Property development is a lot more than bricks and mortar. With the focus shifting towards a human-centric approach, the industry is adopting new technologies to create better workplaces and homes, and to foster a sense of community.
This change has also opened up a wider range of career options in real estate for students from different backgrounds and academic disciplines. To learn about the trends in the sector, students from The Methodist Church HK Wesley College joined a site visit to a number of Sino properties on 21 July.
The half-day tour started with a visit to the Skyline Tower, a commercial building in Kowloon Bay. The students were greeted by Yanny Ip, Officer (Training & Development), who gave an overview of the history and business interests of Sino Group that include commercial, residential and industrial property.
Steven Lui, Assistant Property Manager led the students to the Sky Farm, which sits on top of the Skyline Tower Annex and grows vegetables and herbs. This green initiative aims to help create a sustainable society and encourage engagement among tenants, workers and the wider community.
On the second stop of the tour, Sino Inno Lab, Emily Yeung, Manager (Innovation), and Ada Lam, Assistant Manager (Innovation), introduced the students to some of the latest PropTech solutions. These tech-driven applications aim to drive innovation and transformation in all areas of the industry, from planning and building to managing and investing.
“Since the Inno Lab opened in 2018, over 100 products have been exhibited here,” Yeung said. “More than 60 of them have been successfully adopted in our development projects.”
The visitors then got to see some of these smart solutions in action. Yeung and Lam demonstrated several of the innovative products including natural-style lighting that mimics daylight at different times of the day, and projection mapping technology that can be used in show flats or event production. The students particularly enjoyed the wall projection games and interacting with the lab’s AI assistant robot.
The tour ended with a visit to YM2 Yue Man Square. Part of the Urban Renewal Authority’s Kwun Tong Town Centre Project, the mall includes leisure, entertainment and dining options in a modern environment.
Property Manager Michael Li and Assistant Property Manager Kelvin Wong guided the students around the shopping complex, pointing out how different technologies had been used in the development to enhance the environment.
“We have introduced various sanitary safety instruments to ensure a safe shopping experience like touchless buttons, air purifiers and cleaning robots,” Li explained.
Students also got to see a crucial part of the Kwun Tong Town Centre Project – the YM2 Public Transport Interchange. Connected to the shopping complex, the interchange has Hong Kong’s first air-conditioned bus waiting area. It is a two-storey project with multiple smart features, including an AI sensor-controlled boarding gate system and air induction units at the minibus terminus to enhance ventilation.