Construction Industry in Hong Kong
The construction industry is a vital sector in the economy of Hong Kong, employing almost half a million workers. Based on the forecast by the Construction Industry Council in December 2017, annual construction expenditure will exceed $250 billion, or approximately 5% of GDP, within the next 5 years. The construction industry has an essential bearing on the economic growth and long-term development of Hong Kong, and the livelihood of its people. However, it is facing some challenges in recent years:
- Shortage and ageing of the labour force affecting productivity
- High construction cost
- Demands for better safety, quality, and environmental friendliness in construction
The situation will become worse in the next few years as the demand for construction services continues to rise. It is time to find ways to enhance productivity for the construction industry’s future.
Innovative Construction Method
Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) is an innovative construction method. By adopting the concept of “factory assembly followed by on-site installation”, MiC helps to ease some of the current challenges faced by the local construction industry.
MiC is one of the identified supporting technologies under the CITF scheme. The CITF helps fund the industry on a matching basis for those industry stakeholders who wish to employ consultants for a MiC project, or to purchase machines and components in relation to MiC. The aim is to encourage wider adoption of this innovative construction method in the construction industry, with a view to improving the productivity, quality, safety and environmental performance of construction projects.
The Construction Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF), with an approved allocation of HK$1 billion, was established by the Development Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (DEVB) in October 2018. The Construction Industry Council (CIC) is commissioned by DEVB to be the implementation partner.
The CITF covers two aspects, namely technology adoption and manpower development. The former aims to encourage the industry to use new but proven technologies developed within or outside Hong Kong. The latter aims to build an innovative culture and foster the mind-set to espouse new technologies for the sustainable development and continuous improvement of the construction industry.
MiC is one of the categories under technology adoption, providing incentives for consultants and contractors to widely adopt MiC in the construction projects of Hong Kong. Please click here to learn the details.
2021 Policy Address
The Chief Executive issues the 2021 Policy Address on October 7, 2021. It mentions the government will continue to implement “Construction 2.0” so as to uplift the productivity and skill level of the sector. Wider use of I&T and Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) will also be promoted to shorten construction time, reduce manpower and enhance safety in construction sites. Moreover, in order to increase and speed up the housing supply, the HKHA and the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) will adopt the MiC and other innovative construction technology more widely. The HKHA will also adopt a new procurement model to suitable projects to allow contractors to undertake design and construction in a bundle. It is hoped that these measures can further optimise and speed up the construction process.