SHKP places great importance on building quality and is committed to environmental protection. When widening Sai Sha Road for the Shap Sz Heung integrated project, an SHKP associate leveraged its professional knowledge and used innovative technologies to transplant a rare giant intertwined Ficus microcarpa tree for conservation, and was awarded silver at the Innovative Safety Initiative Award (ISIA) 2020, organized by the Development Bureau of the HKSAR government and the Construction Industry Council.
Pioneering transplantation technologies in Hong Kong
The transplanted intertwined Ficus microcarpa tree is over 50 years old and about 17 metres tall. To ensure smooth road-widening work during efforts to conserve the tree, which is deeply cherished in the neighbourhood, the team spent nine months preparing for the transplantation. Difficulties included the project's proximity to a seminary and a bus station, the tree's intertwined roots, and the vast number of underground pipes around it. In preparation for the move, SHKP deployed a professional team to inspect the tree's health a number of times and detect the location and size of its roots to estimate the amount of soil required at its new location. The team also set up a large metal frame to support the entire tree.
Transplanting the giant tree using new technologies
To lift the intertwined tree, along with its supporting frame, which together weighed 183 tonnes, the team made use of various new technologies, including a large number of motion sensors and a VR management platform, to monitor the tree in real time. Using 3D scanning technology, the team accurately estimated the weight and centre of gravity of the intertwined tree. Also, the team pioneered new technology in the city by utilizing two remote high-end, self-propelled carriers, whose assembly could be changed according to shipping needs, greatly reducing the risk and the manpower required for the transplantation.
The intertwined tree is now thriving in its new location and continues to be a district landmark.