanning to customise the printing area, and prints the coating within two days. The coating was applied on frequently touched common surfaces such as drinking fountains, entrance gate etc., to support the construction site in fighting the epidemic.

Thanks to the efforts of the R&D team to bring advancement in construction technology. Through real-life application and overcoming challenges in the industry, it proves the possibility of innovative technology on construction safety and productivity.


CITF Brings Benefits to the Industry

CIC Council Member Mr. Chan Kim-kwong said that the industry’s support to the adoption of new technology safeguards the lives of workers. In order to promote and encourage the application of innovation and technology, the CIC established the Construction Industry Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF) in 2018, with the aim of promoting construction productivity, boosting construction quality, improving site safety and enhancing environmental protection. Applicants can apply for funding for construction technology application or technical personnel training. As of April 2022, the fund has approved subsidy of more than HK$600million for more than 2,400 applications.

Whether it is construction site safety or the application of construction technology, as long as everyone is willing to take the first step, infinite possibilities will follow, builds a brighter future for the construction industry.


ᐅ Tseung Kwan O Desalination Plant Life First: Technological Management for Zero Accident

Apart from constant awareness, implementation of technology at construction sites is another tool to achieve “Life First”. As one of the Construction 2.0 projects spearheaded by the Water Supplies Department, Tseung Kwan O Desalination Plant aims to provide a stable supply of safe fresh water that will not be affected by extreme weather events. In its construction, highly efficient environmental management measures are implemented in conjunction with innovative digital technologies, including the flexible implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Artificial Intelligence Systems. These measures ensure safety at the construction site and a comprehensive management of site records, work progress and manpower management. In late May, Ir Ricky LAU, Permanent Secretary for Development (Works); Mr. LO Kwok Wah, Kelvin, Director of Water Supplies; Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of the CIC; Ir Albert CHENG, Executive Director of the CIC and Ir Dr. Derrick PANG, Chairperson of Committee on Construction Safety of the CIC visited the TKO Desalination Plant work site to study how the site puts innovative solutions to good use, so as to identify potential risks and implement appropriate safety measures. This visit also kicked off the “Life First” 2022 safety promotion campaign.


Offsite Manufactured Large-scale RO Parts Assembled Efficiently with Digitalised System

Safety measures should be one of the design features since the start of any projects to avoid accidents, the adoption of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) and BIM can support this requirement. Tseung Kwan O Desalination Plant adopts reverse osmosis (RO) technology, where a desalination membrane removes dissolved salts and impurities from seawater and turns it into drinkable fresh water. In the first quarter of 2022, the first phase of RO building construction was completed - DfMA design were implemented with the production of the major desalination membrane parts in Shanghai. After two rounds of rehearsal, the project team deployed a digitalised lifting appliance management system to transfer the entire desalination block into the Plant. Construction time was significantly reduced and the risk of on-site construction was mitigated.


Parts Tracking in Common Data Environment

A Lifting Appliances & Lifting Gears Management System was adopted to manage the project’s vast lifting and logistic works. All parts contain QR codes for showing individual installation information. These simple and minor steps further boost work efficiency, prevents unnecessary misunderstandings, and results in a stronger team. In such a complex application of multiple technologies, Common Data Environment (CDE) is essential. For instance, the project team used the BIM system for construction design that can be used for cross-checking for accuracy through instance integration of the real life conditions with the BIM models. It prevented gaps in interpretation and the need for correction work.


Pioneer for Safe and Smart Construction Site

The Desalination Plant has adopted the model of “Design, Build and Operate” as well as a range of smart devices in its construction, including underwater and air drone, smart cameras, Lifting Appliances & Lifting Gears (LALG) Management System, IoT sensors, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), People Management System etc. The concept of Safe and Smart Construction Site permeates all work processes, and encourages the team to frequently inspect facilities and the surroundings, while reducing work risks arising from inclement weather (like typhoons and thunderstorms). Immediate reminder can also be issued to workers who does not comply to safety guidelines.



Centralised Safety Platform to Boost Safety Level

Entering the Plant’s site office building, real time operational statistics and other real-time figures are shown on different monitors, including workers’ attendance, environmental statistics and CCTV images around the site. As a Centralised Safety Platform is used to collate control of the smart devices, monitoring and managing them has become more direct and convenient, when different operating systems are involved. “Safet Smart Site” concept is put into practice and result in a “zero accident” record.


PS(W): Workers should be Rewarded by their Wisdom and Hard Work

At the Launching Ceremony of the 2022 Life First campaign, Ir Ricky LAU, explained his strong belief that workers’ are paid for their hard work, not their lives. Stakeholders should uphold the safety mantra of “everyone is responsible” in their work, and stress their own safety and by extension, the safety of everyone around them at all times to ensure the sustainable development of the industry.


Chairman: Safety is a Job to be Done at Site

Ir Thomas HO encouraged owners, consultant agencies, contractors and developers to undertake safety and risk assessments since the initial stages of a project. For example, a contractor should remind subcontractors and workers the wind direction and supply proper safety gear. Workers should be on high alert at all times and “say no to danger”. With the awareness of responsibilities to be borne by the stakeholders in the industry, construction works and site safety will surely be a smooth sea to sail.


Adopt Technologies and Technique for Efficient and Safe Construction

The project team does not only apply technology in Design, Build & Operate, a Safety Training Centre and a VR Safety Experience Zone are set up for a 1-hour compulsory training and quiz to all newly employed workers. The Centre provides a number of VR safety experience stations and training, including equipment usage, first aid practice, safety helmet impact trial, fire suppression trial etc. These trainings actualise the safety concept and put forward the experiential learning experiences. As a result, it enhances the training effect. Ir Ricky Lau and Ir Thomas Ho had a run on the safety helmet impact trial. Though seemingly a simple step, all frontline workers are clearly reminded of the importance of properly wearing the helmet and prevention of serious accidents. "Life First" is reinforced and implemented at the site.


ᐅ Everyone Has a Role to Play: HKIC Pays Silent Tribute to Workers who Lost Their Lives

Safety first and foremost, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) aims to enhance safety awareness among the construction industry and raise safety standards on sites. Much headway has been made in the past decade to lower construction accident rate per 1000 workers from 52.1 in 2010 to 26.1 in 2020. Industrial accidents were tragedies in nature, yet we should also take it as a valuable lesson to learn. As we work as one, we grieve as one, CIC encourages the industry to mourn for our late co-workers and be mindful of the creed of “Life First, Safety First.”.

Three fatal accidents happened in April and May, and representatives from different sectors of the industry, including the government, main contractors and subcontractors came together and attended the silent tributes events held in the Hong Kong Institute of Construction (HKIC) in May. Mr. FONG Hok-shing, Michael, Director of Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD), Ir Dr. PANG Yat-bond, Derrick, Chairperson of CIC’s Committee on Construction Safety, Mr. CHU Tat-chi, Managing Director of Hip Hing Construction and Mr. Tsang Ting-fat, Director of Tin Wo Engineering Co. Ltd and Honorary President of Hong Kong Bar-Bending Contractors Association, have visited the Kowloon Bay Campus of HKIC to share their experience and safety messages with students.


Director of CEDD: Achieve “Zero Accidents” by Instilling Safety Concept Among Workers

The deceased are survived by their families, Mr. Michael FONG reminded students to always think before they act as their safety affects the whole family. He hoped that safety awareness could be rooted in their hearts. “The construction industry is entering a ‘Golden Era’ as huge number of projects are ready to commence, and you will become the backbone of our industry. We have seen good examples to proof that it is not impossible to achieve “Zero Accidents”. I hope the importance of safety can become part of your work DNA, so that you will be able to protect yourselves and your colleagues in the future.” He said.


Committee on Construction Safety: Prioritise Safety Over Work

Ir Dr. Derrick PANG urged students to live out the motto of “Everyone has a role to play in ensuring a safe environment”, he told them “most of the companies care about safety issues, your seniors will definitely follow up as long as you raise your concerns.” He emphasised that management is responsible for conducting risk assessment while frontline workers should understand risks and collaborate with their co-workers on safety issues, and always prioritise safety over work. “You are responsible for yourselves, your families and your colleagues, don’t be selfish when you spot potential risks.” He added.



Main Contractor: Walk in Other People’s Shoes

Accidents are unexpected but avoidable if workers go by the book. Mr. CHU Tat-chi advised students to walk in the shoes of frontline workers and act pre-emptively against risk. “As a management staff, you have to take every aspects into account because accidents does not only affect one life but a family.”


Bar-Bending Contractors Association: Be Prepared and Focus on the Long-run

Mr. TSANG Ting-fat has more than 40 years of experience in the industry, he asked students to equip themselves and stay focused on the long-run. “Workers are prone to accidents if they switch jobs frequently which makes it difficult for them to familiarise with the working environments.” He said.

After a moment of silence, the lecturer of Safety Training reviewed the accidents with students, and he advised students to identify potential dangers by “4M1E”, namely Man, Machine, Material, Method and Environment. He suggested students to formulate safety procedures before work commencement, remind frontline workers of safety precautions and inspect regularly with certificated personnel to make sure workplaces are in safe working condition. He advised students to ask and seek help from their seniors as needed in order to avoid putting themselves in danger.

CIC is devoted to enhancing safety awareness among the construction industry, apart from publishing safety guidelines and videos, CIC also organises safety training programmes. All of the three aforementioned accidents were caused by falls from height. In order to prevent accidents involving working at height, CIC has actively promoted the adoption of innovative technologies such as MiC which encourages offsite fabrication. In promoting the “Life First” message, CIC will continue with the multi-pronged approach and work hand-in-hand with the industry.


ᐅ Hong Kong Institute of Construction (Kwai Chung Campus) Silent Tribute: Safety Doesn't Happen By Accidents

In the next few years, the total construction output in Hong Kong will continue to grow and there will be a keen demand for manpower in the construction industry. The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has not only proactively increased the training of workers, but also widely promoted the vision of zero accidents in all construction sites such as organising regular silence tributes to reflect on recent fatal accidents and strengthen the safety mindsets of all industry stakeholders.

Mr. CHAN Pai-ming, Jimmy, JP, Director of Highway Department, Ir CHENG Ting-ning, Albert, Executive Director of the CIC, Mr LEE Hang-wing, James, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Paul Y. Engineering Group Limited and Mr WANG Kei-ming, Joseph, Managing Director of Ming Tai Construction Engineering Co Ltd joined the silent tribute at Hong Kong Institute of Construction (HKIC) Kwai Chung Campus in May and shared their views on recent accidents with students.


Take no chances at construction site

Turning a blind eye to the potential risks of construction sites often leads to unfortunate events. The Director of Highways, Mr. CHAN Pai-ming, Jimmy, shared with students that when he was a student, he always believed that accidents would never happen to him, which now he is sure that such mindset was a big mistake. "Every accident has various reasons behind and unexpected factors somehow collide together to cause a tragedy, which makes people regret it." He hoped the students would always put their own safety as the first consideration. "We have to rely on ourselves to pay attention, think one step further, and think carefully about whether the upcomings will pose a danger to us. Always ensure that adequate safety measures are taken."

Mr. Chan believes that compared to the past, the publicity and education on construction safety has been greatly enhanced. In particular, the CIC has successfully raised everyone's awareness by different videos explaining the causes of accidents.


All lives are equal

In order to achieve site safety, a concerted effort of contractors, sub-contractors, site personnel, industry stakeholders and the government shall be made. Mr LEE Hang-wing, James, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Paul Y. Engineering Group Limited emphasised that even though a construction project must involve different stakeholders such as the landlord, the developer, and the contractor, all lives are equal. "If there is any concern about the site environment, the workers must raise it and stop whatever they are working on." The overall industrial accident rate has dropped significantly in the past 20 years, but the number of deaths has remained the same in the past 10 years, which is around 20 cases per year. One single accident is far too many. He believes that with a concerted effort to uphold the principle of Life First, the construction safety will definitely be improved.



Never tread on thin ice

As the senior of the students from HKIC, Mr WANG Kei-ming, Joseph, Managing Director of Ming Tai Construction Engineering Co Ltd., gave tips to the students, "First, always keep your feet on the ground. Don't just look down on your phones and pay attention to traps ahead. Impatience can cause wise people to do foolish things; Second, never tread on thin ice. The site is not a place where you can jump and play. Safety is our top priority and you are the one who takes care of your own life.”


Five Safety Elements: 4M1E

By sharing the recent three fatal industrial accidents, the institute instructor reminded the student to always keep the "five safety elements'’ in mind, which are 4M1E: men, machines, materials, methods, and environment". He encouraged the students to learn safety knowledge from experience, and observe the environment carefully in a hope of "Arriving Safe. Working Safe. Going Home Safe." Ir CHENG Ting-ning, Albert, Executive Director of the CIC also wished all students could learn lessons from past accidents, keeping the priceless advice of the guests in mind. After all, safety is everyone's responsibility.


ᐅ National scientific research centre leads the development of an innovative construction material being used for the first time for building a Steel Butterfly Arch Bridge

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has always highly valued the role of research and innovation in the development of the industry. Researchers’ continuous effort in experimenting and data collected from real world experience in collaboration with the industry are equally important in bringing about advancement in construction. CIC is eager to encourage collaboration between institutions and the industry. Recently, CIC Chairman Ir HO On-sing Thomas and CIC member Mrs LO LEE Oi-lin visited the Hong Kong branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre for Steel Construction (CNERC) and its director Ir Prof. CHUNG Kwok-fai (also a CIC member) to discover how research data for high-strength S690 steel was used to enhance construction and welding techniques and improve structural design and seismic performance – and how this knowledge is being applied at the Cross Bay Link at Tseung Kwan O, the first bridge in China to use the steel.


Domestic high-strength steel enhances efficiency and safety

Since 1993, China has led the world in steel production, with annual production currently reaching approximately one billion tonnes. This comprises more than 50% of global production and far surpasses that of the United States and Japan.

China’s steel manufacturing technology has developed rapidly in recent years. In 2015, the State Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China approved the establishment of the CNERC (Hong Kong Branch) to locally promote advances in structural engineering with modern steel construction and assist in promoting high-quality steel structures on the international market.

As well as complying with EU and international standards, high-strength S690 steel also provides thickness options from 6mm to 80mm. Ir Prof. CHUNG points out that S690 steel’s strength and ductility are higher than common steel, with no cracks occurring even when buckled. It is usually used for building ports, mining facilities and other heavy structures. Though the production cost of high-strength steel is 1.3 times greater than for common steel, its load capacity is higher, with only half the amount needed to achieve the same bearing capacity. This effectively reduces the total cost by about one-third.


CIC Chairman Ir HO On-sing Thomas believes that high-strength steel is lighter and easier to transport and handle, which helps reduce the construction period, enhance worker safety, and accelerate the completion of high-quality buildings.


Superb welding technology for a forward-looking project

The CIC believes that innovative technologies are only effective when they are actually applied to projects. In the case of high-strength S690 steel, its practical proving ground is the butterfly-like 200-metre, double-arch bridge of the Cross Bay Link at Tseung Kwan O. The project’s contractor is the China Road and Bridge Corporation Hong Kong, and its Chairman is Ir KAN Jun, who is also a member of CIC.

According to Ir KAN, the extraordinary strength of S690 posed its own project challenge: unlike common structural steel which only requires ordinary welding once appropriately connected, the high strength steel requires pre-heating to 120 degrees Celsius before it can be welded. It also must be cooled at a well-controlled rate, with the whole process closely monitored

In another innovation, robots were employed to enhance welding accuracy. Equipped with a laser scanner, the robotic welding system can achieve an accuracy of 1/10mm. The system also improves worker safety and reduces manpower requirements, alleviating the construction industry’s long-term labour shortage.


Collaboration Between CIC, Businesses and Institutes for Applied Research

Components for the entire bridge were made with Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) techniques. Small and light modules were assembled at a Shanghai factory and easily transported to the site in Hong Kong in just eight days.

Overall, the project is a remarkable demonstration of the synergistic effect of innovative technologies in raising the efficiency and productivity of local construction projects.




Environmental protection and carbon reduction start with the ‘basics’

The CIC has long advocated sustainability and carbon neutrality as primary directions of industry development. In 2019, the CIC introduced the CIC Carbon Assessment Tool as a common platform for the construction industry to evaluate the carbon performance of buildings and infrastructures in Hong Kong from raw material extraction to the end of construction.

Professor CHUNG used the tool to calculate the impacts of a range of steel materials on the carbon footprints of projects and buildings. Citing the steel bridge of the Cross Bay Link as an example, the total weight of the entire bridge built with a combination of high-strength and common steels is 4,400 tonnes lighter than if common steel had been used exclusively. The choice of material for the bridge also reduces its carbon embodiment by 30%, significantly reducing its carbon footprint and giving it a high material efficiency.


From S690 to S960 to a S1200 future 

At least ten pilot projects – including bridges, leisure and cultural facilities and noise barriers – are set to apply high-strength S690 steel in Hong Kong, preparing the industry for wider application in the future. Just as a hundred temperings make tough steel, repeated training and practice makes for better construction.

Such experience also helps the industry create even stronger and better building materials for the future. The Hong Kong branch of CNERC is currently engaged in related research on S960, hoping to achieve the same strength intensity with less material. Ir HO On-sing Thomas hopes that more local bridge projects will consider applying new building materials. Ir KAN Jun looks forward to the creation of S1200 to expand the limits of design and construction methods for infrastructure projects and subsequently achieve an even wider adoption of high-strength steel in other building projects.


New Technology Nurtures Welding Master

As the technical welding requirements for S690 are particularly demanding, the CIC and the Hong Kong Institute of Construction are considering new technology content for the related welding course curriculum. The proposed welding course will cover relevant professional knowledge, handling and welding techniques, and will further enable the adoption of high-strength steel in Hong Kong.

The CIC will continue to study new building materials and applications as it plans ahead for the continuing industrialisation and digitalisation of the construction industry in Hong Kong.

ᐅ Overcoming Hurdles with Technology - Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Works

The emergence of construction innovations does not only enhances safety and productivity in construction, but also helps different projects overcome challenges and constraints, while introducing a new chapter for the industry. The Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Plants, located next to the Hong Kong border, has been undergoing expansion works since late 2018 and is expected to be completed by 2025. The plant’s sewage treatment capacity will be increased by 3 times to 5,000 m³ per day, in order to cope with the expected population growth and development of Sha Tau Kok area in the future. Recently, Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of CIC and Ir Albert CHENG, Executive Director of CIC, and Ar Clarence Leung, Member of CIC visited the site of Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Works, to know more about how the project team overcame the limitations of land use and successfully built a safe and effective sewage treatment plant with innovative ideas and technology including Building Information Modelling (BIM), Modular Integrated Construction method (MiC) and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA).


Achieving “Zero Accident” with Construction 2.0

As the industry is now migrating into the era of Construction 2.0, the Drainage Services Department took proactive steps by integrating the three key pillars of Construction 2.0 into the Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Works project, which are Innovation, Professionalization and Revitalization. According to Ms. Alice Pang, Director of Drainage Services Department, priority has been put on the spirit of mutual trust and cooperation among teams under this project. Binnies Hong Kong Limited and Build King – Kum Shing Joint Venture has been exploring possibilities in adopting various innovative technologies including BIM, off-site construction methodology, DfMA and MiC in which many young engineers were also involved.

The capacity of Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Plants was 1,660 m³/day before the expansion. Effluent was discharged to the sea via a shorter submarine outfall. Since the capacity is expected to be exhausted soon, there is a strong urge to upgrade the sewage treatment capacity and standard. Ms. Alice Pang pointed out that the limited land use and tight schedule have made the construction project extremely challenging. The construction team needed to find ways to build a temporary sewage treatment plant to maintain current sewage treatment services, and at the same time demolish the original facilities to make room for a new plant. In view of this, the team decided that 80% of the project, including the temporary sewage treatment plant and office, should adopt off-site construction methodology. Prefabricated steel components and independent prefabricated building components were assembled in the factories, and then transported to the site for installation. This does not only save construction procedures and manpower on site, but also reduces accidents. Compared to conventional construction methods, off-site construction can definitely improve productivity, safety level, quality and sustainability of the project.


Building a New Submarine Outfall

During this project, the sewage treatment capacity will be increased to 5,000 m³/day which is 3 times of the previous capacity. The project team therefore has constructed a larger and longer submarine outfall. Mr. Bryan Hung, Graduate Engineer from Build King – Kum Shing Joint Venture, explained that the team has adopted the land-sea two-way Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) method to construct a new submarine outfall with approximately 1.7 km long. Such innovation effectively saves the construction time and scope of work, facilitating in risk management and control in a safe and efficient manner. Construction of the submarine outfall has been successfully completed in the first quarter of 2022.



Safety Assured with a New Concept

In order not to intervene the operation of the original sewage treatment service, the team raced against time to get the entire temporary sewage treatment plant completed within 18 months where the 750 m2 construction area involved two major facilities - EQ Tank and Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor Tank (MBBR Tank). Since the equalizing cylinder is 14 meters high, there will be a certain degree of risk if conventional lifting and stacking method are adopted. Therefore, the team made use of DfMA approach to divide the whole tank into 150 pieces of steel panels which were fabricated by laser cutting. They are then connected by thousand sets of bolted joints on site. The team had made a bold move by installing the EQ Tank from top to bottom. Ir Ken Pang, Assistant Resident Engineer from Binnies Hong Kong Limited, explained the construction sequence. They first completed the base of EQ Tank, then the top shell ring section and lastly the top roof. Nine sets of screw jacks were temporarily erected at tank base for lifting the tank ring-sections one by one. It only took 5 minutes to lift one ring-section. No working at height or welding is involved to ensure site safety.


Constructing MiC Means Speed and Flexibility

The construction area of the temporary sewage treatment plant is only just as big as 1.5 standard basketball courts. To cope with the daily sewage treatment capacity of 2,500 cubic meters, the project team has adopted a new sewage treatment technology - Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR), which can process a larger amount of sewage in a smaller space. The team has applied MiC technology to construct the main facilities of the temporary sewage treatment plant. The water tank is divided into upper, middle and lower rings. Each ring is composed of four sections, where it is surrounded by stainless steel plates looking like wafers. The prefabricated steel plates were delivered to site, and then connected with bolts and nuts. The actual establishment period for each MBBR tank was 10 day and the whole process did not involve welding, which greatly shortened the construction time and enhanced safety level.

CIC actively promotes the adoption of innovative technologies in the industry to improve site safety and productivity. Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of CIC, is greatly impressed by the application of different new technologies at the site of Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Works, he appraised the synergy among project teams and the involvement of young engineers. With the concerted efforts, there has been zero accident on the construction site since the beginning of the project in 2018, setting an excellent example for the industry!

ᐅ Life isn’t expensive, it’s priceless: HKIC Holds a Moment of Silence

The construction industry built Hong Kong from the bottom-up, thousands of workers had put their hearts and souls into it. It is a pity that 3,109 cases of industrial accidents were recorded in the construction industry in 2021 according to the Labour Department. The Construction Industry Council (CIC) will continuously improve workers’ safety awareness through organising different activities, with an aim to foster a safety culture and achieve the goal of zero accidents on construction sites.

Industrial accidents have claimed four workers' lives in April and May, a silent tribute event was thus held in the Hong Kong Institute of Construction, Sheung Shui Campus (HKIC), in May in remembrance of the deceased. Mr Kelvin Lo Kwok-wah, Director of Water Supplies, Ir Thomas Ho On-sing, Chairman of CIC, together with members of the CIC, Mr Chan Kim-kwong and Sr Eddie Lam Kin-wing, have attended to share their experience with students, and reminded them to always bear the importance of safety in minds.


Playing with fire will eventually turn bitter

Looking back into the accidents, Ir Thomas Ho was saddened to see that those workers involved have all taken a risk. He reminded students to take every step cautiously and urged the students not to let their guards down just because the foreman is not in sight, not to underestimate the risk of working on a seemingly low in height scaffold, and never start working before they are sure their lifelines are secured. They also need to ensure danger zones are properly established and signs are set up. Conditions in construction sites are ever changing, Ir Thomas Ho advised students to be careful at all times, as he explained that “Construction procedures should be clearly listed out, however if there is a change, we must stop and think, many fatal accidents happen because changes are overlooked. Mentality is very important, I believe safety can be ensured as long as workers follow the procedures and dare to ‘say no to danger’.”


Preventing Accident By Adopting Innovative Technologies

CIC actively promotes the use of innovative technologies in the industry, Mr Kelvin Lo agreed that the deployment of technologies will contribute to safety, “The industry shall embrace innovative technologies such as mechanisation and industrialisation. Technologies like BIM, MiC and smart site management can help improve safety performance.” He suggested that it is everyone's responsibility to keep the sites safe as works are interlinked, accidents can be avoided if workers are willing to help each other out. "Regardless of the scale of the construction, safety comes first, we cannot sacrifice it for the sake of catching the schedule.” He added.



Good to Be Nosy

Sr Eddie Lam, Member of CIC and Chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board, advised students to stay alert to the surrounding areas in construction sites. “You should be nosy, in a sense that when you spot anything wrong, like no guardrails at a floor opening, voice out. A simple act can save a life.” he said. He also added that students should stop their colleagues from acting dangerously.


Be Neat and Tidy

Mr Chan Kim-kwong, Member of CIC and Chairman of the Hong Kong General Building Contractors Association, has been with the industry for more than 40 years. He recalled there were no safety training back in the early days, safety tips were only passed on by word of mouth from mentors. He encouraged students to make an all-out effort at work yet never risk their lives. “No matter how careful you are, a mistake may lead to accidents.” He said. As the attendees were plumbing’s students, Mr Chan urged them to keep the workplace neat and tidy, “Please make sure you keep your tools in place, or else someone might trip over the pipes.” he told them.


Dare to Ask

The purpose of hosting silent tribute events is to mourn the loss as well as to warn participants. The three fatal accidents were all related to falling from height. A tutor from HKIC went through the cases with students after a moment of silence, and taught them with “the four steps to safety”. First, workers should keep learning and be brave to ask. Secondly, workers should scrutinise the workplace, never hurry their work, rather they should pay attention to details and identify risks. Thirdly, they have to double check the workplace, tools, mechanics as well as personal equipment, for example make sure the lifeline is connected to a secure anchor point. Besides, workers should ensure the workplace is safe before proceeding to work. Even though everything is set, matters in construction sites are ever-changing, therefore the fourth step is to stop working. If one encounters a safety issue beyond his/her scope, just say no, and report to seniors or the corresponding department to get it solved.


Life First, Safety First

Every accident is a hard lesson to the industry for neglecting safety. In order to alert practitioners to avoid repeating mistakes, CIC provides safety guidelines, messages, posters to stakeholders in the industry, in which common accidents, critical control measures, links to video and safety quizzes are shared. CIC hopes to foster a safety culture in the industry, and always remind our fellow workers of the importance of “Life First, Safety First.”

ᐅ The World-Class Kai Tak Sports Park Embraces Construction Digitalisation

The Kai Tak Sports Park is the most important investment in Hong Kong sports infrastructure in recent decades. Occupying 28 hectares of land, the Kai Tak Sports Park is about 47% larger than the Victoria Park and will become the largest sports infrastructure in Hong Kong. As a brand new and sports infrastructure, its construction methodology and safety standard are also leading the industry. Complexity and time-constraint are the tough challenges for the construction team. Nonetheless, the team strives to maintain good safety management and has adopted innovative technologies which effectively minimise work-at-height activities, enhance productivity and accuracy, and set a new benchmark in the construction industry. Last week, Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of CIC and Ir Albert CHENG, Executive Director of CIC, and Sr Thomas HO, Member of CIC visited the site of the Kai Tak Sports Park. The Hip Hing project team shared how they adopt innovative technology to enhance construction safety.


Leading Transformations through Collaboration

Kai Tak Sports Park comprises three large sports facilities, including: the “Main Stadium”, the “Indoor Sports Centre” and the “Public Sports Ground”. Bringing sports and leisure together. According to Mr. Eric Lau, Construction Project Director of Hip Hing Engineering Company Limited, the Sports Park adopted the model of “Design, Build and Operate”, under which the design team has been working closely with the construction and operation teams since the early stages of the project. Moreover, different teams also relocated their bases to the site office at the Sports Park, to perform their roles in a timely manner with respect to various construction designs and transform different ideas into reality.

Besides the design, construction and operation team, the project also involves many other contractors in building services, structural steelworks, external facades of buildings and retractable roof construction. Therefore, extensive use of Building Information Modelling (BIM), Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) and Multi-trade integrated Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MiMEP) techniques has been using in this project to increase the efficiency of design and production, as well as enhancing the construction safety and risk management. The construction team fully utilises BIM for the preparation works of construction, allowing them to identify conflicts and figure out solutions in advance and proceed the construction safely and smoothly. Once the designs are ready, different prefabricated parts will be produced overseas factories for simultaneous prefabrication and the completed assemblies will be delivered to the site and finally handed over to operation team. This does not only greatly reduce the construction period, but also reduces the manpower and helps to create a safer working environment for frontline workers. This project fully illustrates how technology brings positive change to the site, and was awarded the “2020 BIM Achievement Award'' by the Council.

Mr. CHU Tat-chi, Managing Director of Hip Hing Construction, pointed out that the “Design, Build and Operate” model enabled them to plan the construction and operation arrangement at one go. They also had ample time and space to complete the works which made the project more cost-effective, boosting the efficiency and productivity of the project.


Sharpening tools for the tasks ahead

The retractable roof is one of the special features of the Main Stadium of Kai Tak Sports Park. Its roof is mainly supported by four sets of main steel trusses with a span of 180 m maximum and such scale is considered to be a mega building project in Hong Kong. The main steel truss consists of large steel circular hollow sections, with the diameter of the largest section being up to 1.6 m. Making use of computer-controlled welding machines for welding, the construction team also adopts advanced technologies such as BIM and DfMA in the prefabrication process, so as to improve quality and speed up the construction progress in terms of the on-site construction, the team also makes use of BIM for better visualising the design and facilitating the overall enhancement and construction processes. By transforming all the prefabricated components into “exploded-view drawing”, this illustrates the different functions of the components and the design for assembly in a three-dimensional way, so that contractor clearly understands the steps and methodology of installation for each procedure, e.g. external façade installation, building services installation and retractable roof construction, etc.

The Main Stadium of the Kai Tak Sports Park will accommodate 50,000 spectators and the steel structure of the roof involves 13,600 tons of structural steel. This, coupled with the area needed for the cranes, the storage of materials and the assembly of prefabricated components, requires a significant amount of space. Therefore, the team builds a travelling gantry, for the installation of around 1,700 prefabricated units for the upper rows of seats. All these are completed with the aim of design for safety, productivity and sustainability, minimising work-at-height and crossing operations in mind.


A step towards “paperless site environment” through the use of advanced technologies

In order for frontline workers to have a clear understanding of how to bring innovative technologies into construction sites, the project team makes use of a platform called “Dalux” which not only facilitates the planning and execution of BIM tasks, but also allows site personnel to go into the site without the need to bring along the drawings. The GPS tracking function allows personnel to have a clear understanding of the project and tasks’ progress in real time, while also keeps information constantly updated through the use of cloud technology. The whole team therefore simultaneously monitors the progress and minimises mistakes. Hip Hing’s professional team once again demonstrates the industry’s continuous pursue of excellence and the spirit of “Life First” and “Zero Accident” with concerted efforts.

ᐅ Carbon Neutrality Journey - CIC-ZCP x iHub: Showcase Construction Infinity

As climate tipping points lie alarmingly close, achieving carbon neutrality is the task in hand. The construction industry consumes approximately 36% of all energy consumed globally and accounted for 40% of all carbon emissions in the world. In order to achieve sustainable development, the Construction Industry Council is determined to lead the industry towards the goal of carbon neutrality.


Leading Low Carbon Construction Technology Showcase

Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of the CIC, visited the CIC–Zero Carbon Park (CIC-ZCP) in Kowloon Bay in late April to learn about the latest development of this landmark facility. Established in 2012, CIC-ZCP serves as an exhibition, education and information centre to raise awareness of the importance of low-carbon living, showcasing the state-of-the-art eco-building design and technologies to the local and international construction industry, and eventually innovates the stakeholders to deploy new technologies as a way to reduce carbon footprints. 

Zero carbon building is a building that has zero net carbon emissions on an annual basis. CIC-ZCP aims to achieve this by generating on-site renewable energy from photovoltaic panels and a tri-generation system using biofuel made of waste cooking oil. On top of being self-sustainable, CIC-ZCP exports surplus energy to offset embodied carbon of its construction process. Apart from renewable energy generation, CIC-ZCP has taken various passive design measures to save energy. For example, CIC-ZCP is cross-ventilated as its main facade faces southeast to take advantage of the prevailing summer breezes coming from that direction. The elongated form of CIC-ZCP also enables a suitable room depth between the northwest and southeast facade for daylighting.


Upgrade and Update

CIC-ZCP has never stopped upgrading throughout the decade. Chairman of Zero Carbon Building Management Board, Mr CHONG Kin-lit, Paul explained that the park has installed the “Air Improvement Photovoltaic (AIPV) Glass Canopy” to replace the old canopy of the cafeteria in CIC-ZCP. The glass canopy not only offers daylighting, on one hand it generates renewable energy from sunlight through cadmium telluride nano thin-film photovoltaic technology. On the other hand, the quantum dot nano top coating system decomposes PM2.5 and volatile organic compounds, which will help improve air quality. Ir Thomas HO appreciated the efforts CIC-ZCP has paid to put new technologies into practice for the benefit of the members of the public.


A pioneer of MiC

To achieve the target of carbon neutrality, the construction industry should stay up to date on the advancement of technology. CIC-ZCP together with the “MiC Resources Centre”, “Building Information Modeling Space” (BIM Space) and the “Construction Innovation and Technology Application Centre” (CITAC) have formed the "iHub”. The brand new “i-Hub” exhibits advanced technologies and materials to promote the application of innovative techniques and solutions in the local construction industry. While the “Modular Integrated Construction” (MiC) approach is widely adopted nowadays, this method was once doubted when introduced to Hong Kong several years ago. Back in 2018, CIC pioneered the development of MiC by constructing Hong Kong’s first MiC-constructed building in CIC-ZCP, giving a lead to the industry that this “factory assembly followed by on-site installation” method is favourable to improving construction productivity, safety and sustainability. There are more than 60 local construction projects adopting MiC so far, including the Temporary Quarantine Camps built in Lei Yue Mun Park and Penny’s Bay.


Education is key to carbon neutrality

Carbon neutrality can only be achieved when members of the public work hand-in-hand, CIC-ZCP aims to serve beyond the industry, and into the community. The CIC-ZCP’s Sustainable Development Exhibition showcases the blueprint and key elements of sustainable city development. Through a series of interactive fun-packed games, guided tours, educational workshops and "ZCP Green Heroes" Award Badges Programme, CIC-ZCP encourages students to participate in various carbon reduction activities, hence understanding the importance of sustainable development and carbon neutrality. With nearly 200,000 traffic recorded last year, Mr. Paul CHONG envisions CIC-ZCP to become a spark of sustainable development, and eventually foster the public to live a low-carbon lifestyle.


Lungs of the City

Sustainable development should not be confined to technological breakthroughs and protecting the environment, a healthy lifestyle is also essential. CIC-ZCP is home to over 200 species of flora, attracting numerous types of birds. With rich and varied biodiversity, CIC-ZCP functions as the “lungs of the city”, and this urban forest offers a relaxing space to the community.

CIC-ZCP dedicates to shoulder the social responsibility for promoting the sustainability and infinite construction possibilities. CIC-ZCP has attracted over thousands secondary and primary school students every year, and it is the popular picnic and recreational hotspot. According to the third-party statistics, the media values of CIC-ZCP has exceeded HK$30M recent years.

Leading forward, CIC-ZCP will continue to act as a test bed for new energy and advanced technologies, shoulder the responsibility of promoting low-carbon living and green-building design, and lead the industry and the public towards carbon neutrality.

ᐅ The Hong Kong Institute of Construction Held a Moment of Silence to Raise Safety Awareness

Zero tolerance to accidents! To promote safety awareness in the industry, especially among frontline construction practitioners, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) encourages the industry to organise regular Silent Tribute events for conveying safety messages to management staff and workers and encourage them to learn from unfortunate experiences. The Hong Kong Institute of Construction (HKIC) under CIC holds Silent Tribute events regularly where instructors and students held a moment of silence for workers who lost their lives in accidents. To make sure that students understand the importance of safety, we included analysis of potential causes of accidents as a key element in the event.


Industry to hold Silent Tribute events to promote caring culture

To achieve excellence, not only project quality has to be guaranteed, construction companies should also ensure construction safety at sites. As the industry’s pioneer, CIC encourages the development of a caring culture in the industry, the Silent Tribute event will set a good example for the industry and is well received by industry leaders. Ir Thomas HO, the Chairman of the CIC, Ir KAN Jun, Council Member of CIC and Mr. CHAN Lok-chai, President of Registered Specialist Trade Contractors Federation joined the Silent Tribute in early April and shared some sincere remarks on safety issues with students from the foreman course.


Between January to March this year, three fatal accidents likely to be related to fall from heights and trapped in or between objects occurred, all are very unfortunate. HKIC instructors briefed students on the incident summary and analyze potential causes to the accidents. Reflection was made on how to avoid accidents, for example, did workers check if there is any suitable protective barrier? Is independent lifeline with fall-arresting devices available? Did frontline management brief or give instruction before commencement of work?


No heroes needed in safety

Ir Thomas HO warned students, “Some workers think their experience overrides safety precautions, and tragedies happen. Students will become foremen after graduation, you must bear in mind that workers need to know the risk before they start working, and it will save their lives.” He also reminds students that immediately stoppage is needed if work sequence is different from the planned sequence suddenly. Life will be protected if we stay alert and take one extra step.  

Look before you leap

It is important to look before you leap, especially at construction sites. CIC remind the industry regularly that decisions made controls workers’ lives and their family. Ir KAN Jun shared that “You must make safety a habit because it will affect more than one family. I know that many accidents are caused by improper use of safety belt, it is important to stay alert. PPE is just the beginning of safety measures, workers with less experience may be less aware of safety hazards, so regular training is needed.”


Everyone is responsible for Construction Safety

Mr. CHAN Lok-chai visits sites frequently, he pointed out that “Foreman is an important role with great responsibilities because they are the ones who should know all happenings on site, such as how to perform lifting operations safely? Did workers let the form work finish in a safe environment for next sequence?” He also encouraged owners, main contractors and sub-contractors to organise mandatory talks for workers and learn from the bitter experience of families who have lost their loved ones.


Guideline for the Industry

With the “Zero Accident” principle, through Silent Tribute events, CIC and HKIC strives to promote safety awareness and understanding of safety standard and deliver the message clearly to construction workers. CIC has prepared a guideline with recommended rundown for the industry for organising Silent Tribute events. Owners, main contractors and sub-contractors are encouraged to hold a moment of silence for workers passed away in accidents on their own but it should carry the most important message in the event which is “Safety Assurance” and potential risks could be avoided.


CIC reviews and monitors safety performance in the industry from time to time while joining hands with the industry to foster a positive safety culture. CIC and the government strongly encourage sites to arrange workers to do warm-up exercise “Baduanjin” before the commencement of the work daily. Exercising can enhance workers’ physical flexibility and encourage a healthy lifestyle to minimise the risk of injuries. It is helpful to workers’ health and prepare them for the long day of work ahead. Therefore we strongly encourage to include “Baduanjin” in every Silent Tribute event. HKIC organizes various training courses on construction safety for workers to promote safety awareness and attitude. Eventually, we hope to foster the concept of “Life First” in the industry on all fronts. Let’s say “No” to Danger together!


ᐅ "Safety First" Supported by Technology at Lyric Theatre Complex Site


Construction safety has always been the Construction Industry Council (CIC)'s top priority in our work in promoting industry development. Unfortunately, there was another fatal accident during the past Easter holiday where a cleaning worker fell from height. In fact, every aspect of a construction project, including process design, site management, application of technology, and training are essential to construction safety, and every detail can give better protection to workers.


Innovative technology adoption from design to execution

Last week, Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of CIC, and Ir Albert CHENG , Executive Director of CIC, visited the site of the Lyric Theatre Complex at West Kowloon and extensive adoption of BIM, MiMEP and MiC method were demonstrated. Contractor's planning and intelligence in minimising potential risks can be seen from the project's process design to technology application. It is a exemplary reference for the industry. Mr. SM LIN, General Manager, Construction Projects of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority explained that the extensive use of BIM enables constant checks on construction accuracy which helps to ensure construction safety. This project is a fusion of architecture, technology and art and sets a good example for fellow construction project owners.

The Lyric Theatre Complex in West Kowloon has an atypical outlook. The irregular shape of the building brings complexity and uncertainty to its construction process. With an aim to simplify on-site construction procedures and processes, the contractor adopted BIM extensively to achieve "Design for Safety". Much effort has been put into the initial design stage to achieve construction safety and reduce potential risks. With BIM in place, calculation and Parametric Design can help reduce the number of curved panels used for the curvy facade from more than 300 pieces to approximately 160 pieces . The steel internal support structure can also be modularised. With the help of technology, we believe modularisation of curtain walls and even modularisation of interiors can be made possible and will bring about further improvements in construction productivity.


Minimising risk with Internet-based Dynamic Risks Assessment

With careful planning during the design stage, uncertainties and unknown risks can be greatly reduced as "how" and "when" are well-determined throughout the construction process. We can also benefit from the detailed planning as everyone will be well-informed of accurate and useful information of the project, as detailed as the position of every screw. The developer, the consultant, the contractor, the technical team or even the workers will be able to perform their duties in a safe and organised manner. Contractor can suspend the work and install safety equipment instantly with the internet-based Dynamic Risks Assessment and resume construction in a safe condition when all workers are informed of the changes.



Implementation of the DfMA concept

Actual architectural consideration will follow when an effective and disciplined design is in place. Mr. Iain Hubert, Project Director of Gammon Construction, introduced at the Lyric Theatre Complex site that nearly 70% of the building process of the site's engine room and large-scale plumbing installations were built with DfMA and MiMEP method. Parts were pre-fabricated in the factory to ensure their quality and DfMA can greatly reduce welding works and works at height on site. Onsite procedures can be reduced from 40 to 10. These design ideas have greatly reduced the potential risks on site. The team also enjoyed the much shorter procedure as minimal installation work is needed at site likes fixing hoses and screws were completed in just 24 working days, an outstanding achievement in construction safety and efficiency!

Prefabricated construction can reduce on site manpower requirement and it is particularly important during the pandemic. During the outbreak of the fifth wave of the epidemic in Hong Kong, many workers were unable to go to work and logistics between Hong Kong and the Mainland was hindered, which also affected the delivery of materials and in turns, the progress of construction projects. Yet with the adoption of DfMA, components can still be manufactured in the mainland which shortens the onsite construction time and ensures a smooth construction progress. Mr. Sunny CHAN, Chief Projects Officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, mentioned that part of the site was reserved for workshops and local pre-fabrication so as to avoid delays in construction progress caused by logistics problems during the pandemic.


Quality and logistic monitoring in the Digital Control Centre

The digital control center in the construction site is indispensable to maximize the benefits of the technology application on the construction site. The MMC (Modern Method of Construction) system is a consolidation of various technologies. Since the start of the design works of the Lyric Theatre Complex with BIM, through the construction process with MiMEP and DfMA construction work, all data are recorded in the system with the help of Internet of Things (IoT). The team in charge of managing the MMC system are in control of all processes, and will be able to monitor the project quality on the digital platform, components arrival time and even the person receiving the components and ensure that the entire project runs smoothly. An AI-powered CCTV is also included in the system to ensure workers are wearing their hard hats and masks properly and will issue instant warnings to secure the implementation of safety instructions. If all engineering projects adopt such system, all the data can be consolidated to achieve standardisation in construction sites, which will improve the time, cost, quality, safety and sustainable development of projects.

Construction safety is indeed a responsibility for all and everyone should contribute. In order to encourage frontline colleagues' commitment, the Council awarded two outstanding engineering colleagues with tablet computers - Victor, who is committed to create a safe working environment by integrating BIM, MiMEP, MiC, etc.; and Herman, who inspects the construction site and reminds subcontractors and frontline workers to pay attention to safety at work. CIC looks forward to more integration of safety details into construction process and "Life First" is always the industry's first priority!


ᐅ Building Home for the Elderly With Young And Innovative Power


Achieving “Zero Accident” is the top priority on construction sites. By adopting the concept of “factory assembly followed by on-site installation”, Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) helps to ease and solve some of the safety challenges faced by the industry.


Life First

CIC strives to raise safety awareness and safety standards in the construction industry. It is believed that every industry stakeholder has a role to play in building a strong safety culture. Last week, Ir Thomas HO, Chairman of CIC and Ir Albert CHENG, Executive Director of CIC visited the site of the Purpose-built Multi-welfare Services Complex in Area 29 of Kwu Tung North Development Area. Construction team from Shui On Construction and Materials Limited (SOCAM) demonstrated the use of robots and innovative technologies including Automated Material Delivery Robot with a Web-based control system and an Anti-Collision system. Such technology is designed for efficiently uplifting productivity, build quality, site safety and environmental performance of the whole project. Freddy Lee, Chief Executive Officer of SOCAM shared his experience of working with young colleagues and how the company supported them to generate more innovative and interesting ideas for construction projects.



Creating Miracles

In this 8-storey building, approximately 42% of total construction floor area is built using the revolutionary MiC technology to house 7 residential care homes for the elderly to provide 252 beds. With this method, free-standing integrated modules (completed with finishes, fixtures and fittings) are manufactured and assembled in a factory. By transferring on-site construction processes to a controlled factory environment, buildings can be substantially completed off-site.

It perfectly echoes with the miraculous Community Isolation Facilities which were built within two months and are currently providing 20,000 isolation units. Not to mention that Tsing Yi community isolation facility was completed in only seven days. Thanks to MiC technology, the “plug and play” facilities were handed over smoothly in such a short time and of outstanding quality.  


Plug and Play!

Prefabricated construction technology never ceases to amaze us! As the first project with full MiC application and green construction by SOCAM, this Multi-welfare Services Complex sets a new standard to elderly home projects while proving how prefabricated building method can get work done faster, at lower cost and most importantly, in a safer environment. We look forward to seeing its completion in late August this year, and more elderly people can live in better home to enjoy the care provided to them.



Creating Miracles

In this 8-storey building, approximately 42% of total construction floor area is built using the revolutionary MiC technology to house 7 residential care homes for the elderly to provide 252 beds. With this method, free-standing integrated modules (completed with finishes, fixtures and fittings) are manufactured and assembled in a factory. By transferring on-site construction processes to a controlled factory environment, buildings can be substantially completed off-site.

It perfectly echoes with the miraculous Community Isolation Facilities which were built within two months and are currently providing 20,000 isolation units. Not to mention that Tsing Yi community isolation facility was completed in only seven days. Thanks to MiC technology, the “plug and play” facilities were handed over smoothly in such a short time and of outstanding quality.  


Plug and Play!

Prefabricated construction technology never ceases to amaze us! As the first project with full MiC application and green construction by SOCAM, this Multi-welfare Services Complex sets a new standard to elderly home projects while proving how prefabricated building method can get work done faster, at lower cost and most importantly, in a safer environment. We look forward to seeing its completion in late August this year, and more elderly people can live in better home to enjoy the care provided to them.


Last Updated: 2022-07-05 18:58:14