Developing Hong Kong’s First Materials Testing Laboratory and Archives Centre in Caverns - Technical Challenges and Solutions
In Hong Kong, cavern development is entering a new era, from a narrow range of uses in the past to the recent widespread applications in the territory (Ho et al. 2020). Rock caverns are now engineered to become a viable source of land supply for sustainable development of Hong Kong. With four decades of knowledge and experience accumulation, Hong Kong has proclaimed its readiness in taking on a new path following the launch of the award-winning Cavern Master Plan along with a suite of enabling measures to foster wider applications of rock caverns in Hong Kong. A number of cavern projects are in the pipeline, covering not only traditional “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) uses but also some new types of facilities. Among all, the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Civil Engineering and Development Department is now undertaking a joint cavern development project at Anderson Road Quarry Site, which involves two first-of-its-kind cavern facilities in Hong Kong ¾ a materials testing laboratory and an archives centre. This paper will introduce the background of the project and use it as an illustration to highlight various challenges encountered when housing facilities in caverns, such as operation requirements of the facilities, fire safety considerations, site constraints, and the need for preserving the future potential of Strategic Cavern Area concerned. This paper will also discuss some novel design approaches contemplated and other potential solutions to tackle these challenges.
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