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An Introduction

Welcome to the Section of "Standardised Components and Practices".  This is a one-stop service to help you access and locate those standardised components and modular components that have been successfully used in construction, and find out the standardised practices, including standard designs, construction methods, and techniques adopted in the construction industry.  This section contains a standardisation database of hyperlinks which promotes the wider use of standardised and modular components in local construction, with the public sector taking the lead. 

The search function will lead you to the specific piece of information contained in the websites of construction works related departments through our standardisation database of hyperlinks.

For standardised components or modular components you may find for instance"standard precast concrete profile barrier" in the standard drawings, and "precast concrete units" in the prefabrication system.

For the standardised practices, you may find the general specifications, model specifications, construction standards, codes of practice, practice notes, design manuals, guidelines and information papers. It saves you time to do all the searching across the various websites, and gives you good reference to start with your component design and processes. You may wish to modify and adapt it for your own purpose (of course at your own risk).

Our target users are the stakeholders in the construction industry. They include developers, professionals like engineers, architects and designers, academics, consultants, contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers.

You find below some examples of standardised and modular components, and standard practices of individual departments, which is linked from here in this section:

Architectural Services Department

Buildings Department

Civil Engineering and Development Department

Drainage Services Department

Highways Department

Housing Department

Water Supplies Department

Wider use of standardisation in component design and processes

Standardisation is the extensive use of components, methods or processes in which there is regularity, repetition and a background of successful practice (e.g. standardisation of the dimensions of components such as doors and windows, uniform standards for certain common materials such as steel and concrete, etc.). The construction industry can improve its efficiency through wider use of components of standardised dimensions and standardised processes.

Standardisation of components brings many benefits, including reduction in manufacturing costs; fewer interface and tolerance problems, thus better quality of the end product; greater certainty over outcomes; more efficient research and development of components; reduced maintenance cost for end-users; reduced waste and more scope for recycling. To maximise these benefits, we need to factor in the use of standardised components at the design stage to ensure compatibility in design and to facilitate the manufacturing process. The industry will also need to act together in order to achieve the necessary economy of scale.

Similarly, the industry should devote more effort to aligning and rationalising their current processes and practices so as to achieve more efficient operation and to reduce implementation efforts. Standardised processes and practices provide much greater predictability about what is performed, by whom, how and when and the possible outcomes. Wide adoption of standardised processes and practices across the industry would facilitate integration among industry participants, minimise development efforts, promote learning sharing and, provide a sound basis for the wider use of IT in local construction.

It is observed that prefabrication, coupled with the use of standardised and modular components, will contribute to improved buildability and associated efficiency gains. Prefabrication in a factory environment offers much better quality control to meet required quality standards. There is less wastage because of mass production and fewer defective products under a repetitive process. Repetition of component production and assembly also allows the team to build up speed and to achieve economy of scale. By reducing the amount of wet trade work on construction sites, prefabrication makes sites cleaner and tidier. This would in turn contribute to better site safety performance.

Another benefit is the reduction of construction waste generation. The wider adoption of a manufacturing approach to construction through the use of metal formwork, prefabrication, and standardised and modular components would minimise the extent of wet trade work to be carried out on site and the waste generated by such activities. It will also save the charges for waste disposal facilities (such as landfills) to encourage contractors to look for more economic and environmentally friendly means to handle construction waste.