LCQ6: Modular Integrated Construction method
It is learnt that the Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) method is an innovative construction method that can effectively shorten the construction period on site and enhance productivity, works quality, site safety, environmental performance and cost-effectiveness. The Government has been actively promoting the implementation of MiC since 2017, and mandated the adoption of MiC for designated buildings such as schools, dormitories, hospitals and office buildings under the Government's Capital Works Programme (except for projects exempted by the Steering Committee set up by the Development Bureau (DEVB) in 2019) from April 2020 onwards. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has compiled statistics on the total number of buildings and civil engineering construction projects in the territory in the past five years which were constructed using MiC, with a breakdown by the type and use of the buildings;
(2) among the government buildings constructed in the past five years, of the number and percentage of the projects concerned which adopted MiC, and the names of such projects; whether the authorities have assessed the cost savings and social benefits brought by such projects through the adoption of MiC;
(3) of the measures in place to encourage the construction industry and more developers to adopt MiC, and to foster collaboration with the Mainland cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) in order to strengthen the leading position of Hong Kong's construction industry in the adoption of MiC in the GBA;
(4) whether it will consider setting up MiC construction factories locally, and study the feasibility of local production of prefabricated modules, so as to promote the upgrading and transformation of the traditional construction industry; and
(5) given that it has been announced in the 2022 Policy Address that DEVB will establish a dedicated cross-departmental steering committee for coordinating the development of high productivity construction methods such as MiC, and the committee will formulate measures in 2023 to strengthen the MiC supply chain, whether the Government has formulated a timetable and performance indicators for the actual implementation of the relevant work; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
The construction industry in Hong Kong is facing various challenges, including manpower shortage, declining productivity, high construction costs. To enhance the industry’s productivity and cost effectiveness, the Government has been actively promoting the adoption of high productivity construction methods such as Modular Integrated Construction (MiC), Multi-trade Integrated Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MiMEP). The Chief Executive mentioned in his 2022 Policy Address that a cross-departmental steering committee would be established for co-ordinating the development of high productivity construction methods such as MiC, and streamlining of related approval processes. In addition to expediting housing supply, it will strengthen the leading regional position of Hong Kong’s construction industry in the adoption of MiC.
My reply to the five parts of the question raised by the Hon Chan is as follows:
(1) Government took the lead in adopting MiC in a number of projects, with types and purposes of buildings covering schools, quarters and hospitals. Besides, public and non-governmental organisations, including the Hong Kong Housing Authority, the Hong Kong Housing Society, the Urban Renewal Authority, the Hospital Authority, have started the adoption or trial of MiC. At present, MiC has been adopted in over 70 projects, which is categorised as follows:
(office buildings, schools, disciplined services quarters, hospitals, etc)
(public and private residential buildings, transitional housing, etc)
|Student hostel and youth hostel projects||about 15|
(2) Among the projects awarded by the Government through the Architectural Services Department in the past five years, MiC has been adopted for the following projects:
|1.||Chinese Medicine Hospital in Tseung Kwan O|
|2.||Kwun Tong Composite Development Project|
|3.||Multi-welfare Services Complex in Area 29 of Kwu Tung North New Development Area|
|4.||Redevelopment of Western Police Married Quarters site|
|5.||Construction of Disciplined Services Quarters for the Fire Services Department at Pak Shing Kok, Tseung Kwan O|
|6.||Expansion of the Legislative Council Complex|
|7.||Two special schools at Renfrew Road, Kowloon Tong|
|8.||Fire station-cum-ambulance depot with departmental quarters and facilities in Area 72, Tseung Kwan O|
|9.||A primary school at Lin Cheung Road, Sham Shui Po|
|10.||A primary school and a kindergarten at Site E-1, Development of Anderson Road Quarry Site, Sai Kung|
|11.||A primary school in Tsuen Wan West Station (TW7) Development, Tsuen Wan|
|12.||A primary school at Site 1B-4, Kai Tak Development|
|13.||A primary school at Au Pui Wan Street, Fo Tan, Sha Tin|
|14.||A primary school at Site KT2a, Development at Anderson Road, Kwun Tong|
|15.||A primary school at Site KT2c, Development at Anderson Road, Kwun Tong|
|16||A primary school at Area 9, Tai Po|
|17.||Food and Environmental Hygiene Department Skylight Market|
As the nature of each project is different and the extent to which it has applied MiC varies, a general assessment cannot be made on the cost savings and social benefits brought about by this technology. According to the University of Hong Kong’s study on two MiC pilot projects (i.e. InnoCell at the Hong Kong Science Park and the Disciplined Services Quarters for the Fire Services Department at Pak Shing Kok in Tseung Kwan O), the adoption of MiC can reduce construction time by about 30 per cent to 50 per cent, uplift on-site productivity by 100 per cent to 400 per cent, save construction costs by at least 10 per cent and has better performance in terms of workmanship, environmental protection and safety than using traditional construction methods.
(3) Apart from taking the lead in adopting MiC in public projects, we have also introduced various measures to encourage the industry to adopt MiC. In 2018, the Government allocated $1 billion for setting up the Construction innovation and Technology Fund (CITF). In 2022, an additional $1.2 billion was injected into the CITF for supporting its ongoing operation and implementation of enhancement measures, with a view to encouraging the industry to adopt innovative technologies, including MiC and MiMEP.
In addition, the Buildings Department, the Lands Department and the Planning Department have issued a joint practice note to provide a 10 per cent concession for MiC floor area in the calculation of gross floor area and site coverage, and a 4 per cent storey height concession for MiC floors in the calculation of the building height restriction, so as to encourage the industry to adopt MiC.
(4) Under the studies as mentioned in part (5) below, we will explore the provision of MiC manufacturing and storage sites in Hong Kong, in particular in the Northern Metropolis, to enhance collaboration with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), and promote the development of this building industry.
(5) Pursuant to the 2022 Policy Address, the Development Bureau established a cross-departmental steering committee on high productivity construction methods in early January 2023. The Financial Secretary earmarked $15 million in his 2023-24 Budget for us to conduct consultancy studies to support the work of the steering committee. The scope of study will cover areas such as the manufacturing, transportation, storage, accreditation, of MiC modules, as well as ways to enhance collaboration with the GBA and optimise the MiC supply chain. The steering committee targets to complete the relevant tasks within this fiscal year, so as to formulate a comprehensive policy to promote the development of MiC industry.
Ends/Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:25
Issued at HKT 16:25