Greater focus on productivity in govt tenders

The Building and Construction Authority yesterday announced a sharper focus on productivity in its tender process.

A revised tender evaluation framework for government construction projects will raise the weightage of productivity to 10 per cent of the overall score from next January onwards.

The existing framework for these projects, which range from housing to transport developments, now weights productivity at 3 to 6 per cent.

BCA chairman Quek See Tiat said yesterday at the opening of Singapore Construction Productivity Week: "Contractors with good productivity records in their past projects and their investment in technology adoption and workforce development will therefore enjoy an advantage during the tender evaluation."

Despite productivity drives launched by BCA as far back as 2011, he noted that productivity growth in the sector has remained at 1 to 2 per cent per annum over the past five years.

"Most of the low-hanging fruit for productivity has been plucked," he said. "We need to seek new pastures for the next phase of our productivity growth."

BCA also launched funding of $2.6 million yesterday for research institutes and industry players to develop and disseminate technologies which make construction more labour-efficient and move as much work off-site as possible.

Extra funding will also be given to projects that adopt Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) technology, in which building is rehearsed in a three-dimensional virtual environment to plan workflow and identify potential problems.

This saves time when it is carried out at the actual site.

The BCA Academy is also launching a new master's degree programme in international construction management with the University of Florida.

It will equip construction directors and managers with concepts such as lean construction and VDC. Applications are now open and the first intake will be around next March.

Olivia Ho

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2015, with the headline 'Greater focus on productivity in govt tenders'. Print Edition | Subscribe