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Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund (GRF)

A Smart-tech Integrated System for Estimating and Benchmarking Embodied Carbon Emissions of Prefabricated Public Residential Buildings in Hong Kong


Over their life cycle, buildings contribute significantly to carbon emissions. Hong Kong has the highest density of population in the world, so building high-rise blocks for housing is the norm, and the Hong Kong government has adopted a prefabrication strategy for all public housing developments. In theory, the use of prefabrication should lead to a reduction in buildings’ life cycle carbon emissions, by reducing the carbon footprint of materials and products, improving the efficiency of construction processes, and enhancing the quality of constructed facilities. However, there is a lack of systemic understanding of prefabricated buildings’ embodied carbon. According to our preliminary reviews, the system boundaries of prefabricated buildings’ carbon assessment have seldom been made explicit. Different models, methods and units of analysis are employed, yielding inconsistent results. The estimation of buildings’ embodied carbon emissions remains a labour-intensive process, with limited accountability. This project aims to develop a smart-tech integrated system for estimating and benchmarking ‘cradle-to-end of construction’ embodied carbon emissions of high-rise prefabricated public residential buildings in Hong Kong.


This project is led and coordinated by Professor Wei Pan of Department of Civil Engineering of The University of Hong Kong (HKU), with project team members from HKU and HKPolyU, and supporters from a wide range of government and industry organizations.  


This project is funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) under the General Research Fund (GRF) (Project Number: 17203219).

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