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2021.12.22

Filling Industry Voids – Going Forward with Backfill

In an era of unparalleled technological advancements propelled by innovation, the ability to strike a balance between time, cost, quality, safety and the environment has been unprecedented, coming down to the grains of sand that the construction industry has come to known as the quintessential material for backfill.  Hong Kong, with its intricate underground labyrinth, narrow streets with barely inches to spare and unforgiving storm seasons, has taken the future of its pavements into their own hands to develop a new Self-Compacting Backfill Material.

Newly added to the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund’s (CITF) pre-approved list, this locally invented and developed advanced construction material by NAMI has been successfully trialed to replace soil with a concrete like material that possesses favorable technical properties of flowability, efficiency, strength and thermal conductivity, overcoming hindrances brought by the unique conditions in Hong Kong, yet applicable universally.  In short, this is a self-leveling, free flowing backfill material that can be mixed on- or off-site and placed in required areas from a concrete mixer truck without the need for further layer-by-layer compaction, greatly reducing work delays, air voids and spread of dust.

The CITF was established by the Development Bureau of the Government of the HKSAR to encourage wider adaptation of innovative construction methods and technologies as well as foster an ingenious culture amongst industry practitioners and students in related disciplines, ensuring and supporting the continuous improvement of the industry. While funding is substantial, CITF simultaneously has become a promotional platform for NAMI and other pre-approved products as they experience an increase in visibility in the industry, attracting more users and potential licensees, facilitating their commercialization process.

With the promising application of such material in certain slope and trench work, NAMI is pleased to share that as part of their project research and development outcome, up to 95% of the material excavated for maintenance purposes can be recycled as raw material for other backfill works. While further site trials are underway with its original formula requiring anywhere from eight to twenty-four hours to harden, depending on site conditions, a new development is already in the pipeline for a fast-setting formulation that can be used for emergency repairs.

With the firm belief that innovation and technology are the catalyst for transforming the industry and ultimately the betterment of our home, the CITF and CIC, its commissioned implementation partners, invite industry players to leverage automation, industrialization and digitalization in their practices by funding a comprehensive scope of construction processes that allow better project co-ordination, quality control and waste management.  

Explore the list of over 2000 innovations in the pre-approved list and how to leverage the CITF for enrichment opportunities: https://www.citf.cic.hk/

To tie in with the Government’s disease prevention and control measures in coping with the epidemic, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) has closed its public visiting centres including the CIC BIM Space, Construction Innovation Technology and Application Centre (CITAC), MiC Resources Centre and all the exhibition areas of CIC-Zero Carbon Park, until further notice.

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