Press release from HKU

Building houses faster and safer for relieving the pressing housing shortage problem of Hong Kong

The Remote e-Inspection System for Cross Border MiC Logistics system developed by Prof. Wilson Lu, Director of the iLab of the Faculty of Architecture together with Prof. Anthony Yeh, Chair Professor of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, and Mr. K.L. Tam, Director of the Estates Office of the University won the 2022 Hong Kong ICT Smart Logistics Gold Award. The Awards Presentation Ceremony was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 16 November 2022.

The system has been used in the e-inspection of MiC modules produced in the Pearl River Delta that are transported to Hong Kong for the construction of the 1,224 hostel places of the HKU Wong Chuk Hang Student Residence. The project is supported by the HKU Estates Office, Paul Y. Engineering, Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre with funding from the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) of the Hong Kong SAR Government.

The Judging Panel commented on the system and said “This remote e-inspection for MiC solution is an excellent showcase of a synergistical collaboration between academic and the construction industry for MiC remote inspection using latest innovative technologies to ensure construction quality and safety based on international standards. It has very good potentials for international adoption.”

The e-Inspection system will revolutionize the production and use of MiC by digitally assuring the quality of MiC in the manufacturing and transport process. It reduces resources for supervision and paperwork and ensure tamper-proof data to help Hong Kong to build houses faster and safer for relieving its pressing housing problem.

The remote e-Inspection system is designed for smart secured digitalized quality supply chain management with particular focus on cross-border modular integrated construction (MiC) production and transport. MiC has been adopted by HK and worldwide as a strategy to deal with their housing shortage and construction productivity problems.

“It revolutionizes the production and use of MiC worldwide by digitally securely assuring the quality of MiC in the manufacturing and transport process in remote overseas factories. It reduces resources for supervision and paperwork, ensures tamper-proof data in quality assurance, and reduces defects rectification works and costs. It contributes significantly in solving the pressing housing problems in Hong Kong. It can be applied to other applications that need high quality assurance in their production and transport process, such as the manufacturing of vaccines and the handling of COVID-19 PCR tests,” said Prof. Wilson Lu, Director of the iLab.

Because of land and labour shortage and production costs, many MiC modules have to be manufactured across the border and transported to Hong Kong for just-in-time assembly at the construction site. However, the quality and liability in the MiC production and transportation process are of great concerns particularly when they are produced remotely outside HK.

The innovative e-Inspection system includes i-Core, e-InStar and e-TranStar Apps and a blockchain-based backend system that can carry out secured remote quality inspection of MiC modules production in the factories in mainland China and AI quality check of the transport process with PoL(Proof of Location) and quality control using the invented i-Core (IoT and GPS) and blockchain technology.

The Hong Kong ICT Awards was established in 2006 with the collaborative efforts of the industry, academia and the Government. Steered by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, and organised by Hong Kong ICT industry associations and professional bodies, the Awards aims at building a locally espoused and internationally acclaimed brand of ICT awards.

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