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Technology Frontier

May 2008 Issue

Advancing The Construction Industry To A New Era!

Our newly invented Rapid Demountable Platform offers a new construction solution for making high-rise repair work safer and easier

The conventional practice in Hong Kong for undertaking outdoor building repair and maintenance works at height is to erect temporary working platforms by way of bamboo truss-out scaffolds supported by steel brackets fixed on external walls. However, this practice is dangerous and highly unreliable.  Ten fatal falls occurred in the past three years.

As a result, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Construction Industry Institute (Hong Kong) joined forces to develop the Rapid Demountable Platform (RDP) as an alternative to overcome such problems. It provides a safer, more rapidly installed/demountable temporary working platform for inspection, repair and maintenance works on external walls of high-rise buildings. The RDP is particularly adaptable to small-scale outdoor repair and maintenance works including:

(1) External building inspections
(2) Installation of canopies, ventilation and air-conditioning units
(3) Maintenance of plumbing/drainage systems
(4) External plastering, rendering, painting and tiling etc
(5) Repair to water seepage/leakage at windows and walls

The following table compares the traditional practice of the truss-out scaffold with the RDP.

table compares the traditional practice of the truss-out scaffold with the RDP

In summary, advantages and special features of the RDP, include:

  1. Safe installation/dismantling from inside buildings
  2. The RDP requires approximately 10 minutes to complete either the installation or the dismantling process
  3. Compact modular design and standardized component
  4. Coordinated colour scheme for clear component identification and assembling procedure
  5. Innovative interlocking system

Although each RDP costs from $6000 - $10000 per set, under good maintenance it can be used for over five years.  Whereas, the existing bamboo truss-out scaffold costs approximately $3000, but it can be used for three to four times only.

This robust and modular-based platform is being recognized internationally. It has won the Gold Medal with Special Commendation of the Jury and the National Authority for Scientific Research Award of the Romania Ministry of Education, Research and Youth for the High Scientific and Technological Level of the Invention at the 36th International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products held in Geneva.