Half-Day Seminar on Modular Construction and Prefabrication – Innovation, Sustainability, Efficiency and Quality

Date, time & venue
2018-09-20;8:45 am (registration) for 9:00 am to 12:00 pm;Theater (to be confirmed), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, HK


(Supported by Structural Division)


Scope and Objectives

Due to the shortage of workforce and limited land use, many cities like Hong Kong is heading to the direction of improving construction efficiency by adopting more efficient construction method such as DfMA to building high-rise buildings. The traditional prefabricated/precast 2D construction is now being migrated to prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC), whereby free-standing volumetric (3D) modules, completed with finishes for walls, floors and ceilings, are constructed and assembled at site. However, PPVC is not commonly used in high-rise buildings because of the joints’ flexibility as well as stringent requirement for manufacturing and construction tolerance, which have significant impact on the overall stability of the building. This seminar highlights the existing challenges of PPVC of high-rise buildings and provide pointers to address these challenges. Firstly, the weight of a module is constrained by the transportation and lifting crane capacities. For this reason, lightweight material is introduced together with structural steel section to form lightweight steel-concrete composite system to reduce the weight of the module without compromising the strength and stiffness. Secondly, to speed up the site assembly of modular units, special joints are developed to resist the forces due to gravity and horizontal loads. Fast and easy joining techniques with acceptable tolerance control are essential to ensure the structural integrity and stability of the building. Finally, the innovation for productivity can be maximized by implementing automation technologies in the manufacturing and construction of the modular units. The seminar will discuss several projects that utilise PPVC technology for multi-storey construction. The construction of a large span roof structure using bolted design concept and prefabricated steel components and semi-rigid joints will be presented to illustrate the benefit of prefabrication technology.


The seminar provides essential information to engage the design team, subcontractors, and owner to plan for prefabrication in the design phase. After the seminar, the participants should be able to


  • Recognize opportunities to implement a prefabrication strategy in different project delivery methods
  • understand how BIM plays an important role in early decision making, collaboration, and coordination of multiple trades
  • understand the potential cost savings and productivity increase when implementing modular construction
  • Learn how to design for modular construction and understand how to implement in construction
  • Learn from projects that adopt prefabricated modular construction.


Er Richard Liew is a Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore. He is a Chartered Engineer in UK, a Professional Engineer in Singapore, and a Chartered Professional Engineer of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore, an Honorary Fellow and the Past President of Singapore Structural Steel Society and an Honorary Fellow of Hong Kong Institute of Steel Construction.


He has been in involved in research and practice in steel concrete composite structures covering a wide spectrum of interests, including light-weight and high strength materials and advanced analysis of structures subject to extreme loads, for applications in offshore, marine, defence and civil infrastructural works. Arising from this work, he has co-authored 6 books and generated more than 400 technical publications. He serves on the editorial boards of 9 international journals.


He interacts closely with the industry in the Asia Pacific region serving as an expert and technical advisor. He has been involved in numerous iconic steel projects. He chairs several international and national committees related to standards and specifications of steel and composite structures. He is a key person responsible for the development of Singapore’s national annexes for the design and steel and composite structures using Eurocodes 3 and 4.


Official Language
English and Cantonese


Registration fees
The registration fee includes a copy of lecture notes, a copy of CPD certificate.


Regular Registration: HK$ 700 each for HKISC; HK$800 each for HKIE/HKIA/HKIS Members; HK$ 900 each for non HKISC/ HKIE/HKIA/HKIS Members.


Please send the completed registration form with registration fee to Mr. Sam Chan, HKISC c/o ZS945, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon by 1 September 2018 (Fax No.: 852-2334 6389). You can download this form on HKISC web (http://www.hkisc.org) or request through emailing to: samchan@hkisc.org.



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