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Sam Leung 51815028 FYP: Prefabrication and sustainable construction

As we all know, sustainable architecture, or even the "living architecture", is the current and future trend of building and development design. We want to minimize the negative environmental impact by buildings and there are many ways to do that. Prefabrication and sustainable construction is one of them that i am most interested. Generally, we need to spend a lot of time to build a building which require a lot of man power and have a high environmental impact. Prefabrication allows a faster, better, low/no environmental impact and effective construction process.

Instead of researching the history of prefabricated house construction dating back to the early Twentieth Century, I would like to discover new prefabrication materials and products e.g. prefabricated timber and shipping container architecture, as well as new sustainable construction methods. By combining the use of renewable building materials and recycled/re-used products with prefabrication, this should significantly enhance the sustainability of building, especially at its construction and deconstruction period. I would also like to prove that prefabrication can also be used in sculptural, striking and innovative design as many may think prefabrication can only be adapted in typical plan or form. My findings should be able to encourage more people to adapt prefabrication with sustainable construction materials in the future.

I am going to study a series of buildings by different architects who tried to use creative and sustainable materials in prefabrication to maximize the sustainability, e.g. The Villa, Daniel Libeskind. Some old cases can be studied to acquire basic knowledge of prefabrication as well as its effectiveness for the building construction. I will try to acquire the data as well as mock-up for the materials to compare their properties, e.g. strength, impact to the environment, etc. Site and factory investigation can be done to acquire first-hand experience and information. Surveys can be done to get opinions on prefabrication from different fields, e.g. workers, architects, contractors, etc. Physical models can also be built to test out the possibility of creative and innovative designs.

I will try to compare the case studies and formulate a set of strategies or model for highest sustainability. Better materials can be picked for different usage/building types. Detailed processes and methods should be produced for sustainable construction. A set of physical models will be created to show off the feasibility and creativity of prefabrication. However, it may be difficult to find suitable examples and materials in Hong Kong. Some of them may need to be discovered in China as there are many factories and materials available that related to prefabrication. This topic is very important, especially for Hong Kong as the land is so small and crowded for most of the construction site, the surrounding environment may easily affected by the construction processes due to high density of buildings. Thats why we need prefabrication.