The implementation of the high productivity construction method, Modular Integrated Construction (MiC), has been actively promoted by the Government since 2017 to enhance the industry’s cost effectiveness and beyond. Its adoption has been mandated for designated buildings such as schools; dormitories; hospitals; and office buildings under the Government’s Capital Works Programme from April 2020 onwards.
Secretary for Development, Bernadette Linn explained that MiC has been adopted in over 70 projects at present, including those by the Architectural Services Department and other public and non-governmental organisations, as follows:
Her written reply to a five-part question in the Legislative Council on 26 April 2023 also listed projects awarded by the Government in past five years through the Architectural Services Department with integration of MiC:
According to the University of Hong Kong’s study on two MiC pilot projects (namely 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 to 50 per cent; uplift on-site productivity by 100 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, compared to traditional construction methods.
To encourage the industry to adopt innovative technologies like MiC, the Government allocated HKD1 billion to set up the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF) in 2018, followed by an additional HKD1.2 billion into the same fund in 2022. 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).
Bernadette Linn added that the provision of MiC manufacturing and storage sites in Hong Kong, in particular in the Northern Metropolis, will be explored to enhance collaboration with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Pursuant to the 2022 Policy Address, the Development Bureau established a cross-departmental steering committee in early January 2023 to coordinate development of high productivity construction methods. According to her, HKD15 million has been earmarked in the 2023-24 Budget to conduct consultancy studies to support the work of this steering committee. The scope of study will cover areas such as the manufacturing, transportation, storage and accreditation of MiC modules. The committee targets to complete the relevant tasks within this fiscal year in order to formulate a comprehensive policy. —Construction+ Online