HONG KONG'S geotechnical community has established an association of geotechnical specialists, AGS (HK), along the lines of the UK's AGS.
AGS (HK) will emphasise the interests of clients, regulators and educators in addition to those of consultants, contractors and suppliers.
One Hong Kong geotechnical engineer said: 'It provides a well needed forum that is less formal than, say, the HKIE, less regulatory than the GEO or other government bodies, and allows the whole industry to communicate freely in a relaxed and friendly environment.'
It is the only geotechnical body in Hong Kong which represents the entire range of the geotechnical industry and additionally boasts membership among solicitors, lawyers, insurers, financiers, and quantity surveyors.
Priority issues, according to the first elected chairman, Dr CK Lau of AGS (HK), include standardisation of the conditions of contract for ground investigation and the preferred size of undisturbed samples for testing.
'We aim first, not to overlap the functions of existing organisations; second, to fill in the gaps not being addressed; and third, to go hand- in-hand with existing organisations to achieve our aims,' he said.
Others within AGS (HK) hope the new organisation will be able to provide government regulatory bodies with a unified view of the industry's views on foundation design and construction. It is widely thought that the regulatory framework for foundation work within Hong Kong is too conservative.
There is hope, although it is unlikely to ever be an official line, that AGS (HK)'s new voice may initiate a fresh look at the codes of practice, something considered long overdue by many in Hong Kong's geotechnical community.
For membership information on AGS(HK) contact Dr CK Lau, (852) 2838 0011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.