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SHKP and PolyU sign MoUs on Building Innovation & Technology Research Projects and Scholarship Programme

18 Nov 2022


Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on SHKP x PolyU Building Innovation & Technology Research Projects and the SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme. The collaboration echoes President Xi Jinping’s earlier call for Hong Kong to ‘strengthen the collaborative development of enterprises, universities and research institutions, and to develop into a global scientific and technological innovation hub’.

SHKP and PolyU will join hands on three research projects:

  • green application: developing a smart, efficient and flexible energy management system;
  • green building materials; and
  • green construction processes.

The teams will explore how to translate research into applications to help Hong Kong develop into a smart and carbon-neutral city.

SHKP will also launch the SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme to support 56 outstanding students to pursue studies in construction, real estate and engineering-related disciplines at PolyU.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR; Zhang Zhihua, Director General of the Youth Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR; Dr. Lam Tai-fai, PolyU Council Chairman; Professor Wong Wing-tak, PolyU Acting President; Raymond Kwok, SHKP Chairman and Managing Director; and Adam Kwok, SHKP Executive Director. The MoU on SHKP x PolyU Building Innovation & Technology Research Projects was signed by Eric Tung, SHKP Executive Director, and Professor Christopher Chao, PolyU Vice President (Research and Innovation). Eric Tung also signed the MoU for the SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme with Professor Ben Young, PolyU Vice President (Student and Global Affairs). Details of the research projects and the scholarship programme are at Annex.

Guest of honour Financial Secretary Paul Chan said: “We expect the construction volume in Hong Kong will increase to about HK$300,000 million per year. Such a huge volume of projects will provide exceptional development opportunities for the construction industry. Nevertheless, the industry will also face various challenges and need to find ways to, for example, deal with labour shortages, have a better control of construction costs, optimize the management process, further improve construction safety and reduce carbon emissions to contribute to society as a whole. Innovation and technology is a key to addressing these challenges. The application of academic research outcomes will allow the construction industry to increase their use of innovative technologies, which would be of enormous benefit.”

SHKP Chairman and Managing Director Raymond Kwok noted that the Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China highlighted the importance of ‘talent as our primary resource, and innovation as our primary driver of growth’. Recently when Chief Executive John Lee delivered his Policy Address, he also clearly pointed out that innovation and technology (I&T) will be a key impetus for Hong Kong's high-quality economic development, and that it is essential to commercialize research results through collaboration between the industry, academic and research sectors. Raymond Kwok said: “We hope to leverage PolyU’s strengths in academic research and our extensive practical experience to promote innovation and technology research in the construction industry. The National 14th Five-Year Plan laid out plans to achieve ‘peak carbon and carbon neutrality’. Our initiative will help Hong Kong become a green, low-carbon international I&T hub.”

He added that SHKP also places great emphasis on talent development, and that it is important to remember that ‘Hong Kong will prosper only if its young people thrive; that Hong Kong will develop only if its young people achieve well-rounded development; and that Hong Kong will have a bright future only if its young people have good career prospects’. The SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme aims to support promising PolyU students with limited means to study construction, real estate and engineering-related disciplines. He hailed PolyU as a cradle for cultivating talent for Hong Kong’s construction industry, adding its graduates have contributed a lot to the development of both the industry and the city. He noted a number of PolyU graduates have joined SHKP and supported the development of its premium properties and hoped PolyU students will continue to help advance the development of building technologies.

PolyU Acting President Wong Wing-tak said: “PolyU attaches great importance to transforming research into practical applications. We are delighted to collaborate with Sun Hung Kai Properties, one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong, to leverage their experience in developing high-quality property projects. By combining PolyU’s outstanding scientific research achievements in developing innovative technologies including smart energy systems, green building materials, decentralized construction process, etc. with Sun Kung Kai Properties’ expertise, we strive to achieve the three goals of carbon reduction, energy savings and digitalization to reduce emissions and improve efficiency on SHKP’s buildings.” Professor Wong expressed his thanks to SHKP-Kwoks’ Foundation for its support to PolyU in setting up a scholarship scheme to help outstanding students with financial difficulties, and believed that this collaboration will not only promote the advancement of new green technologies, but also nurture a new generation of talents who will benefit the entire industry, helping Hong Kong to become carbon neutral and creating a sustainable future for wider society.”

SHKP Executive Director Adam Kwok said: “SHKP and PolyU joined hands in 2005 to optimize the energy-saving performance of ICC through the use of green and smart building technology, which proved to be a great success. Not only has ICC obtained a number of international green building certifications, its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum score, awarded by the US Green Building Council, is also the highest among commercial buildings in Hong Kong. SHKP is delighted to partner with PolyU again to translate the outcomes of their scientific research into applications, using green applications, green materials and green processes to help Hong Kong achieve net zero and develop into a world-class smart city. The smart energy management system in the Group’s High Speed Rail West Kowloon Terminus Development alone is estimated to be able to reduce 3.6m kg carbon emissions each year, which is equivalent to planting 160,000 trees. SHKP is keen to play a key role in Hong Kong’s transformation, realization and commercialization of building technology research outcomes, and in the nurture of young talent.”

Three projects under SHKP x PolyU Building Innovation & Technology Research Projects aim to save energy, reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency



Green Applications – Full Life Cycle Optimization of Green Smart Building Energy System
The research into, and application of, full life cycle smart energy-efficient technology and system solutions by the PolyU team is designed for SHKP’s large-scale integrated complex atop the High Speed Rail West Kowloon Terminus. Capitalizing on renewable energy, construction and energy system flexibility, such as real-time power system flexibility, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), environmental sensors and digital twins, through full life cycle optimization, it aims to realize optimization of power systems and optimized real-time system control. It is estimated that the solution will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 3.6 million kilograms a year, equivalent to planting 160,000 trees1 , which will also help alleviate Hong Kong’s urban heat island effect. This solution will turn the above integrated complex, with a gross floor area of over three million square feet, into the city’s first large-scale smart energy-efficient green complex with power flexibility and set an example of how high-rise buildings in high-density cities can contribute to carbon neutrality.



Green Building Materials
CO2 can be injected into fresh concrete through carbon activation technology, which can 1) shorten the curing time of concrete and reduce the overall construction time; 2) enhance the durability of concrete; 3) offset some of the carbon emissions generated by cement manufacturing; and 4) reduce the cement content in concrete.

The PolyU team will investigate how to optimize carbon activation technology to inject CO2 into concrete more efficiently, both on construction sites and in off-site prefabricated plants. Currently, about 4.4 billion cubic metres of concrete are produced globally every year. Hong Kong produces about seven million cubic metres of concrete per year. If this innovative carbon capture technology is widely used globally, it would effectively reduce global CO2 emissions by about 75 billion kilograms a year, equivalent to planting 3.2 billion trees per year. Hong Kong can prevent about 119 million kilograms of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to planting five million trees per year. The team also hopes that this new carbon capture technology will contribute to the newly launched HKEX Core Climate scheme and prepare Hong Kong to become an international carbon trading hub.



Green Processes – Paperless Workflow in the Whole Construction Process
Blockchain is an emerging technology, which is transparent, highly secure, digitalized and traceable. SHKP and PolyU will join hands to establish the first-ever blockchain-based platform for the construction industry to enhance Building Information Modelling (BIM). From project design and construction to operation and maintenance, the whole process of property development will be optimized with a paperless workflow. For instance, the platform that contains the BIMs of all projects will record all versions of, and amendments to, the BIMs for the use of all stakeholders. In addition, BIMs constructed via blockchain can facilitate the Government’s implementation of digitalized vetting and approval for the construction industry. It could also further encourage industry players to join the construction of a digital twin of Hong Kong, helping to analyze and optimize the city’s operations and improve city planning and management.

SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme: an industry leader in talent development
Jointly launched by the SHKP-Kwoks' Foundation and PolyU, the Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme will support 56 PolyU students to pursue studies in construction, real estate or engineering-related disciplines. Priority will be given to promising but financially disadvantaged students.

1. According to the Guidelines to Account for and Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals for Buildings (Commercial, Residential or Institutional Purposes) in Hong Kong, issued by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and the Environmental Protection Department, each tree absorbs roughly 23 kg of carbon dioxide each year.

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