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Driving Construction Industry With TechnologyKuala Lumpur :Technology, with the use of digitalisation and new tools that provide higher efficiency, has to be the main driver of transformation of the construction industry, said Chief Executive of CIDB Malaysia Dato' Ir. Ahmad ‘Asri Abdul Hamid on Monday.

He touched on the need for a radical transformation of the construction industry and for an enhancement of current practices in his opening address at the International Construction Transformation Conference (ICTC) held at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC).

Dato' ‘Asri said one of the key factors in achieving this leap is with the adoption of Industrialised Building System (IBS), which is the prefabrication of building components.

He said IBS allows for shorter project completion timelines and enhanced quality of work, resulting in a more cost-efficient construction sector.

He added that to encourage IBS take up in Malaysia, the economics of IBS adoption are being improved, such as lowering the cost of IBS machinery, offering higher plot ratio incentives for developers, and facilitating short-term loans for IBS component procurement.

Training programmes and assessment tools have also been developed to ensure the quality of IBS work in the country, he said.

He also said the government was also championing the adoption of IBS in the country by mandating that projects worth more than RM10 million are required to adopt IBS and achieve a score of 70% and above.

In the private sector, projects RM50 million and above are required to achieve an IBS score of 50% and above.

“However, in the Malaysian context, IBS is still about component manufacturing whereas in many other countries IBS is being applied to volumetric construction which allows companies to achieve much higher cost and time efficiencies.

“As such, Malaysia still has a lot of catching up to do despite all the measures already taken towards IBS adoption.”

Dato’ ‘Asri also touched on 3D printed construction - calling it the next great innovation coming over the horizon.

He gave an example of how in July 2018, a family in France became the first in the world to move into a fully-livable, four-bedroom 3D-printed house.

“The house took just 54 hours to print and cost 20% cheaper than normal. If the prototype can achieve such groundbreaking results, think of the possibilities as the technology matures.”

Another key initiative, he said, is the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

“This is one of the important new technologies, which accurately represents the built environment on computers and for sharing of information. Through BIM, efficient and effective life cycle management of the built environment can take place.”

To facilitate the adoption of BIM, several measures have been taken, including the setting up of the myBIM Centre as a one-stop reference, support, services and capacity building centre.

Technical training are regularly conducted, and partnerships have been established with several universities to train up the next generation of construction personnel.

“Together, IBS and BIM can provide unprecedented economies of scale. This is no longer a theory but a disruptive market reality.

“I am sure you have all heard about China’s Broad Group erecting a 57-storey skyscraper in 19 working days. The world record construction time was made possible with IBS and BIM,” he said.

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(March 18, 2019)


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