Construction of the superstructure of the Research Complex starts next year


Piling works of the new Research Complex of HKSYU have entered the final stage and will be finished by the end of this year. To follow, superstructure construction work will commence in the first quarter next year, according to Dr. John Wing To Hui, architect and project manager of HKSYU’s largest building project yet.

Dr. Hui said pile cap construction will be completed towards the end of February, pending a series of pile loading tests to ascertain the bearing capacity of the completed piles. Construction of lower floors of the complex is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2014 and the concrete structural frame is expected to be completed in mid-2015. Meantime, Dr. Hui and his project team are working tirelessly on building services and architectural design aspects that will determine the form and function of the complex.

External and internal finishing works, building services works including fire services installations, air-conditioning system, plumbing and drainage works etc. will then take about six months to complete. According to the master schedule, the University will be able to apply for an Occupation Permit in the last quarter of 2015.

Dr. John Hui (front row right) and his team.

Dr. Hui explained that some unexpected challenges had been encountered during various stages of construction so far. For instance, it had taken an unexpectedly long time to gain approval and consent for excavation and piling works from the Buildings Department which is overloaded by a huge number of projects and suffering from a shortage of human resources. However, Dr. Hui anticipated that the development is still on schedule and the new campus will be operational in stages from the end of 2015 to early 2016, barring unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

He also recalled how the Complex had to be modified to minimize rock excavation in the early design stage. When a large rock stratum was detected along the rear slope of Wai Tsui Crescent by geotechnical investigation, the two lowest floors were re-sited along the rock line to reduce rock excavation, thereby saving time and construction costs. Ample space was also allocated for the retention of existing trees and sufficient landscaped areas have been designed in the Complex to facilitate the replanting of some of the removed trees.

Upon commencement of foundation works, double deck hoardings were installed around the site to protect passing pedestrians from falling debris. However, Dr. Hui still advised that students and staff of HKSYU should be cautious walking along the site perimeters and should use the pedestrian walkway at the opposite side of the road when construction vehicles are manoeuvring at the site entrance.

The site of the Research Complex was granted to Shue Yan by the HKSAR Government in May 2011, after a long negotiation process with various government departments and concerned residents. The Complex is arranged into a high block of 15 storeys and a low block of 7 storeys, both built over a podium of 5 storeys below Wai Tsui Crescent, with due consideration to view and ventilation corridors to minimize the visual and environmental impact on surrounding buildings. The site area is about 7,410 square meters and the total gross floor area of the complex is about 35,300 square meters of which 24,900 square meters (71%) are research and study venues and 10,400 square meters (29%) will be allocated to hostel spaces for students.

Source: November Issue 2013

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