• The businesses’ best

    15 January 2015

    The Hong Kong Concrete Repair and Waterproofing Association’s awards have been run and won, with the top award going to Milestone Builder Engineering Ltd.

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    The company undertook a painstaking overhaul of the main roof at St Stephen’s Girls’ College – a government-declared monument in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels.

    With the engineers given just 45 days and vehicular access to the 1906-era building severely limited, the judging panel were impressed with the quality of the work and the ability to deliver the finished product in such a compressed timeframe.

    The details of each of the four winners of this year’s awards are:

    * Best in Concrete Repair and Waterproofing

    Milestone Builder Engineering Ltd – St Stephen’s Girls’ College

    * Best in Waterproofing and Technical Innovation

    Fullion Waterproofing and Maintenance Co Ltd – 13 Dianthus Road, Kowloon Tong

    * Best in Structural Concrete Repair and Waterproofing

    Nga Luen Construction and Engineering Co Ltd – Unit B, Ground Floor, Block A, Marvel Industrial Building, Kwai Chung

    * Best Presentation in Concrete Repair and Waterproofing

    Marvel Harvest Ltd – Poksmith Villa, Pokfield Road, Kennedy Town

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    Overhauling and waterproofing the 2,700-sqm roof of a 100-year-old heritage-listed building presents a set of complex job specifications. But when that structure is a much-loved school that can only be accessed during a holiday break, and located in a narrow Hong Kong street that snakes through an upmarket residential area, it’s one of Hong Kong’s best restorations.

    The project to restore the roof of St Stephen’s Girls’ College was the winner of the grand prize at this year’s Hong Kong Concrete Repair and Waterproofing Association awards and dinner, held last month (EDS: October) at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Kowloon.

    The winning contractor, Milestone Builder Engineering Ltd, conducted an investigation of the pitched roof, with its ornate Chinese tiles, its supporting structure and drainage, before applying a liquid waterproofing solution.

    The judging panel said Milestone took an extraordinary degree of care with the work, highlighting deft touches that included wrapping the scaffolding in protective padding.

    Name Change

    Founded in 1986, the HKCRWA is a growing collection of companies brought together by the shared desire to provide Hong Kong with professional and quality concrete repair and waterproofing services. In addition to dozens of local members, the association also has relationships with similar organisations in Britain and the United States.

    This year’s awards were particularly significant for the association. The event was the first since the former Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association added “Waterproofing” to its name. The decision was made by a unanimous vote at last year’s annual general meeting.

    “For many of our members the inclusion of waterproofing, in their daily activities is synonymous with concrete repairs,” association chairman Brian Clements, the managing director of Ronacrete (Far East) Ltd, told the awards dinner. “At our Annual General Meeting at the end of 2013, there was a unanimous vote of all members to change our association’s name to encompass waterproofing.”

    The association’s name change is accompanied by a new logo. A blue water drop was added around the original maroon “drill head” design.

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    Working on a historic site adds an extra wrinkle to an already exacting task, but Milestone was up to the challenge when the company was contracted to work on the St Stephen’s job.

    Milestone had to be careful. In removing vegetation that had grown into the structure and waterproofing the roof, the company went so far as to wrap the ends of bamboo poles in order to minimise the potential damage Hong Kong’s iconic bamboo scaffolding could have on the school.

    Milestone’s engineers had to work in less than ideal conditions. The site has no vehicular access and all the necessary materials and equipment had to be carted in. Complicating matters was the fact that the college’s traditional Chinese-tiled roof is steeply pitched and occasional rain slowed work during the short period of time Milestone could work on site.

    Aesthetic Improvements

    Concrete repair and waterproofing can be more than just functional. It can also involve improving a structure’s aesthetics, as Fullion Waterproofing and Maintenance Co Ltd demonstrated in their work on the roof of a residential building in Kowloon Tong.

    Although the original roof had been repaired multiple times, water was still leaking into the structure below. Fullion’s inspection showed that the original waterproof membrane was badly degraded from exposure to sunlight and that water was seeping through despite the many layers of repairs.

    Fullion’s solution was to tear up much of the roof’s surface and replace it with a rapidly curing pure polyurea that provides superior waterproofing performance. And, as a finishing touch, they gave the roof a brand new surface made of brick tiles, a vast improvement from the original dull and cracked waterproof membrane that the building’s residents had to live with.

    The company’s work won them the award for Best in Waterproofing and Technical Innovation.

    Structurally Sound

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    In the structural concrete repair and waterproofing category, award-winner Nga Luen Construction and Engineering Co Ltd faced a delicate task when they worked on an industrial building in Kwai Chung.

    While most of the structure was sound, one of the building’s exterior reinforced concrete walls was severely deformed. It bulged outwards towards the street and the damage was so severe that the windows installed into the wall were visibly tilting.

    Nga Luen demolished the damaged wall while preserving the rest of the structure around it before rebuilding the wall with stronger reinforcements in order to prevent similar deformations.

    In the evening’s fourth awards category – best presentation in concrete repair and waterproofing – Marvel Harvest Ltd was once again in the winner’s circle. The company’s high-standards means Marvel is a regular award winner, including in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2012.

    This year, their work in repairing and waterproofing the roof of a residential building in Kennedy Town was recognised.

    The work was extensive, with Marvel dealing with 75 distinct locations around the building’s roof and water tanks in order to prevent water from further seeping into the building’s structure and causing further damage. Severely damaged portions of the building were cut out and replaced, while minor damage was simply patched up before the roof was given a new tiled surface.

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