The Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) has held its inaugural conference for Asia Pacific region in Hong Kong. The event was hosted at the New Millennium Hotel and live on Zoom on 17 February 2023.
The theme for the conference was ‘Constructing our Future’. “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is essential that we turn our attention to the future. The construction industry is evolving so quickly, and whilst this presents many opportunities, it also presents many challenges,” said CABE.
The conference speakers included: Ar. Donald Choi, executive director and CEO at Chinachem Group; Ir. Prof. Thomas Chan, executive director at WSP (Asia) Limited; Dr. Raymond Yau, general manager, technical services & sustainable development at Swire Properties Limited; Victor Tai JP , Under Secretary for Housing at HKSAR Government; and Clarice Yu JP, Director of Buildings at HKSAR Government.
Sharing their expertise and technical knowledge with the audience, the speakers identified and explored the challenges and presented future solutions and innovations.
One of the biggest challenges in the construction industry is its ageing workforce – over 40% of those working in the construction industry in Hong Kong are over 55 – and it was acknowledged that there is a need to do more to encourage young people into the industry.
“It is an exciting industry – an industry that is embracing modern methods of construction, new technologies and new innovation, but young people are failing to recognise just how exciting the industry is and dismissing it as a career,” said CABE.
“It is time to change, and some of this change will come from new, innovative digital technologies – AI, BIM, drones, robotics, computer simulation tools – and as professionals, we need to continue to embrace this technology.”
CABE pointed out that “these opportunities to create a modern culture for the industry, tools that will facilitate modern decision-making, drive efficiencies, improve safety structures and introduce new methods of working will change the face of the construction industry, and digital evolution is now a must to ensure the continual success of the sector.”
The speakers further explored the opportunities to decarbonise commercial buildings. They looked at how to implement net-zero carbon projects into the industry, and how to record robust construction data that can identify consumption, benchmark and compare usage as well as identify trends.
The audience was reminded that, it is only when we can understand what the data is telling us that we can make effective and informed decisions, thus allowing us to create smart energy management platforms and climate resilient designs for all new development projects.
Design for well-being in public housing was explored in detail, with proven evidence demonstrating that when we consider the wellness of the building inhabitants, we can enrich people’s living standards. This should now be a critical consideration in the design of future buildings and is a key focus for CABE and its members.
The future of the construction industry is dependent on professionals collaborating, sharing knowledge and discussing solutions, highlighted CABE. Collaboration is a key part of the association’s values, and it encourages professionals throughout the industry to “embrace as many opportunities to come together – to discover more, to learn more. It is only by collaboration that members and professionals will adapt to the needs of the industry and build a better future for everyone.”
The sponsors of the conference included Wanson Construction Company Limited, Pruden, S K K (HK) Co Ltd, Shinny Performance Training Centre, and KYSS Properties Limited.
Based in the UK, CABE opened its first international office in Hong Kong in 2020. This Asia Pacific office aims to strengthens the links between CABE HQ and members in the region.