Earth Chat (SME Series): Bubbledeck ─ Build more with Less
| Thierry Wong Kouan Kian, Managing director, Advanced & Sustainable Technology Limited
For the Hong
Kong Government to achieve its ambitious carbon target in its climate action
plan, various technologies need to be
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.
Modular integrated construction (MiC) (Image source:
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
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
Western Michigan University (WMU) Student Center and Dining
Facility (Image source: Granger)
Millennium Tower Rotterdam (Image source: Civil Engineering
Harpa concert hall and conference center (Image source:
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
Because BubbleDeck upcycles
local plastic waste into hollow spheres, plastic waste is diverted from
BubbleDeck is on the
pre-approval list of the Construction Industry Council’s Construction
Innovation and Technology Fundand 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;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.