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

Systematic Optimization of Modular Integrated Construction for Maximum Embodied Carbon Reduction of High-rise Residential Buildings in Hong Kong 


Buildings contribute significantly to carbon emissions over their life cycle. Hong Kong has the highest population density in the world, with high-rise residential blocks the norm. The Hong Kong government has adopted a prefabrication strategy involving the use of two-dimensional (2D) panelized systems for all public housing developments, and recently began promoting three-dimensional (3D) modular integrated construction (MiC) to enhance productivity and competitiveness. In theory, the use of MiC should lead to a reduction in buildings’ life cycle carbon emissions. However, there is a lack of systematic understanding of modular buildings’ embodied carbon. Also, although the structural design has been identified as a major factor influencing buildings’ embodied carbon, low-carbon structural design still receives marginal consideration in design decision-making. This project aims to examine the extent to which the use of innovative 3D MiC can reduce the embodied carbon emissions of high-rise residential buildings in Hong Kong compared with the traditional 2D panelized system and to optimize the modular method to achieve maximum embodied carbon emission reduction. 


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, collaborators 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: 17201120).

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