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NAMI’s High-tech Construction Breakthrough

Image Credits: NAMI, Press Release
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The Nano and Advanced Materials Institute (NAMI) has been at the forefront of digital transformation in the sector. Earlier in the year, the 3D Concrete Robotic Printing Research Centre (RCC3D) established by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and NAMI was officially opened in June, It marked a new milestone of the first forefront research center in Hong Kong, in conducting applied multidisciplinary research on and promoting wider application of 3D concrete printing in Hong Kong’s construction industry.

Most recently, NAMI has introduced a groundbreaking, ready-to-license construction method called Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) to cater to the increasing demand for housing in Hong Kong. MiC offers numerous technological advantages, revolutionising the construction industry in the region.

One of the key technological advancements of NAMI’s MiC is its hybrid steel-concrete design. Leveraging their patented high-strength lightweight foamed concrete, NAMI has achieved an impressive C-25 structural strength while significantly reducing the weight of the MiC modules. Compared to conventional concrete, the hybrid MiC weighs only 60% of normal concrete, making it more manageable during transportation and installation.

The lightweight foamed concrete used in NAMI’s MiC possesses exceptional insulating properties, boasting three times more insulation than regular concrete. This advanced thermal insulation not only enhances the comfort of the finished modules but also leads to superior electricity savings for the end users.

Moreover, the hybrid MiC’s foamed concrete wall panels offer both strength and lightweight characteristics. They provide sufficient anchorage strength of 4000N, enabling direct installation of heavy appliances and furniture, such as high-level wall cupboards, without compromising the structural integrity of the modules.

To address safety concerns, NAMI’s hybrid MiC has undergone rigorous testing for fire resistance, ensuring that the wall and slab panels meet certified safety standards. This aspect is crucial for enhancing the overall safety and reliability of the constructed buildings.

NAMI’s focus on technology has made it the first in Hong Kong to use lightweight concrete material as structural walls and slabs in MiC projects. Their pioneering approach has received in-principle acceptance from the Buildings Department for use in private building projects, signifying the trust and recognition of their technological advancements.

NAMI’s hybrid MiC showcases an exceptional integration of technology in the construction industry. By utilising their patented high-strength lightweight foamed concrete, NAMI has not only improved construction efficiency but also addressed the challenges posed by conventional construction methods.

The innovative technology employed in NAMI’s MiC opens up new possibilities for sustainable and efficient construction in Hong Kong, meeting the evolving needs and expectations of users while contributing to a more advanced and environmentally-friendly construction landscape.

NAMI has also pioneered advanced technology in building construction with its High-strength Lightweight Concrete. While normal concrete has been widely used in the industry, its heavy weight necessitates higher transportation costs and robust foundations. For Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) buildings, this poses challenges in module size flexibility, transportation, and installation.

To revolutionise construction productivity and sustainability, NAMI developed a high-strength lightweight concrete that offers lower density, reducing material consumption and transportation efforts. By decreasing the superstructure’s weight, this innovative concrete also minimises the size requirements of foundations. NAMI’s lightweight concrete is specifically designed for precast wall panels and slab panels, offering a wide range of densities and performance options to meet various applications and project requirements.

NAMI’s high-strength lightweight concrete is the result of advanced material technology, combining high-performance cementitious paste and controlled air voids. This unique composition exhibits an impressive strength-to-density ratio and exceptional stability, making it ideal for producing precast building elements. With a strength level of grade C25 at a density of 1500kg/m3, it surpasses conventional concrete in both strength and weight reduction.

Beyond structural benefits, NAMI’s lightweight concrete also boasts remarkable thermal insulation and sound absorption properties. This outstanding feature not only contributes to energy savings by reducing air conditioning needs but also enhances indoor environmental quality and improves fire resistance, ensuring a safer and more comfortable living or working environment.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.