Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole government, including many young faces, have been working in concerted effort to fight the epidemic. Amid the severe epidemic, they have dared to face challenges and proactively taken part in the construction of additional community isolation and treatment facilities. This time, I have invited three Post-90s engineers respectively from a works department, a public utility and a contractor to share their experience of taking part in the urgent works projects and how to rise to the challenges in fighting the virus together.
Experiencing the importance of isolation facilities
The Government has proactively identified sites for community isolation and treatment facilities, and the young engineers have gained valuable experience through participation in such construction projects. Assistant Clerk of Works of the Architectural Services Department, Mr Peter LEE, says that it has been his honour to participate in the construction projects of community isolation facilities (CIFs) at Penny's Bay, Tsing Yi and Kai Tak. Even without much experience, he has taken part in the construction of the first phase of Penny's Bay CIF and would like to express thanks for his supervisors’ guidance. He believes that such working experience will lay a solid foundation for his future career. Therefore, no matter what the challenges ahead are, he will rise to them.
A wall protecting the health of over seven million people in Hong Kong
During the construction, Mr Peter LEE was unfortunately confirmed with COVID-19 infection, making him deeply understand the importance of the isolation facilities and resume duty immediately after recovery to monitor the works quality of the CIF at Tsing Yi. The project was completed within one week, providing an appropriate facility for confirmed COVID-19 patients. As he describes, those CIFs are not ordinary buildings, but a wall protecting the health of over seven million people in Hong Kong, and he works not only for salary, but also for serving the people.
Public utilities bringing their power expertise into play
Apart from the colleagues from various government departments taking part in the anti-epidemic work, I am also very grateful to public utilities and contractors for their full assistance. Senior Engineer (Power Systems) of the CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, Mr Jeffrey LEUNG, is responsible for power supply planning and design. He says that at the very beginning, he had not thought that he was able to contribute to the fight against the virus as a power professional in the engineering sector under the severe epidemic situation. The completion of the power works for the CIFs is a race against time. Immediately after learning that the Government had to construct a number of CIFs, CLP Power’s project team started working on power supply planning and research and deployed many engineers and resources for building the power supply networks for the CIFs, so that they could come into operation as early as possible.
Completing various power supply projects in record time
In general, a project, from planning to provision of electricity to users, usually takes several months or above to complete. However, according to Mr Jeffrey LEUNG, the engineering team of CLP Power worked round the clock to greatly shorten the construction time of the CIFs and the completion of various power supply projects in record time gave him much encouragement. The anti-epidemic work makes him deeply feel that everyone, regardless of sector and age, can also contribute to the community in the fight against the epidemic. Young people could also contribute their expertise in different positions as long as they equip themselves.
Rising to the challenges ahead amid a bad environment
Another young person Mr Peter CHIU is an Engineering Graduate of the China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Limited. He says that he is very proud to have participated in anti-epidemic work in serving the society despite joining the construction industry just over a year. Looking back on February this year, he and his team were the first batch of engineering personnel working at the new phase of Penny’s Bay isolation facility. The inclement weather and adverse environment at that time could not stop them from rising to the challenges. In view of the soaring number of confirmed cases, Mr Peter CHIU had not returned home after work for two weeks in a row in order to help complete the construction as fast as possible and minimise contact with his family.
Hong Kong and the Mainland are of the same lineage
To cope with this wave of the epidemic, the Central Government, in response to the request of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, had commissioned a Mainland construction team to assist in building community isolation and treatment facilities, which in turn helped foster close co-operation between the frontline workers of Hong Kong and the Mainland. Mr Peter CHIU says that the construction of the facilities with the support of the Central Government has demonstrated the same lineage of the two places and their mutual help during difficult times, so he finds his work particularly meaningful.
Wide adoption of MiC at Penny’s Bay
Three post-90s young people also say that taking part in the construction of CIFs is an eye-opener for them, making them have great confidence in the working environment and prospects of the construction industry. Mr Peter LEE says that the construction industry in the past relied mainly on erection of formwork, fixing of reinforcement and concreting, but various technologies such as Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) technology have been adopted in many projects in recent years. Mr Peter CHIU says that the use of free-standing integrated modules (completed with finishes, fixtures and fittings), manufactured in a factory and then delivered to sites for assembly, as isolation facilities substantially reduces construction time, uplifts productivity, etc.
Mr Jeffrey LEUNG feels deeply about the close co-operation among various stakeholders. Taking the CIFs in the Lok Ma Chau Loop as an example, he says, there was no supply network, but with the co-operation among the engineering team of CLP Power, contractors and various government departments, and the set up of temporary control centre for flexible deployment of manpower and resources among various teams and discussion on power supply contingency measures, facilitated the smooth setup of the supply networks. Finally they laid a number of power cables with total length of eight kilometres from Mai Po substation to the Loop within 10 days in a record time.
As the new blood for the construction industry, the Post-90s, through participation in these anti-epidemic projects, not only acquire the knowledge of the innovative technologies of the industry, but also gain an extraordinary experience for their future careers. With the continual growth of construction volume, the support and promotion by the Government to the innovative technologies in the construction industry and the determination to attract more talents by the construction industry, we are optimistic about the prospects of the construction industry. I look forward to seeing more young people becoming a member of the construction industry.
15 May, 2022Back