Viability of prefabricated modular housing in Hong Kong
Although the energy efficiency standards of buildings are periodically implemented in many countries, the constant consumption of the total primary energy by existing buildings still remains high. Various energy efficiency solutions have been sought and they range from bulk systems to material components. Prefabrication is an increasingly reputable technique to this solution and it comprises of the offsite fabrication of construction components in a factory to a greater degree of finish as bulk building systems and structures for assembly and installation on-site. As will be established in this project, prefabrication in construction improves the efficiency of materials, speed of construction, worker safety, and quality of architecture as well as cost constraints while at the same time limiting the negative environmental effects of construction as compared to traditionally built homes.
STATEMENT OF ORIGINALITY I confirm by submitting this work for assessment that I am its sole author, and that all quotations, summaries or extracts from published sources have been correctly referenced. To optimize the effect of this conservation movement, various strategies must be implemented that target those elements in the people’s lives that result in high resource and energy consumption. This kind of attention majorly targets private home owners as the prime candidates. According to the Energy Information Administration, the residential sector is responsible for energy consumption of over 20% and therefore new efforts and designs should be developed in order to decline it in response to these consumption statistics. Traditionally, most houses were designed and constructed long before anyone was interested or concerned about the environmental impact of these buildings.
The natural resources have been greatly destroyed and depleted because of short-sighted practices of construction, over-extraction of resources as well as the long time required for these resources to regenerate. & Hilber, C. Besides, according to the World Cities Report 2016 from UN-Habitat, Hong Kong has the greatest wealth disparity within Asia. The housing crisis could not be solved in the last ten years. The new Hong Kong Chief Executive recently proposed a solution to ease the housing problem by using modular housing in the 2017 Policy Address. The purpose of this research is to analyze whether the prefabricated modular housing is suitable in Hong Kong. Identify the relative merits and barriers to the uptake of modular housing compared to traditional building methods 3. Learn from best practice by analyzing different cases of modular housing in other countries 4.
Suggest the appropriate design/ system of modular housing to Hong Kong 5. Assess the viability of modular housing in Hong Kong practically in terms of cost, time and quality Chapter 2 Literature Review 2. 1 Introduction This literature view introduces prefabricated modular housing 2. d. Various case studies on recently completed construction projects have been compiled through an analysis of a questionnaire survey to sample the opinions of experienced construction professionals in Hong Kong. The studies have been conducted to establish and ascertain the use of prefabrication in construction with reference to the life cycle approach. The findings obtained revealed that a combination of prefabrication with modular designs and other standard components saved the costs involving design or construction as well as time, as building systems was applied throughout the construction projects (Cheng, n.
d. Introduction," n. d. Usually the components are built in factory located in China, and then transport them to site and assembly on site. Following by the mature of prefabrication technology and shortage of housing supply, building modular housing is purposed by Hong Kong government in 2017 Policy Address (HKSAR 2017). However, there is a problem that developers in Hong Kong were not keen on using modular housing system. The use of prefabricated construction is also faced by other drawbacks some of which include: • Longer and tighter coordination periods are needed to give room for construction planning, structural design, approval procedures as well as procurement. • Huge space for working is needed for conducting prefabrication works which is especially critical in Hong Kong. • More time is needed to produce precast elements in sufficient numbers for delivery to the construction sites for installation.
• At the site, the process of installation of precast elements calls for careful planning and needs extra cranage provisions. • The assembly and handling of heavy precast elements poses various safety issues and increases the chances of risk both to the structure under construction itself or to human operatives. In addition, there is zero site disruption since the construction structures are manufactured in the factory. Prefabricated construction of buildings consumes lesser time than traditional methods and hence it is more cost effective. Modular housing falls under the categories of volumetric construction. Normally, the construction of modular buildings is conducted in a factory and then the modules are transported and assemble on the construction site ("Different Forms of Construction for a Modular Unit Building System Georg Sahner," n.
d. Although traditional methods of construction have an advantage of being the most common and available as well as easily fully customizable, their downsides outweigh their strengths. Considering a building that is entirely being constructed on the site, materials for every traditional home must be acquired solely for that specific home, unless the constructor has a large storage warehouse to store the materials so as to leap the benefits of economies of scale. Another major drawback of on-site construction is the weather exposure, which often damage materials and this early destruction calls for more maintenance of the building throughout its entire life. In addition, these maintenance and repair of the ruined materials not only cost money but also misuse natural resources.
The early exposure of materials to weather and other factors make this construction method the most expensive. The homebuyers can also customize their home to come up with visually appealing and high-quality homes. The key principle of modular construction outlines that the home sections are created in a controlled factory environment, transported to the construction site upon completion and then assembled, placed and connected on the foundation. One of the most significant advantages of modular homes is that the efficient construction process in the factory minimizes the amount of waste materials that are generated during construction (Oh, Cho, & Kim, 2017). In addition, energy-saving systems as well as recycled or renewable materials can be incorporated in the process to attain an eco-friendly design.
These eco-friendly materials that may be difficult to deliver and procure to a construction site may be ordered in large amounts, stored within or near the factory and integrated into the designs for various projects. The building materials, for example concrete and steel structure, are designed for long term usage. Relocatable buildings are designed for temporary use and reused for many times. They offer fast delivery and ease of relocation. (Modular Building Institute n. d. HOW? The Benefits of a Modular Home From what was previously considered as low-quality and cheap housing option, modular housing have greatly and rapidly evolved over years to become a construction method that offers homebuyers an alternative way to achieve the dream of owning a home.
Modular housing is associated with numerous advantages that make it very appealing and superior over other construction methods and some of the most significant include: • Construction speed – modular housing often goes up quickly than a regular traditional home because the likelihood of delay in the supply of construction materials is greatly reduced in modular method than in traditional method. A modular home is constructed by the manufacturer in a factory environment which means the supply of the materials required is usually in abundance to ensure timely delivery of the modular home. Modular homes are also not affected by weather changes because the construction process occurs indoors unlike with the stick built homes whose construction cannot commence in bad weather. • High quality – the manufacture of modular homes have greatly improved over the past few years and since they are built in a factory setting, the construction process for all the components is under intense quality control as compared to a stick built home which is built on the site where it will sit from scratch.
The cost of acquiring land and a modular home may frustrate a homebuyer who is not completely prepared and therefore adequate preparation is needed to handle any developments required on the land. • Lack of customization – modular homes can be constructed in various types of configurations but it is not easy to customize them due to how they are manufactured as it is with stick built homes. Therefore modular homes are not quite flexible. • More complex loan process – most people are well conversant with the mortgage for a traditional home but on the other hand, the process of payment for a modular home requires more steps. The manufacture requires to be paid in full before the completion of the home, followed by periodic payments to finance the building process.
cityu. edu. hk/~bswmwong/photo_lib/pdf/prefabricated. pdf (Accessed on 14 April. 2018) 461 Dean in New York City was complete in 2016. skyscrapercity. com/showthread. php?t=639676 (Accessed on 14 April. 2018) More Discussion and Research on above case in terms of Environmental impacts of construction and homes With the rising issues related to global changes of the environment such as pollution, climate change and natural resource depletion, people around the world have been enduring various daily challenges such as negative health impacts, rising energy prices as well as sustainability concerns for the future generations. Such consequences influence the day to day lives and therefore increasing influence and awareness behavior. Environmental assessment studies have found the common organic pollutants to be 2-5 times higher in homes than in the outside, irrespective of where the homes are located either in highly industrial areas or rural settings.
Poor quality of indoor air can significantly impact people’s lives, especially those exposed and most vulnerable for long periods of time such as the elderly, children and the infant, chronic diseases patients and pregnant women. Indoor air pollution is caused by a number of factors and the primary one is the presence of sources of indoor pollution that release particles or gases into the air. For instance, many types of paints and carpets emit volatile organic compounds and adhesive resins found in pressed wood and timber products release formaldehyde. High humidity and temperatures coupled with inadequate ventilation can also exacerbate indoor pollution. How modular housing applying in Hong Kong The housing authority of Hong Kong have been creating a design strategy that involve adopting modular flat design for a massive customization in public housing in Hong Kong since 2008.
The modular flat design has been enhanced to bring a better balance among several factors such as cost effectiveness, valuable land resources, buildability and use-friendliness. Housing authority of Hong Kong can assurer sustainability and quality through applying modular flats to the construction designs in affordable residential developments. To determine a suitable modular housing in Hong Kong, there are several requirements to be noticed. That is good thermal performance, interior dimensions and structure performance (Tomlinson, P. Despite the high rents being encountered in Hong Kong, demand for public housing has been constantly rising and this high demand for public housing is not expected to drop any time soon with the city’s population set to grow by 2043 according to government statistics. The recent announcement of an initiative for container homes by the development bureau aims at easing the ongoing housing crisis in Hong Kong through the temporary solution of prefabricated homes.
However, the suggested container home is one of the relocatable buildings only with a lot of limitations. The Hong Kong government also suggests to build transitional modular housing for the underprivileged (Ng, N 2018) and it has two pilot projects in mind for Hong Kong’s own container homes to be launched at the science and technology park and the university of Hong Kong campus aimed at students and staff. Container homes have a number of advantages that make them suitable for temporary housing solutions for Hong Kong citizens as well as they are reused to promote Go Green sustainable living. 6m and 2. 9m. (wiki ) The dimension of containers may not fit every household family. Further partitions are needed to divide space.
However fitting out works might affect the loading capacity of containers. In its public housing developments, the housing authority has actively been pursuing the use of mechanized prefabricated construction system with a goal of upgrading the building quality, enhancing environmental protection, improving construction safety, and increasing cost effectiveness. Construction elements such as beams, staircases, facades, partition walls, and slabs are prefabricated in the construction of public housing blocks to maximize construction efficiency and to ensure better workmanship. In a classic public housing project, the use of precast concrete has extended to approximately one-fourth of the entire concrete volume with its experience of over two decades as the pioneer in the use of prefabrication in Hong Kong. In some projects, the ratio of prefabrication of volumetric precast bathrooms can rise up to 35%.
Recently, the housing authority has piloted the building of a precast roof water tank and it is also exploring the feasibility of precasting roof parapets, drainage channels, manholes, refabricating electrical trunking as well as lift machine rooms. wordpress. com/2014/02/creswell-2008-research-design-qualitative-quantitative-and-mixed-methods-approaches. pdf Qualitative and quantitative methods To avoid the analysis deviate from the research objectives, the purpose of this section is to introduce the research strategies applied in this research. Strategy Justification Different methodological approaches have their advantages and limitations. Mixed method combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches, but using this method will take a longer research period. Then select the most appropriate system which could apply in Hong Kong (objective 4). First of all, well-known residential modular housing cases will be reviewed and listed out the traceable data, for example the project duration, cost and effectiveness.
After that, these data will be compared under certain criteria which suits applying in Hong Kong, for example narrow down the target of cases into high density housing, with ability to cope with frequent bad weather like typhoon and transportation consideration in urban area etc. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to analyze the cases. With the aid of combined methods, data and fact could help to frame the idea while subjective observation could explain the idea afterwards. Justification for interview? Semi-structured, open ended, closed questions? Who are you targeting and why?- much more justification needed, 5. Data Analysis and Write-up of Results: After complete the questionnaire and interview, the collected data will be examined and concluded. Apart from writing up the results of findings, recommendations will be suggested based on the research.
How are you going to analyze the data? Content analysis, thematic analysis? Ethical Issues Research about modular housing does not involve controversial issues. Case study of modular housing is obtained by desk research which is secondary resources. adrg. com. hk/project&product_id=418 https://engg. hku. hk/Research/Research-News/Details/ID/3320 Case Description Data Analysis Questionnaire Data Analysis There were 63 responses to the survey, 200 numbers of participates are invited. Reference List Emmitt, S & Gorse, C (2014) Barry's Advance Construction of Buildings Third edition, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Modular Building Institute, (n. d. What is Modular Construction? [online] Available at: http://www. modular. 2018] Wong, W M (1998) 15 Most Outstanding projects in Hong Kong, Hong Kong: China Trend Building Press Ltd Wong, W M (2003) Prefabricated Construction Systems for Building and Civil works adopted in Hong Kong [online] Available at: http://personal.
cityu. edu. hk/~bswmwong/photo_lib/pdf/prefabricated. pdf [Accessed 14 April. uk/news/resources/idt-3cca82c0-af80-4c3a-8a79-84fda5015115 [Accessed 14 April. 2018] Carozzi, F. ,Cheshire,P. & Hilber,C. 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2018 [online] Available at: http://www. the-homestore. com/handouts/modular-home-book/ [Accessed 14 April. 2018] HKSAR government, (2017). The Chief Executive’s 2017 Policy Address [online] Available at: https://www. policyaddress. 2018] Jaillon, L. & Poon, CS (2009), ‘The evolution of prefabricated residential building systems in Hong Kong: A review of the public and the private sector’ Automation in Construction, Netherlands: Elsevier BV LABC Warranty, (2017). LABC Warranty Technical Manual V8 Chapter 3 [online] Available at: https://www. labcwarranty. co. com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2138764/prefabricated-social-housing-hong-kongs-needy-may-be [Accessed 14 April. 2018] Tomlinson, P. (2017) Plans for container homes in Hong Kong get a mixed reaction from experts [online] Available at: http://www.
scmp. com/lifestyle/interiors-living/article/2121388/plans-container-homes-hong-kong-get-mixed-reaction [Accessed 14 April. 2018] Wong, W M , Hao, J. & Ho, C. (n. d). Prefabricated Building Construction Systems Adopted in Hong Kong [online] Available at: http://personal. (2016) At:http://www. businessinsider. com/inside-461-dean-modular-apartment-building-2016-11 (Accessed on 14 April. 2018) Figure 4: Student Village in Wolverhampton, UK, posted by gothicform in skyscrapercity. com (2009) At: http://www. d. Prefabricated Systems. doi:10. Systems in Housing. (n. G. (n. d. Housing management, housing design and quality management in Hong Kong. doi:10. doi:10. 22260/isarc2017/0029 Jaillon, L. , & Poon, C. The evolution of prefabricated residential building systems in Hong Kong: A review of the public and the private sector. Automation in Construction, 18(3), 239-248. 3130/jaabe. 49 Oh, S. , Cho, B. , & Kim, D. Development of an Exportable Modular Building System by Integrating Quality Function Deployment and TRIZ Method.
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