The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has been a cordial partner of the Development Bureau for a long time. Having led the CIC for six years as the Chairman since February 2016, Mr CHAN Ka-kui, KK, will leave office at the end of this month. Under his leadership, the CIC has made enormous contribution in advancing construction innovation, promoting technological application, providing manpower training and building industry solidarity. I am very grateful for his contribution. This time, I have made a special invitation to have KK talk to us about his six eventful years at the CIC, a journey that is anything but ordinary.
Two unforgettable MiC projects
Regarding unforgettable events during his term of office, KK says the topping-out ceremonies for the first two Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) pilot projects (high-rise projects) – the Married Quarters for the Fire Services Department at Pak Shing Kok in Tseung Kwan O and the InnoCell by the Hong Kong Science Park in Sha Tin are definitely the first that come to mind. Built with MiC technology, both projects took a much shorter time for construction than those built with traditional methods. Not only was the construction cost lower, these projects also performed well in productivity, quality, environmental protection and safety. In addition, the InnoCell project has won many international awards.
MiC – the soul of industrialised construction
In fact, since 2017, the DEVB and the CIC have been working with the industry to actively promote and encourage the adoption of MiC in building projects. KK believes that MiC can thoroughly improve the operation of the construction industry. He says that transferring on-site construction procedures to a factory not only makes the working environment more comfortable and safe, but also facilitates the use of technology such as robots and artificial intelligence, which can help enhance productivity. In addition, the CIC has been actively promoting the use of MiC by organising a number of local and overseas visits, workshops and large-scale international seminars to promote exchange of insights among MiC experts from around the world, in order to establish the position of Hong Kong in the “international MiC society”.
Rapid construction of quarantine facilities
With all the research done on MiC over the years, all we know about MiC technology came in handy when COVID-19 struck Hong Kong in 2020. The use of MiC technology was one of the major factors that made it possible for us to build a large number of quarantine facilities in a very short period of time to fight the pandemic. Currently, more than 60 construction projects have made use of MiC technology in Hong Kong. More projects, even larger in scale, will be using the technology in the future. For example, MiC technology will be more widely used in public housing estate projects, involving more than 20 000 residential units, including one of the residential buildings under the public housing development at Tung Chung Area 99 and three buildings at the Anderson Road quarry site.
The CIC has been actively building a culture of innovative thinking and promoting innovation in the industry in recent years. According to KK, after his appointment as the CIC’s Chairman in 2016, he worked with colleagues to prepare for the building of the Construction Innovation and Technology Application Centre (CITAC). The centre was completed in the following year, with the objectives of bringing advanced building technologies, equipment and materials from around the world to Hong Kong and promoting them to the industry. The CIC is also actively promoting the long term development of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology in Hong Kong. It has also been commissioned to be the implementation partner of the $1 billion Construction Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF) established by the Government, responsible for the approval of applications. As at December last year, the CITF has approved about 2 200 applications at a sum of around $550 million, subsidising over 800 construction enterprises to promote wider use of innovative construction methods and technologies.
Enhancing training for the construction industry
The Government is determined to continue its infrastructure development. With an annual capital works expenditure of over $100 billion in the next few years, a number of major infrastructure projects will commence, which are expected to create a substantial demand for construction workers.
KK adds that training for construction industry is a key priority for the CIC. In 2018, they established the Hong Kong Institute of Construction (HKIC), to enhance the training inherited from the former Construction Industry Training Authority, while progressively conducting Qualifications Framework (QF) accreditation for training programmes. Many of the programmes have been successfully accredited at Levels 2, 3 and 4 (QF2, QF3 and QF4) of the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework. Last month, the HKIC signed a Memorandum of Intent with Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU), allowing graduates of the HKIC to progress to HKMU’s degree programmes. KK says that as long as students are willing to work hard, they will have the opportunity to enter university after graduation, obtain higher qualifications, and become doctors with expertise in tradesmen’s skills someday. I look forward to seeing that too.
Healthy and energetic “construction man”
Besides, I am very impressed by KK: he is always full of energy and works very hard to promote sports and caring spirit; he has also been doing his part by participating in sports (e.g. dragon boat, marathon) and volunteer services with friends in the industry. In 2016, the CIC set up the Construction Industry Sports & Volunteers Programme. KK remarks that so far, many construction companies, chambers of commerce, professional bodies and even construction sites have formed sports teams and volunteer teams to mobilise their staff to exercise, serve the community and participate in the CIC's competitions, uniting the industry in a youthful spirit successfully. The programme has now launched a series of competitions, such as track and field and various ball games.
During KK's six-year tenure as Chairperson of the CIC, Hong Kong has experienced unprecedented challenges. In the midst of the serious epidemic, KK led the CIC to launch the Construction Industry Caring Campaign, which raised funds and supplies of over $40 million in a short period of time to help workers in need, providing immediate financial and caring support. I would like to take this opportunity to thank KK and the CIC once again, for working alongside us to promote sustainable development of the construction industry, and to work together to build a safe, environmentally friendly and efficient construction industry.
23 January, 2022Back