Lego-like building method ideal for the future of construction: Lawrence Wong

The site of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport's new 10-storey extension.
The site of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport's new 10-storey extension.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The interior of the completed hotel room.
The interior of the completed hotel room.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The hotel room has also been furnished with a bathroom.
The hotel room has also been furnished with a bathroom.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The view of the extension site under construction.
The view of the extension site under construction. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Game-changing construction technology, such as a building method that involves stacking completed rooms together on-site, is crucial for the future of Singapore's construction industry, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday (Feb 11).

"We cannot possibly build our future infrastructure using the old ways of relying on more and more foreign workers," he told reporters at the site of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport's new 10-storey extension.

The extension is being built using Prefabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construction (PPVC), which involves building entire units - in this case, hotel rooms - in factory conditions elsewhere, then assembling them on-site.

This technology also helped overcome constraints of the building site, noted Ms Irene Meta, senior vice-president of development and projects at OUE Limited, the developer of the project.

The extension site was very small with limited access due to its location within the airport. But the PPVC method meant that fewer vehicle trips were required and less work needed to be done there, making it ideal for the project.

Assembly of the modules is also quieter than conventional methods, which means less disturbance for hotel guests.

Since the middle of last month, 112 of the 252 modules have been installed. The extension will have a total of 243 rooms.

This cuts the time taken on-site from installing the first room till completion to four months, compared to 12 months using conventional methods.