Chun Wo Construction Holdings Company Limited and the P&T Group, based in Hong Kong, have developed an advanced ‘wall connection technology’ that is applicable for concrete MiC (modular integrated construction) system, in their effort to boost construction efficiency and promote the transformation of the construction industry in the city.
This new wall connection technology and the entire concrete MiC solution have received an in-principle acceptance from the Hong Kong’s Buildings Department, so they can be applied to building development projects across the city, said Chun Wo. The wall connection technology has also obtained the pertinent patent, allowing Chun Wo to be the first construction company in Hong Kong to use the concrete MiC method for the design and construction of buildings up to 40 storeys high.
MiC is a construction method that transfers on-site construction procedures to the factory – it is widely known as PPVC (prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction) in Singapore. With this concept, freestanding integrated modules, including finishes, fixtures, components and fittings, are prefabricated in a factory before they are transported on site for installation in a building.
Compared with the MiC modules that are largely steel structures in Hong Kong, the concrete MiC system developed by Chun Wo and P&T is said to be more cost-effective. Chun Wo believes that concrete modules meet general market expectations and demand from the private sector as they offer a number of advantages.
“Firstly, the patented wall connection technology can reduce the thickness of the wall and enlarge the saleable area of a unit,” explained Chun Wo. According to the company’s statement, the minimum thickness of the wall is 250 mm using the concrete MiC system developed by Chun Wo and P&T, as opposed to 270-295 mm using other comparable concrete MiC methods (based on existing MiC projects in the local market so far).
Chun Wo added, “Concrete modules are durable and easy to meet the fire resistance prescribed. In terms of maintenance, concrete modules do not have to undergo initial inspection for repair and maintenance as quickly as their steel counterpart once a building is completed, and they do not require frequent repairs.
”Furthermore, concrete modules can be designed in a conventional and flexible manner to suit building layout plans, helping to clear the misconception of MiC as being rigid. Concrete-built flats also excel in insulating against sound and heat.”
Nevertheless, Chun Wo pointed out that despite having many benefits, “concrete MiC modules are not easy to design and construct as they are complex and require meticulous attention to detail.”
The company said, “Possessing extensive construction experience and a team of experienced BIM professionals, Chun Wo is capable of providing one-stop solutions covering design to on-site construction, and can successfully apply concrete MiC to different projects. Since P&T has strong engineering design capability as well as mature MiC technologies, it is able to offer strong support to the R&D of concrete MiC.”
Sr Stephen Lee, CEO of Chun Wo, highlighted that the company has been committed to developing innovative construction technologies over the years. “We are truly encouraged by the successful introduction of concrete MiC and to become the first construction company in Hong Kong to construct buildings of up to 40 storeys high with this technology.
“With Chun Wo’s construction experience stretching more than 50 years, the company’s professional and mature team, and P&T’s professional design solutions, we can capitalise on these advantages to promote the use of this technology in more construction projects. Going forward, we will continue to develop more innovative construction technologies that contribute to the future of Hong Kong’s construction industry and which leads to the building of a more pleasant and advanced city.”
Chun Wo’s technology brand ‘Inno@ChunWo’ has set up an innovative technology exhibition centre in the Yuen Long area. Named ‘Chun Wo InnoBase’, it is expected to open at the beginning of 2021. The centre will display show flats that adopt the two MiC methods, concrete and steel structure. The company said more innovative construction technologies will be presented to the industry and public via the centre in the future.