On prefabrication implementation for different project types and procurement methods in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-80
Journal / PublicationJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


Purpose: The use of prefabrication has been considered as one of the most effective waste minimization methods in the construction context; however, the industry has found difficulties to implement it. Contractors lack experience in using prefabrication and they do not know how to implement prefabrication to their projects effectively. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a study on the implementation of prefabrication in the context of different project types and procurement approaches. Design/methodology/approach: This paper examines possible project types and procurement methods to maximally gain benefits of using prefabricated building components. A questionnaire survey and structured interviews have been conducted. Findings: From the results, it should be noted that residential projects and design and build procurement methods are the most effective project types and procurement methods, respectively, in using prefabrication. In the interview discussion, one of the governmental employees highlighted that about 65 percent of projects are residential projects. The high supply of residential housing suits fast population growth in Hong Kong. The interviewee also explained that shortening construction period is one of the main goals in their projects. Furthermore, an interviewed main contractor highlighted that the involvement of contractors at the early design stage in a project can bring advantages in considering construction methods before project commencement on site and to improve project constructability. An interviewed subcontractor also explained that the involvement of construction organizations in the design stage can effectively improve the use of prefabrication in major activities including concreting, plastering and formworking, rather than wet-trade construction activities. Therefore, the use of standardized designs and prefabricated building components are highly encouraged. Originality/value: This brings early considerations and suggestions to project parties to improve prefabrication implementation. The effects of prefabrication implementation are also considered. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Research Area(s)

  • Construction industry, Hong Kong, Procurement, Waste