Construction firms recognised for adopting advanced build methods

The Brownstone, an executive condominium in Sembawang.
The Brownstone, an executive condominium in Sembawang.PHOTO: CITY DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
The Brownstone, an executive condominium in Sembawang.
The Brownstone, an executive condominium in Sembawang.PHOTO: CITY DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED

SINGAPORE - More construction firms here are adopting advanced and efficient construction methods, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said on Thursday (June 8).

To recognise some of these firms for taking the lead in adopting new technologies, BCA will be handing out Construction Productivity Awards to 15 firms and 11 project teams on June 13 at a ceremony at Resorts World Sentosa.

It is the most number of firms to be recognised in the awards' "Advocates" category since it was introduced in 2013.

Said Mr Ang Lian Aik, BCA's group director of construction productivity and quality: "It is encouraging to see more firms changing the way we build, by shifting most construction work off site for efficient assembly on site, and making use of info-communication technologies to improve work processes."

Besides property developer City Developments Limited (CDL), two construction contractors - Dragages Singapore and Teambuild - received the highest platinum award for being among the first in the industry to adopt Prefabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) building techniques here.

PPVC allows construction firms to build in a "Lego-like" manner. It involves the off-site prefabrication of building modules complete with finishes, fixtures and fittings.

This is the second time CDL has clinched the accolade. Together with its building contractor Teambuild, the developer employed 5,000 building modules to build The Brownstone, an executive condominium in Sembawang.

It is likely to be "the world's largest and first-of-its-kind application of full concrete PPVC for a large-scale private residential development," said BCA.

In response to The Straits Times, CDL said it has been championing innovations in construction since 1995, and led the adoption of other methods such as prefabricated bathroom units and drywall, as well as the use of mass engineered timber.

CDL also uses Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) techniques which reduces the need for on-site construction work in favour of off-site prefabrication, using technologies such as PPVC.

Said CDL's executive vice president of projects Mr Anthony Chia: "Over the years, we have pioneered DfMA techniques which enabled us to enhance productivity and worksite safety as fewer workers are required on-site.

"In turn, this leads to fewer accidents and less down time. DfMA also helps to ensure quality and generates less construction waste for cleaner and safer worksites, as the building components are manufactured in a controlled factory environment before being assembled on-site."

There are currently 21 firms here which has received BCA's in-principal acceptance for manufacturing or supplying building modules.

The awards follow recent calls by BCA to adopt new construction technologies, in hopes that by 2020, 40 per cent of building projects will use DfMA building processes, its outgoing chief executive officer Dr John Keung said last week.

The move is in line with BCA's goal of lowering the industry's reliance on low-skilled foreign workers.

Mr Ang said these technologies significantly improves construction productivity and cause less disamenities to the surroundings, as well as improving site safety.

"Ultimately, (the changes in) the way we build and press on with our industry transformation efforts will raise the competitiveness of our firms and create better jobs for Singaporeans in the built environment sector," said Mr Ang.