Timber, steel and prefabrication possibilities for Singapore's construction industry

Using special timber and steel to cut the time and manpower needed to construct buildings may be in the works for Singapore's building industry. Whole flats could also be manufactured complete with fixtures and fittings, then transported to site for installation.

Representatives from 24 public and private organisations here learnt about these productivity-improving technologies, and how they can be used in Singapore, in an industry visit to London three weeks ago.

The trip was led by the inter-ministry Construction Productivity Steering Committee (CPSC), which is chaired by Senior Minister of State for National Development and Trade and Industry, Lee Yi Shyan.

"The public sector, as the biggest developer in Singapore, will continue to take the lead in championing productivity best practices and supporting new construction technologies in our market," said Mr Lee. However, cost and market acceptance may be some hurdles in adopting these practices here, he noted. In Singapore, the cost of structural steel and cross-laminated timber is higher than concrete.