Maintenance And Redevelopment Of Aged Public Housing Estate Construction Essay

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Since the fire in Shek Kip Mei on 25 December 1953 that made 53,000 people homeless, due to the shantytowns of the China immigrants were destroyed. As the population growth of Hong Kong is very fast from the five decades ago due to the immigrants and birthrate. At present, Hong Kong Government is facing the problem of density populated. For this reason, Hong Kong Government assigns Hong Kong Housing Authority to develop public housing program of "multi story building" for immigrants to living there. Therefore, Hong Kong Housing Authority has been turn into the biggest public housing developer and the single proprietor in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the housing condition and the practicability is the important consideration of the district, because the main concept of public housing is satisfy the basic and real need of townspeople, who cannot afford the private housing requirement.

Nowadays, there are many public housing estate are out of the current standard and outmoded owing to the time is elapse. So, Hong Kong Housing Authority launches the Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme to make an improvement of living quality to the tenant that living in old public housing estate, there are 566 target block about 231,403 flats which was built before 1973 are demolished and the Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme was completed in January 2010. Otherwise, the Housing Authority carry out the Total Maintenance Scheme in 2006 approximately covering 600,000 flats, the Housing Authority article showing that the main concept of this scheme is Proactive and comprehensive approach to identify maintenance problems, then Prompt response to emergencies and tenants' requests, finally, Enhanced promotional and educational programmes to improve the maintenance quality and service in public housing estate and enhance the quality of living environment to the tenant.

At this moment in this time, Hong Kong Housing Authority had made two different programme which are maintenance and redevelopment in different period to enhance the living quality of public housing estate. Building maintenance is a method to sustainable of keeping and enhances the function of facilities of aged public housing. Redevelopment is a method that demolish the outmoded building and redevelopment, it is very complicated, because there are many factors are contained, (e.g. psychology affect of tenant, use of time, cost of finance, availability of the land).

For this reason, the purpose of this study is research the benefit and disadvantage of maintenance and redevelopment of aged public housing, express the different and difficulties to precede the redevelopment and maintenance and bring up my recommendation that base on the opinion of public and the feasibility study on the actually condition for the future building management for Hong Kong, .


In this study, I will first provide some background information of aged public housing in Hong Kong. Then, I will present a clear conceptual background of maintenance and redevelopment, such as the definition of maintenance and redevelopment, and critically review the condition of aged public housing in Hong Kong.

Then, I will evaluate and examine the intention of government policy for choice between maintenance and redevelopment of aged public housing, in order to make the best decision between adoption of maintenance and redevelopment of aged public housing in Hong Kong.

In addition, I will outline and discuss the factors contributing to the decision. Besides, I will mainly focus on three factors, economic, environment and structural safety. And, I will then outline the advantages and disadvantages of maintenance and redevelopment, which can affect the decision between adoption of maintenance and redevelopment of aged public housing.

Finally, I will summarize the factors which can affect the decision making and provide some recommendations for the future decision making and redevelopment for public housing estate.

Aims and Objective

The aim of this dissertation is to review and evaluate the decision for the old public building between maintenance and redevelopment of Hong Kong.


A historical review the background of public housing in Hong Kong.

A literature reviews the definition of maintenance and redevelopment and compares the factor which determines the decision between redevelopment and maintenance.

Carry out research and interview with selected target building and group.

Selection of public building for case study.

A critical data analysis and information based on the conclusion drawn from all review and research.

Conclusion and recommendation based on the critical analysis and result of the research.

History of public housing in Hong Kong

The appearance of public housing in Hong Kong mainly due to the fire in Shek Kip Mei on 25 December 1953, the fire destroyed the makeshift homes of refugees from Mainland China, leaving 53,000 people homeless. After the fire, and facing a surge of immigrant population, then the government launched a public housing program to introduce the idea of "multi story building" for the immigrant population living there, thus commencing a programme of mass public housing, providing affordable homes for those on low incomes. Some scholars have argued that the government has been overstating the role of the fire in the history of public housing in Hong Kong.

Nowadays, public housing facility is the weightiest position of the society. Public housing estate major provided a home for peoples who can't afford the private accommodation in real need, because the rates of public housing are really lower than private housing. At present, there are 169 public housing estate (about 656,000 public rental flats and residence around 2.2 million people) under the Housing Authority's (HA) management scope.

Research methodology and significant of study

Research is a process, which is the way to get the answer and question to hypothesis in different way of this study and support the conclusion from information of the research. Furthermore, methodology is use for prove the truth of the assumption, the methodology that is choose from literature review (e.g. news, article, journal, book) and investigation for target person (e.g. group interview, individual interview, questionnaire).

Chapter outline

Chapter one is the Introduction of this study, in this part, the history of Honk Kong public housing estate is introduced first, then define the main focus of this study clearly and explain the source of information about this study. Therefore, a clear concept of this study provided for the reader from this chapter.

Chapter two is the Literature Review, in this chapter, the definition and characteristic of maintenance and redevelopment are identify by literature or article or journal, after that, the factor of influence that between maintenance and redevelopment is recognize base on the concept findings of maintenance and redevelopment, the important information from the article or journal are recap and compare the data on the most relevant.

Chapter Three is the Methodology, in this part is to make a critical review on the decision for the old public building between maintenance and redevelopment of Hong Kong. The methodology consists of a literature review, followed by questionnaire survey and the subsequent interview. The conclusion from the analysis of the results of questionnaire and interview surveys would be served as a ground for formulating the recommendations.

Chapter Four is the Findings and Data Analysis, in this part all information and data that collected would be organized in this chapter and detailed discussion and analysis would be presented from the interview and the questionnaire.

Chapter Five is the Conclusion and Recommendations, in this chapter, final conclusion and recommendations will be made based on the discussion, collected information and analysis made in Chapter three and four.

Literature review

Definition of Maintenance

According to British Standard 8210 defined maintenance as the combination of all technical and administrative action intended to retain an item in, or restore it to, a state in which it can perform its required function. And the previous version of British Standard (BS 3811: 1964) stated that maintenance as a combination of any actions carried out to retain an item, or restore it to, an acceptable condition. There are few components are identified from the above definition.

According to the British Standard stated that Action not only related to the physical execution of maintenance work, also concerned with its initiation, financing and organization. The notion of an acceptable condition, which implies and understanding of the requirement for the effective usage of the building and its parts, which in turn compels broader consideration of building performance,

Chartered of Institute of Building offer the followings definition of maintenance: 'Works undertaken in order to keep, restore or improve every facility, e.g. every part of building, its services and surrounds, to an agreed standard, determined by the balance between need and available resources'.

The committee on Building Maintenance recommended the adoption of the followings:

Definition of maintenance: 'Work undertaken in order to keep, restore or improve every facility e.g. every part of building, its services and surrounds to a currently acceptable standard and to sustain the utility and value of the facility.

Proper maintenance can extend the useful life of a building substantially. Renovation of old buildings is sometimes a viable alternative to redevelopment as it causes much less disruption to the affected residents. It can also improve the environment and reduce the need for urban renewal from the Planning environment and Lands Branch, 1996

British standard (BS 3811: 1984) classified maintenance as three parts as follow,

i. Planned maintenance; described as organized maintenance and carried out with forethought, control, and the use of records to predetermined plan.

ii. Preventive maintenance, it is carried out at predetermined or to other prescribed criteria and intended to reduce the likelihood of an item not meeting an acceptable condition.

iii. Running maintenance, which can be carried out whilst an item is in service.

Definition of Redevelopment

Redevelopment means that the society shall demolish and redevelop the old dilapidated building with poor living condition into a productive and desirable use in order to utilize the land resources.

Hong Kong Housing Authority described that the redevelopment and clearance aims to improve the living standard for residents in older estates and to ensure that facilities and benefits do not lag too far behind the newer estates.

The opinion focuses on demolishing old and dilapidated buildings which providing poor living conditions and improving living conditions by assembling large pieces of land for comprehensive planning and the restructuring of the community through providing better and appropriate community facilities and open space. (P.K. Kam 2002)

Housing Authority stated that the land use within the community, new opportunities may be identified which may lead to better planning and development within the district, including opportunities for housing. (HKHA)

Redevelopment as an effective means to comprehensively revamp an old area by upgrading the street design and the community amenities as well as to better utilize the in shortage supply of land resources. (Urban Renewal Authority)

Comprehensive housing renewal can provide greater open space and community facilities. Typical objective include: suitable re-housing; increased amenities; community preservation' architectural conservation and fiscal outcomes, among others that base on Couch 1990, Rapkin 1980

Factors which Determining the Decision between Redevelopment and Maintenance

The reason for redevelopment mainly as the following:

Replacement of whole elements of components

When the whole elements of components are functionally unsatisfactory; incur high maintenance or running costs and aesthetically unacceptable (Lee Maintenance Management), the components will be redeveloped.

2. Design constraints, lack of amenities

Since, the public's expectation for improving the standard of living environment is rising. A redeveloped component will provide a better living environment to the residents. Areas concern such as to improve the condition, value and life span of public housing assets, enhance local communities and support the local construction industry.

3. Maximize the usage of land

Redevelop a component not only can increase the efficiency of land usage, but also provide a better integration of transportation and commercial facilities and the provision of new district facilities.

4. Change of plot ratio

Plot ratio control was under the Building Ordinance is a device used by planning authorities, to restrict the amount of floor space provided in new building in relation to their site area. The population grows at (the rate of population growth is roughly one million per decade in Hong Kong) roughly a million every decade in Hong Kong. With limited land resources, further increase in density in high of housing development is inevitable. In addition, provide more occupancy ratio, the occupancy ratio of 2.23sq m per person that had been established in the 1950s and changed over time to 4.25sq m per person in the 1980s, up to date, the current occupancy ratio stands at 7 sq m per person.


The large assembly of land through the Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) comcept has two major benefits from the planners point of view, Booth (1996) and Listokin (1974); Waver and Blabcock (1979); all cited by Tse (2001)

The CDA sites can achieve the maximum plot ratio;

It can achieve a better designed layout and block disposition and provide adequate communal facilities for the development.

structural and building safety

American Planning Association elaborated that the building in which it is unsafe for persons and unhealthy to live or work due to dilapidation; deterioration; defective design or physical construction; inadequate utilities; lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities contamination by hazardous substances and redevelopment might be considered.

The reasons for maintenance mainly as the following:

1. Environmental impact

Environmental impacts arising from the demolition, construction and operation of the redevelopment project and related activities, therefore the environmental impact of maintenance works are much better to avoid and minimize the potential environmental impacts to the public.

2. Long time for the completion of new estates

The total lead-time for the completion of new estates is about 4 years including: planning, design, tendering and construction.

3. Lower operation and maintenance cost in the long run

Preventive maintenance concept has developed in Housing Authority. In view of the fact that regular repair and maintenance cannot fundamentally solve the problems arising from ageing, such as water seepage in the balcony, rusting of water pipes, wear and tear of concrete, etc. the Housing Department is exploring ways to upgrade or maintain aged estates comprehensively in order to improve tenants living environment Building rehabilitation is one of the options being explored in dealing with aged estates.

4. High construction costs are not cost-effective

Tight budget of Housing Authority incurring such high construction costs is not cost-effective and will also affect the environment during construction stage.

Advantages of redevelopment

There are several benefits for the Housing Authority during redevelopment First of all, the rationalization of land use and the opportunity for increasing housing production, particularly for Housing Authority redevelopment site where boundaries may be modified to optimize development intensity.

The ability to bring in other resources to facilitate redevelopment of existing public housing estates, including the private sector and other quasi-government agencies. This could enable some older estates to be redeveloped for higher and more productive uses that would otherwise remain for a long time due to a lack of suitable reception housing.

One of the benefits is that the improvement to the physical conditions of the area that would benefit existing public housing residents and at the sme time enhances the attractiveness and desirability of Housing Authority developments.

Besides, the grater diversity of land use and type of developments will assist in improving the secio-economic mix in the area and provide housing residents with more choices and housing opportunities.

Furthermore, construction jobs created by the development of new buildings and new infrastructure and the remodeling in existing buildings

Redeveloping building can stop the spread of deterioration and blight of aging building and improving the safety and environment of adjacent areas

Deficiencies of redevelopment

Government's redevelopment programs have the following deficiencies:

Migration of vast number of people is a complicated process requiring detailed planning, monitoring and documentation. A high percentage (up to 40%) of Hong Kong population is housed in Public Housing Estates. An extensive re-housing and redevelopment program is required, which exerts heavy pressure on manpower, time and money.

Demolition of a building is a costly process. Moreover it creates construction waste undesitably unavoidably. The waste, if unsuitably reused, can result in pollution of the environment and depletion of resources. Also noise and visual pollutions can become nuisances to nearby residents.

New estate designs are often based on economic values. Also, cost efficiency and high practicality had been the approach adopted in the new developments, lacking in the encouragement of communal interactions. The new estates have more monotonous and self-enclosed living environment.

Significances and Advantages of Maintenance

According to David Highfield (2000) defined that the cost of refurbishing and re-using and existing building is generally considerably less than the cost of demolition and new construction since many of the building elements are already constructed.

One of the principles advantages of opting of refurbishment and re-use of existing building - rather than demolition and construction - is that, in he majority of cases. The renewed or redeveloped accommodations will be available in a much shorter time. And the shorter contract duration reduces the effects of inflation on building costs, also the overall development period could be shorter and reduces the cost of financing the scheme

The work required refurbishing and existing building would normally take considerably less time than the alternative if demolition, site clearance and the construction of a new building. Time savings, during the pre-contract design, planning permission and building works phases of development.

The client obtains the building sooner and therefore begins the earn reveue from it (e.g. rentals, retail sales of manufacturing profits) at an earlier date.

With the increasing cost of new-build work, effective maintenance of existing building stock is become more important and building maintenance now represents a significant proportion of construction output.

About unstable supply of construction works, according to Patricia Hillebrandt (2000) stated that the determination of demand for construction activity is a very complex affair and heavily depends on the policy of government either directly through its intervention in the public sector, or through its influence on the general level of economics activity in the private sector.

The standard of maintenance achieved has an important influence on the quality of the built environment and there seems little doubt that society will continue to expect higher standards in new and existing buildings. Nowadays, maintenance is a significant and important part of the work of the constrctuion industry.

The environmental advantages, one of the many ways in which energy consumption can be reduced is to recycle and re-use exising resouces as much as possible, in preference to consuming even more energy by replacing them. E.g. when major alterations are made, will generally use less energy than demolition and new build.

Housing Authority stressed that maintenance can facilitate early defect deteration and rectifection. This canavoid the additional expenses arising from further deterioration and it enables building elemets and services installations to be replaced at the optimum time in order to achieve the maximum serviceable life (Press Release: Home CARE Maintenance for Public Housing Estate, 1 March,2001)

Disadvantage of Maintenance

Although maintenance is beneficial to the aged building and many articles are supporting this view, but there are no perfect views of any matter, so in this part, the disadvantage of maintenance is shown as the follows:

The resultant standard of living may not live up to contemporary expectations.

Very limited potential for positive impact with regard to lad use and building performance.

The current mismatch in housing type supply and demand and the general inefficient layout of the site would remain.

This approach dose not count for the relatively short life span of the existing housing.

Deterioration and Obsolescence

The life cycle analysis by Flanagan (1989), which includes the following items:

Physical deterioration; economic obsolescence; functional obsolescence; technological obsolescence; social obsolescence; location obsolescence; legal obsolescence; aesthetic and visual obsolescence; image obsolescence; and environmental obsolescence.

Base on Aikivuori (1995) asserts that the defects of building are relative, not absolute and therefore difficult to measure objectively. The replacement due to obsolescence is not technically rational since it does not optimize the use of structures until the end of their durability. Since corrective replacement is defined as the project aimed at deteriorated structures in unacceptable physical condition.

According to Taylor (1980) proposes that deterioration has no part in the accumulated inferiority caused by obsolescence and the deterioration and obsolescence are 2 separable issues. Both Taylor (1980) have categorized the causes of replacement into these 2 classes, e.g. deterioration and obsolescence.

Thus, Aikivuori (1995) view the reasons for the decision to initiate a redevelopment project as a basis of the demand. The phenomena causing redevelopment are classified into 5 categories in his study as follows: failure in the building due to deterioration: change in use: optimization of economic factors: subject features of the decision maker: and the change of circumstances.

Life Span of Building Components

Base on the main theme of this study, the life span of building components is a very critical part to provide the sustainable development environment and enhance the value and practicability of the aged building. Also, it is a critical part to affect the decision between maintenance and redevelopment, so the building components should be coordinate with the methodology to present result that meet the international standard, the methodology is really simple to included multifarious application and give a suitable advice of the analysis or review for different type of building in Hong Kong or other country.

According to the related RICS journals "Assessing the Life Expectancies of Building for Life Cycle Costing" by Ashworth (1996) bring up the idea is about the rate of depreciation of building components depend on different information or data supporting and the selection of relevant life span reviews. Base on the theory from this journal, the expectancies may be uncertain, due to a proper design and maintenance arrangement or physical deterioration and obsolescence affect or the quality of refurbishment phase. Anyhow, different types or use of building have different refurbishment lives and the argument of expectancies incidence is important than overall building life span.

Macdonald (2003) indentified the building requirement and intention of life is at least 50 years or above, if there is good workmanship in construction stage and arrange inspection and maintenance work on cycle. Actuality, most of the building may be demolished before the end of time and rebuild, if there is any economical profit of that place or may be change the use of building to meet the new requirement.

Base on the information from RICS, the serviceable life span of aged public housing can be extending about 10-15 years, due to a systematic and cycle maintenance arrangement. Therefore, the aged public housings are structurally safe, that mean it is unnecessary to demolish and redevelopment.


The life span components of public housing estates as follow:

Building Components

Life Span (year)

Window glazing




External wall tile


Vinyl sheet or tile


External paint


Internal wall paint


Waterproofing, bituminous coating


Wooden door


Hence, there are many factors affecting the life expectancy of building components and need to be considered when making replacement decisions, including the quality of the components, the quality of the installation, level of the maintenance, weather and climatic conditions and intensity of their use. Some components remain functional but become obsolete because of changing styles and styles and taste or because of product improvement.

RICS defined that the building structure may be designed using materials, components and technology that may last for about 100 years or more, depending on the quality and standards expected from users.


Research aim

This research aims is to evaluate and critical review on the factor contributing to the decision between the adoption of maintenance and redevelopment of aged public housing estate in Hong Kong with determine the decision between maintenance and redevelopment in public housing estate from the questionnaire and interview and technical record of the building structure life span. The methodology consists of literature research, survey through questionnaires and interviews and reviews the opinion of tenant and government. With a view to do this, I will use the questionnaire and case study in the dissertation respectively. As a new research area, the researcher adopted a multi-faceted approach employing multiple methods for the collection of research materials.

There are several methods to do the research. The first method is to visit relevant government departments and officials in order to have a deep understanding to the research. The second method is that, by reviewing some electronic and printed documents as well as participant observations in order to have an up-dated and comprehensive understanding of the issues.

The main methodologies used for the dissertation are documentary review on relevant public housing policies particularly on the Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme (CPR) and Home CARE Maintenance in both printed and electronic form has been conducted. Besides, case study is used to examine the intention of government policy for redevelopment and maintenance for old public housing estate. The reasons for choosing the above case study for this dissertation can be specifically elaborated into 2 aspects: financial and environment impacts between redevelopment and maintenance that take place in public housing estates.

Furthermore, questionnaires were also used to serve the purpose of providing a through understanding of the old public housing estates physical environment, where the tenants live and socialize and their true-wish or desires on maintenance and redevelopment.

Research the existing old public housing estate in Hong Kong

In 2010, the public housing estate in Hong Kong which is less than 30 years old nearly 87% and about 13% estates were built before 1980. The most common aged public housing estate is Choi Hung Estate, Kwai Shing Estate, Lai King Estate, which is over 35 years old.

With a view to maintain the housing standards, public housing estates which are 30 years old or above are require upgrading by improvement measures or facilities. However, some other 30 plus years old public housing estates require to have redevelopment, because its structure is not fulfill the safe standard or becoming uneconomical to take maintenance.

For the reason that the oldest block design "Mark I" to "Mark VI" public housing estates and the former government low cost housing estates built in the 1950s and 1960s are obsolete by today's standards, the above block designs were cleared for redevelopment in June 1999.

The Government started to redevelop these buildings in the 1970s. Up to 31 December 2004, 694 blocks of these estates containing some 249,360 households were redeveloped.

Review of building conditions in public housing in Hong Kong

In this section, I will present an overview of the current status of old public housing estates in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, the remaining early authority estates included, Shek Kip Mei Estate, Fuk Loi Estate, Choi Hung Estate. Although the living environment basically can meet the normal standards, it is not a fine condition in comparing with the public housing estate which built after 70s.

In the 1960's, there were some marginal improvement for the public housing design. The improvements not only increase a little more living space in the public housing units, but also the community facilities were significantly improved. Besides, the building block is bigger than before, the stories were increased to 16 and corridors were moved indoors, but neighborliness was discouraged by the long monstrous slab blocks.

Nowadays, all units in the ageing public housing estates are self-contained with basic facilities such as shower tray and water closet in the toilet, cooking bench and sink in the kitchen, drying rack, electricity, not and cold water supplies etc.

In order to upgrade the facilities, a more energy-saving lift system will be introduced. Also, a security system will be installed in all rental blocks, which includes electronically controlled security gates and door phones for each unit and television surveillance system in common areas from the security counter next to the main entrance on ground floor.

Questionnaires Survey

In this questionnaire, there are 10 questions to collect tenant opinion on this topic of Choi Hung Estate and Lai King Estate, also, it can collect more basic information of the selected estate

In order to ensure accuracy in the collected data by all interviewers, structured questionnaires was adopted in which similar question were asked at each interview. Owing to the limitation in resources, quota sampling was adopted in the study. Data was collected as detailed as possible through face-to-face interview.

Basic information of the target estate

Lai King Estate is located in Kwai Chung district, this estate was built in 1975 about 35 years old, there are 7 block in this estate and the block style is old slab and the flat size are 22.7 - 50.3 m2, about 4200 rental flat. The electricity supply and security system was upgrade in 2000 and Total Maintenance Scheme was finished the in-flat inspection in 2004

Choi Hung Estate is located in Wong Tai Sin district, this estate was built in 1962 about 48 years old, there are 11 block in this estate and the block style is old slab and the flat size are 24.1 - 69.2  m2, about 7400 rental flat.

Questionnaire Survey Shek Kip Mei Estate and Kwai Shing West Estate

Overall Arrangement of Questionnaire

There are 15 questions shown in this questionnaire for our interviewee to answer, all of the questions are related to this theme of study "decision between Maintenance and Redevelopment", also it included a special arrangement to get the real opinion and deep meaning of the aims of study from this questionnaire.

In question 1 - 4, it is about the basic information of the interviewee, in this part, some data is about the age of interviewee, time of living, number of family living with and range of income for month get from these four questions, know more about the background of interviewee to give a supporting for the data analysis.

In question 5 -8, were asked about any defect was found in the in-house area or public area and which defect is the most important regard to interviewee. We can understand "Which defect is the most common found in aged estate" and "Which type of defect is pay close attention by interviewee". These four questions mainly use to lead interviewee to answer next question conscientious due to question 5 -8 can lead interviewee to introspect their estate.

In question 9 - 12, these questions were asked "Are you satisfy this estate", "Would you like to move to new estate" and "Would you pay higher rent for new estate", these questions can lead to understand the level of satisfy from the aged estate.

In question 13 - 16, these questions were asked about the comment of making decision between maintenance and redevelopment, the main concern to make a decision. These four questions use to collect the opinion and worry of maintenance and redevelopment from interviewee

Selection of case study

The main aim to carry out the selected topical case study for this dissertation is develop and enhance the basic information that shown in the completed questionnaire.

Case 1 Kwai Shing Estate

Kwai Shing West Estate was built in the 1975 (the age at year 2010 is 35), this is a large scope housing estate in the Kwai Tsing Distract. Therefore, the estate involved 10 towers which is old slab block type, included over 5 300 rental flats and the flat size is round 22.7 - 54.9 meter square. The initial planning for maintenance of Kwai Shing West Estate and considering the schedule and settlement of maintenance for the estate of 10 blocks, the maintenance work will be carry out step by step and move in circle.

The In-Flat Inspection of Total Maintenance Scheme of Housing Authority was begun in September 2007 and finished in March 2009 of 10 blocks of Kwai Shing West Estate. According to the in-flat inspection report, spalling is the most occur in this estate and the other is water-seepage, deformed metal window, leakage drainage and all of these defects were maintained by Housing Authority. In addition, Housing Authority will responsible to carry out the work of cover-walkway, barrier free facilities and improve the security (CCTV) system to improve the living environment quality and rise up the convenient of public facilities for the tenant

The Housing Authority is planning to carry out the second cycle in-flat inspection of the rental houses area to achieve the original purpose of the good practice for building maintenance on April 2011, that is detect and rectify the defect at an early stage, not only prevent some unnecessary expenditure on major corrective maintenance will be saved. Also, the life span of building can be extend by the properly maintenance.

Nowadays after these maintenance policy or schemes, the number of unit and the size of Kwai Shing West Estate had not any changes due to none of redevelopment work or alternation and addition work carry out in this estate, only carrying out some maintenance work (e.g. external wall re-painting work and public area, TMS Scheme). But, the arrangement of building maintenance not only upholds the life span and ensures the building structure safety to relieve worry of tenants, also educate the tenants about building maintenance and establish the faith of promise of building safety. Otherwise, the tenants of this estate may be pay attention to building maintenance, because of carrying out all these maintenance work or scheme, however, building maintenance work not only uphold the life span, value and quality of building, also make tenants more pay attention on defect and maintenance of building and give building maintenance education to tenant.

Time for Maintenance

Case 2 Shek Kip Mei Estate

Shek Kip Mei Estate was built in 1954 (the age at year 2010 is 56). In the early stage of this estate were H-shaped buildings (no elevator), which involved 29 blocks of six to seven storeys, the size of each flat is about 120 square feet with toilet and shower facilities for a family about 4-6 persons. Base on the basic living requirement and the need of tenant at present (at least 5.5 square meters for a person) and the elevator is the essential part of any building in this day. The change of the basic requirement of tenant is expressed the facilities and size of this estate are out of the present standard. Otherwise, according to the inspection record about Shek Kip Mei Estate of District Maintenance office of Housing Authority found that spalling and water seepage is very often seen and the strength of concrete is on the downside.

When the age was change and quality of building also cannot catch the basic standard nowadays and carry out building maintenance is not the best choice to make improvement to the estate due to it cannot have any large change at present after maintenance. Therefore, redevelopment of Shek Kip Mei Estate is the better choice to improve the value and practicability. In the other head, the Phase 2 of Shek Kip Mei Estate redevelopment programme was proceed on 2000 and carry out into 2 phases separately under construction.

Nowadays, the schedule of redevelopment scheme was completed 1 phase redevelopment programme to clear the old resettlement H-shaped blocks built in the 1950s and 1960s. Up to now, the estate comprises 11 towers which is Non standard block type and New Slab block type in Phase 1, included over 5 200 rental flats and the flat size is round 11.5 - 55.7 meter square in Phase 1, the Phase 2 redevelopment programme is still processing on middle stage (expect completion time is 2015), according to the blue-paint plan of Phase 2 redevelopment programme not only built residential building, also included market, shopping mall and public garden. In the future, this is a large scope housing estate in the Sham Shui Po Distract.

Comment of this estate

At present, redevelopment programme of Shek Kip Mei Estate (Phase 1) had already finished in March 2006 (from March 2003), the number of rental flats were increase to 5200, when

Time for redevelopment

Case Study 3 So Uk Estate

So Uk Estate was built in 1960 (say 50 years old, if there is no redevelopment carry out), in the original stage of this estate was involved 16 blocks, which included Linear B type style and Non-standard type style building. The size of flat is around 19.5 - 49.1 square meter with toilet and shower facilities for a family about 4-6 persons or more.

The estate was built alongside of squatter areas. The squatter was later demolished for the construction of the estate of 16 blocks in 1960. The blocks were called "Houses" and named after varieties of flowers. Unlike many public housing estates built afterward, the architectural design of the estates is unique in Hong Kong. There are 5,316 flats in the estate, with areas ranging from 19.5 to 49.1m2, with capacity of 15,200.[1]

Of distinctive design, the estate was the home of many famous individuals during their youth in Hong Kong, for example, Sam Hui and his brothers, Wong Ka Kui and his brother in the band Beyond and many others.

As of 2008, over 48 years, the structure is still in good condition but its estimated high maintenance cost made the Hong Kong Housing Authority decide to demolish the six blocks in March 2012 . The Authority will compensate residents and aid in their move. It has also allowed residents the option of moving into Un Chau Estate Phases 2, 4, and 5 in Sham Shui Po.[2]

A foundation titled, "Farewell So Uk" [1] was established as a historical archive for the Estate and to document its history of its residents. It is sponsored by the Salvation Army of Hong Kong and the Salisbury YMCA.

Findings and Data Analysis

In this chapter, the problems and trouble of redevelopment or maintenance of aged public housing estate is elevated and study in this part, the result of data analysis is base on the information, which came from the target public housing estate tenant opinion.

Return of questionnaire

In this part, I will mainly focus on the concern between maintenance and redevelopment of aged public housing estate, according to the information that collected from the data base of Housing Authority or the questionnaire and interview from the tenant. Otherwise, questionnaire survey was conducted at March 2010 begin, there are among 110 tenants from Shek Kip Mei Estate and Kwai Shing West Estate had invited randomly to make out the questionnaire. Finally, there are 63 questionnaires were completed and returned from Shek Kip Mei Estate and Kwai Shing West Estate.

Implication of Economic and Social Benefit

Base on R. Chudley (1981) "The Maintenance and Adaptation of Building" that indicated the building work would be carry out in the first decision, if the decision is between to proceed maintenance work or be a new construction. In my opinion, if the defect is serious that will lead the expenditure of maintenance rise up, may be too high. Furthermore, the consideration of the reasonable cost may be depending on three factors. First, any beneficial can be obtain in the decision, second, make an expectation of the cost of the work is unreasonable or not, when the work is completed, third, make an consideration of the work is necessary and unavoidable or not.

According to the view of the above and fill into case study 2 - part of Shek Kip Mei Estate and So Uk Estate. Hong Kong Housing Authority expect to spend HK$15 hundred million to arrange a building maintenance plan for this estate, especially on concrete spalling repair work and reinforcement work to enhance the life span for about 15 years in 2005, but there are some opinion to bring up the problem of this consideration that lead a huge expenditure and the defect can not be solve exactly, while the maintenance works are still carry out regularly, it is because of the age of this estate.

Regard to Environment Considerations

The practice of environmental friendly is the most important consideration, but nowadays Hong Kong Government is not show respective of this element a lot.

In the most of the redevelopment case or new works case in Hong Kong should be make more improvement to the living conditions in the aged public housing estates. There are 2 major benefits from the good environmental practice: First, the redevelopment could provide a better designed arrangement to enhance building characteristic, living quality and suitable communal facilities. Second, the acquired sites could achieve the maximum plot ratio to use the limited land resources effectively. But in the other head, redevelopment may be generating large quantities of construction waste and nuisance if there is lack of management of disposal to reduce the affect to public from construction.

Duration of Building

As mentioned before, many scholars often believed that durable structural materials such as steel and concrete will provide the longest service lives for the building. Reasons for demolition were instead related to changing land values, lack of suitability of the building for current needs and lack of maintenance of various non-structural components.


Research Topic: Redevelopment and Maintenance of Aged Public Housing Estate

(Please ˇ tick on your selected answer)

Basic Information of Interviewee (Estate: )

1. The age range of interviewee

2. Period of live in this estate

18-28 years old â-¡

29-39 years old â-¡

40-60 years old â-¡

Over 60 years old â-¡

<10 year â-¡

10-20 years old â-¡

20-30 years â-¡

>30 years â-¡

3. No. family member

4. Income of family per month

Live alone â-¡

2-4 peoples â-¡

>5 peoples â-¡

<$10,000 â-¡

$10,000 - $20,000 â-¡

Rental supplement (CSSA) â-¡

Main body of Questionnaire

5. Type of in-house defect found in your flat

Concrete Spalling â-¡

Water Seepage â-¡

Deboned Tile â-¡

Deformed Window / Door hinge â-¡

Peeling off plaster â-¡

Deformed gate door â-¡

6. Which part is the most important of in house maintenance

Concrete Spalling â-¡

Water Seepage â-¡

Deboned Tile â-¡

Deformed Window / Door hinge â-¡

Peeling off plaster â-¡

Deformed gate door â-¡

7. Type of appearances defect in public area

Concrete Spalling â-¡

Water Seepage (Pipe) â-¡

Peeling off plaster â-¡

Elevator system â-¡

Security system â-¡

8. Which part is the most important of in public area

Concrete Spalling â-¡

Water Seepage (Pipe) â-¡

Peeling off plaster â-¡

Elevator system â-¡

Security system â-¡

9. Are you satisfied this estate

Yes â-¡

No â-¡

10. Any short coming of this estate? (if the pervious opinion is "No")

11. Would you like to move for new estate

Yes â-¡

No â-¡

12. Would you pay higher rent for new estate

Yes â-¡

No â-¡

13. Which idea you will select for this or the aged public housing estate

Maintenance â-¡

Redevelopment â-¡


14. Which factor will affect your the choice of maintenance and redevelopment

Living environment â-¡

Realistic of building â-¡

Life span in future â-¡

Antiquities and monuments culture rehabilitation â-¡

15. Would you like to arrange same district without the time and supplement affect (If redevelopment)

Yes â-¡

No â-¡

16. Do you agree to plan a redevelopment programme of this estate?

Yes â-¡

No â-¡