Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 12:
Land, Public Works and Utilities
Planning for Hong Kong
Land Supply
Building Safety and
Organisational Framework
The Town Planning
Hong Kong Planning
Standards and Guidelines
Territorial Development Strategy
Sub-regional Development Strategies
District Planning
Urban Renewal
Planning Studies
Urban Development Areas
New Towns
Building Development
Land Administration
Land Acquisition
Land Disposal
Land Management and
Lease Enforcement
Government Conveyancing
Survey and Mapping
Land Registration
Land Registry Business Volume in 2006
Drainage Services
Civil Engineering
Water Supplies
Home Pages
Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese
Table of Contents Constitution and Administration The Legal System The Economy Financial and Monetary Affairs Commerce and Industry Employment Education Health Food Safety, Environmental Hygiene, Agriculture and Fisheries Social Welfare Housing Land, Public Works and Utilities Transport The Environment Travel and Tourism Public Order Communications, the Media and Information Technology Religion and Custom Recreation, Sport and the Arts Population and Immigration History Appendices PRINT
Civil Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering

The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) manages a comprehensive slope safety system, which has brought about a substantial improvement in the safety of slopes in Hong Kong. This has been achieved by improving safety standards and technology, ensuring the safety of new slopes, improving the safety of existing slopes, and providing public warnings, information, education and community advisory services on slope safety.

The department continues to exercise geotechnical control over private sector developments and government projects in the interest of public safety. Geotechnical engineers carry out technical audits of geotechnical designs of projects before they are built. In addition, they carry out site audits during construction to assess the standard of implementation of the design and the standard of geotechnical supervision at the site. As a result of an increase in the development of tunnel projects, the geotechnical control of government tunnel works is progressively becoming a busy part of the department's work.

In 2006, the department handled over 13 000 government and private sector geotechnical submissions and some 4 000 requests for geotechnical advice from government departments and the public. It also conducted 3 000 audits of construction sites where work was going on actively. Over 90 per cent of such sites which needed geotechnical site supervision were audited at least once while construction was going on.

The department maintains a continuing Landslip Preventive Measures Programme to ensure that slopes are safe. In 2006, about $930 million was spent on the programme. Upgrading works were completed on 282 government slopes, all of which were landscaped to blend with their surroundings. In addition, safety screening was completed on 310 private slopes.

The department inspects substandard slopes to see if they are in danger of sliding. It also urges the clearance of squatter structures built on slopes that are unsafe and advises the people living in those structures to move to safe shelters during heavy rain. In 2006, it inspected about 50 substandard slopes and completed a detailed landslide risk study for one squatter area and subsequently recommended removal of those structures.

The Government cannot solve Hong Kong's slope problem single-handedly. It needs public involvement and cooperation to reduce landslides. The department continues to carry out a wide range of activities to drive home the slope safety message to the community. These include broadcasting messages on television and radio, distributing promotional materials, organising roadshows, holding public seminars, and giving school talks and training courses.

Major activities in 2006 included slogan and bookmark design contests which attracted more than 3 300 entries from primary and secondary schools, a one-month exhibition at Hong Kong Science Museum and four rescue drills performed by the Hong Kong Red Cross, Auxiliary Medical Service, Civil Aid Service and Fire Services Department.

As a participant in the ongoing programme Science in the Public ServiceAdvancing Science, Advancing Service, the department promoted slope safety messages throughout 2006, with emphasis on the scientific aspect of slope engineering.

The department's Community Advisory Unit (CAU) continues to give advice to private slope owners on keeping their slopes tidy and in good condition. The CAU plays an active part in getting the message to the public on slope safety. It joins the Hong Kong Red Cross in visits to villages in the New Territories to stress the need to keep slopes safe. The department also audits the maintenance work done on slopes by other government departments.

It maintains a 24-hour, year-round emergency service to provide geotechnical advice to government departments on action to take in the event of landslides. In 2006, the department's Emergency Control Centre was mobilised four times to deal with the dangers posed by landslides.

The department conducts various studies on natural terrain and on landslide hazards. It has been using remote sensing techniques and the Geographic Information System to assess landslide risks. The department is also improving its Natural Terrain Landslide Inventory by incorporating information obtained from aerial photographs.

The Geotechnical Information Unit in the Civil Engineering Library, which houses the largest collection of geotechnical data in Hong Kong, provided geotechnical information to about 30 000 people in 2006.

The department provides specialist geotechnical services to government departments. These include ad hoc geotechnical advice, feasibility studies, detailed investigations, and design and construction supervision for a wide range of public works projects. Such services were rendered during work on widening Nam Fung Path in Wong Chuk Hang. The department assisted in the preliminary geotechnical assessment and advance site investigation works for Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2A; a natural terrain hazard study for a potential land sale site in Sha Tin; engineering designs for drainage improvement in Southern Lantau; and site investigation works for the reconstruction of To Shek Salt Water Service Reservoir and Ma On Shan Salt Water Service Reservoir.

In addition, the department provides construction materials testing and ground investigation services to support public works projects. The testing service is provided by the Public Works Laboratories. During the year, some 700 000 tests were carried out and 30 000 metres of soil and rock drilled.

Mining and Quarrying

The department enforces legislation relating to mining, quarrying and explosives, and deals with quarrying contracts. It processes applications for the manufacture, storage, conveyance and use of explosives, and inspects stone quarries, blasting sites and explosives stores.

Hong Kong used up about 11 million tonnes of aggregates and other rock products in 2006. About 55 per cent of its demands was provided locally. The rest was from the Mainland.

Three quarrying contracts were in force during the year. These require the operators to rehabilitate the quarries within a specified period in return for the granting of rights to process and sell surplus rock excavated during the course of the works. The rehabilitation works involve recontouring the quarries and planting trees and shrubs on them to make them blend with the surrounding hillsides.

The department manages two government explosives depots at Kau Shat Wan on Lantau Island and on Piper's Hill, Sha Tin, which provide bulk storage facilities for imported explosives for industrial use. It also transports the explosives from the depots to the blasting sites and issues shot-firer certificates. About 820 tonnes of explosives were used in 2006 for quarrying and site formation.

In addition, the department helps the Home Affairs Bureau and the Marine Department to assess applications for fireworks displays.

Fill Supply and Mud Disposal

About 6.5 million tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) materials were received at the public fill reception facilities during the year. In addition, about three million tonnes of inert C&D materials were used directly in other projects. The CEDD, on behalf of the Public Fill Committee (PFC), is involved in drawing up strategy for managing public fills. It also helps coordinate the reuse of C&D materials. Construction companies are required to reduce the generation of waste materials at source. Following the introduction of the Construction Waste Disposal Charging Scheme, two construction waste sorting facilities were set up in Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O in January 2006 to facilitate the reuse and recycling of C&D materials.

In 2006, about 1.1 million cubic metres of uncontaminated mud and 650 000 million cubic metres of contaminated mud were generated by various works projects and by maintenance works on navigational channels in the harbour. The uncontaminated mud was dumped in the open sea or in exhausted marine sand borrow pits. The contaminated mud was placed in selected and closely monitored exhausted sand borrow pits, which were then capped with clean mud. The use of exhausted sand borrow pits for mud disposal is preferred as it has the twin benefits of providing much needed room for mud disposal and for restoring the seabed to its natural state.

In addition, the CEDD is responsible for managing disposal facilities for dredged and excavated sediment, and for identifying and managing the supply of marine fill resources for development projects on behalf of the Marine Fill Committee.

The department also maintains a Fill Management Database on fill requirements, mud disposal and surplus excavated materials from major public and private projects to help the construction industry keep track of the sources of fill materials and to make the best use of surplus materials. All project data are available on the department's home page www.cedd.gov.hk.

The department monitors the effect of dredging and disposal activities on the environment, and looks for ways to minimise their impact on marine life.

2005 I 2004 I 2003 I 2002 I 2001 I 2000 I 1999 I 1998 I 1997