As part of Shaping Our Future City 2023, students visited projects in their local area to learn about civil engineering.
Secondary school students in Hong Kong learned about the latest technology and construction methods to embed sustainability into their city’s buildings through a series of site visits in their local area.
The visits were organised as part of the first event in the Shaping Our Future City (SOFC) 2023 programme, put together by ICE Hong Kong Association’s Graduates and Students (HKA G&S) division.
The annual campaign offers secondary school students aged 16-17 the opportunity to attend workshops and site visits to learn more about civil engineering and how the profession contributes to society.
With this year’s theme of ‘building with nature, shaping our future’, students from eight different secondary schools must work with facilitators to design a hypothetical public sustainability exhibition centre in Hong Kong.
Learning by example
ICE HKA G&S chair, Chevy Chan, was invited to give students a brief idea of the duties and responsibilities of civil engineers by sharing real-life examples and his experience in the industry.
The 69 participants, including teachers, students and helpers, were divided into two groups for a technical visit held by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) in Zero Carbon Park.
Participants visited the Construction Innovation and Technology Application Centre (CITAC) and the Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) Resources Centre to learn more about the industry's latest technologies and construction methodologies.
The short tour around CIC Zero Carbon Park helped students brainstorm sustainable elements and design concepts for their design project.
Exploring sustainability in the city
After the CIC visits, the participating teams embarked on a city hunt in Kowloon Bay.
Students were encouraged to observe construction projects near the area and see if any could be incorporated into their project.
The facilitators, mostly engineers with several years of experience, joined the students in discovering how sustainable ideas are adopted in various construction projects near Kowloon Bay.
Participants then visited T · Park in Tun Mun, one of the waste treatment facilities in Hong Kong.
The technical visit began with an introduction to the incineration operation of the sludge treatment plant.
The guide explained that the sludge collected from 11 sewage treatment works was transported into the bunker with negative pressure while kept in an enclosed container. This has been an effective way of minimising odours and nuisance to the local neighbourhood.
The sludge treatment processes were introduced next, which included incineration, power generation, and flue gas treatment.
The flue gas would pass through a series of treatments before being discharged, and the remaining ash and residue would then be sent to the West New Territories Landfill for disposal.
The advanced desalination plant in T · Park was also highlighted as a significant sustainable feature, which was part of the vision to achieve the goal of 'zero effluent discharge’.
The system permitted the reuse of wastewater and rainwater for irrigation, flushing, and cleansing after undergoing treatment.
Through these site visits, students were able to learn about green building design concepts and the importance of achieving net zero carbon in the construction industry.