Speech by SDEV at Construction Innovation Expo 2022 - International Conference on MiC (English only) (with photo)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn, at the Construction Innovation Expo 2022 - International Conference on MiC today (December 14):
CIC Chairman Thomas (Chairman of the Construction Industry Council, Mr Thomas Ho), MiC Joint Working Group Chairman Simon (Chairperson of the Joint Working Group on Modular Integrated Construction, Mr Simon Wong), ladies and gentlemen,
     Good morning. Welcome to this International Conference on MiC 2022.
     This morning, I am glad to have with me here within and outside Hong Kong lots of experts from including the Mainland, the United Kingdom and Singapore, all of whom sharing their experiences on Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) and Multi-trade Integrated MEP (MiMEP).
     There's no doubt that MiC and MiMEP are game-changing high productivity construction methods for Hong Kong's construction industry. In particular, in order to manage an annual overall construction volume to some $300 billion in the coming years, wider adoption of high productivity construction methods and having a reliable supply chain are vital for our industry.
     Same as Modern Methods of Construction in UK and Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction in Singapore, MiC and MiMEP aim to transfer labour intensive construction activities to the factory, so as to reduce on-site labours thus uplifting the on-site productivity and enhancing performance on works quality, site safety and environmental sustainability. It also attracts our younger generation to join the industry.
     The Government first explicitly advocated MiC in the 2017 Policy Address. Since then, we have been actively adopting MiC in different government and subvention projects. Currently, we have over 70 completed and on-going MiC projects covering different building types including our public housing, youth hostels, student hostels, schools, hospitals and transitional housing.
     For the promotion of MiC in our private developments, different facilitating measures have been established in the past years, such as Building Department's pre-acceptance mechanism of MiC systems, launching of the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF) with financial subsidy for MiC and MiMEP adoption, 10 per cent Gross Floor Area and Site Coverage concession, and 4 per cent building height relaxing for MiC floors.
     It is indeed encouraging to see more and more industry stakeholders embracing this new construction method, and I am grateful to those MiC advocators and practitioners involved in these projects and their contributions.
     In this year's Policy Address, the Government has committed itself to expediting housing supply with wider adoption of MiC. About 30 000 Light Public Housing units adopting MiC would be completed in the coming five years. The Housing Authority and Hong Kong Housing Society are also adopting MiC progressively in more of their housing projects.
     To cope with all these upcoming developments, the Government has a crucial role in establishing a reliable MiC ecosystem for Hong Kong. And what's more, we have stated in the Policy Address our wish to go further, such as MiC and MiMEP being not only means of construction, but becoming niche industries for Hong Kong.
     Hong Kong has the geographical advantages in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), and can take advantage of the enormous manufacturing capabilities in the area.
     Further to a technical guide on prefabricated steel structure modular buildings published by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People's Republic of China in June 2022, MiC becomes a new mode of prefabricated building suitable for residential apartments, hotels, schools, hostels, hospitals, offices, etc.
     I am pleased to see more and more prefabricators in the Greater Bay Area expressing interests to participate in this MiC manufacturing business.
     To co-ordinate development of high productivity construction methods, the Development Bureau is in the process of establishing a cross‑departmental steering committee to formulate measures to strengthen the supply chain, and to streamline the related approval processes for the industry. Besides, a delegated team will be set up as a one-stop platform to provide technical support to individual projects and further promote the adoption of high productivity construction to the industry.
     We will explore the establishment of an accreditation scheme for MiC factories. We will set out standards and requirements, develop quality assurance tools for remote inspection, develop systems to enable real-time tracking of prefabrication processes, seek to apply IoT sensor for quality control and blockchain technology for keeping inspection records.
     To enhance our collaboration with the GBA authorities, we will also explore measures to facilitate cross-border movement of the MiC modules and related items. We will make available land in the Northern Metropolis for mock-up construction and storage of MiC modules to facilitate our construction operation.
     The list of follow-up actions is long but we embrace it as a list of happy challenges. And I hope you will all share the same feeling.
     I hope that these measures and our concreted efforts and contribution will take the construction industry to new heights, and I also hope that these measures will strengthen the leading position of Hong Kong's construction industry in the adoption of MiC. I hope all of you here will have this bright vision in mind as you participate in today's conference.
     Christmas is coming and it is one of the most joyous festivals of the year. May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families the best of health and happiness. Thank you.
Ends/Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:53

The Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn, delivered a welcome speech at the Construction Innovation Expo 2022 - International Conference on MiC today (December 14).