Earth Chat (SME Series): Bubbledeck ─ Build more with Less

For the Hong Kong Government to achieve its ambitious carbon target in its climate action plan, various technologies need to be adopted.

In March 2022, the government announced a policy to make modular integrated construction (MiC) a requirement in future tenders with the total construction area exceeding 300 m2 for public capital works projects, such as staff quarters, hostels, residential and care homes, schools, office buildings and medical facilities.

MiC is an innovative construction method based on free standing integrated modules prefabricated in a factory outside Hong Kong followed by on-site installation.

Advantages of MiC include shortening construction time, improving working environment and safety, minimising construction waste, and improving construction quality.[1]

Modular integrated construction (MiC) (Image source: Buildings Department)

However, there are disadvantages as well. Due to the large size of prefabricated units, transportation and site selection can pose a major difficulty; the construction cost is more expensive than traditional construction; and the approval process for MiC in Hong Kong currently takes a much longer time and involves complicated preparation.[2]

To achieve the carbon neutrality target by 2050, the construction industry needs to consider other advanced construction technology.

BubbleDeck is a proven innovative technology that reduces the embodied carbon in construction and the impact on the environment by allowing us to build more with less, hence preserving nature resources.

The product is a lightweight biaxial prefabricated floor slab system incorporating recycled hollow plastic spheres in the slab. The system is designed to reduce the use of concrete and rebar in floor slabs and speed up the construction cycles with less on-site construction workers.

Western Michigan University (WMU) Student Center and Dining Facility (Image source: Granger)

Millennium Tower Rotterdam (Image source: Civil Engineering Portal)

Harpa concert hall and conference center (Image source: BubbleDeck International)

In construction projects spanning 6 m and more, BubbleDeck can achieve cost advantages over traditional beam and slab construction methods and realise greater reduction in embodied carbon.

Because BubbleDeck upcycles local plastic waste into hollow spheres, plastic waste is diverted from landfills.

BubbleDeck is on the pre-approval list of the Construction Industry Council’s Construction Innovation and Technology Fund[3]and approved by the Building Department.

Advanced & Sustainable Technology Limited provides design support and licenses the BubbleDeck technology to contractors in Hong Kong, Macau and China for the permission to produce the lightweight biaxial prefabricated floor slabs.

The embodied carbon in an office building can account for over a-third of its life cycle's carbon emission;[4]but indirect emission is often overlooked by the government. The BubbleDeck is one of the many potential innovations the construction sector can use to drive the low-carbon transition while reducing plastic waste.

Interested Topic:
Green Economy

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