Applying Virtual Reality to Improve the Construction Logistics of High-rise Modular Integrated Construction


  • Enoch H.L. Cheung Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong
  • S. Thomas Ng Faculty of Engineering, The University of Hong Kong



Modular and offsite construction is becoming increasingly popular around the world. In Hong Kong, a modular integration construction (MiC) method is identified as a pragmatic approach to speed up the housing construction program and to solve the productivity and manpower problems of the industry. Using the MiC, virtually all the construction works including the finishing as well as the mechanical and electrical installation are completed offsite. The MiC units are then delivered to and installed on site. While the MiC can shift the risks of construction projects to the factories, this construction method is not without challenges. This is particularly the case for Hong Kong as most of the construction sites in the city are cramped due to the high-density urban environment. The problem is aggravated when every modular unit is unique and they are time consuming to produce. Any damages to the MiC components during the lifting process could seriously affect the entire construction sequence under a just-in-time management philosophy. Therefore, it is imperative to plan and monitor the logistics carefully when the MiC technique is used. To reduce any human errors and increase the efficiency and accuracy of the lifting process, a virtual reality (VR) approach may be adopted to simulate the construction logistics of MiC construction and train the crane operators. In this paper, a VR model is developed to simulate the construction of a high-rise residential building in a confined site. Various functions are built into the VR model to support the decisions pertinent to lifting logistics planning. In this paper, the design considerations and functions of the VR model are identified through a series of interviews. Moreover, the validation interviews help unveil the potentials and pitfalls of the developed VR model.