Construction industry takes digital leap forward

Architects, engineers, contractors and fabricators can now tap a new integrated platform to collaborate digitally on construction projects, reducing reliance on paper-based processes.

The Hubble platform, which allows the stakeholders in the construction value chain to design, fabricate, manage and monitor work sites in real time, was launched yesterday, in line with the Government's push to digitalise the built environment industry.

Currently, more than 1,000 companies are registered on the cloud-based platform, with more expected to come on board. There are about 15,000 registered contractors here.

At the launch event at Grand Hyatt Singapore, Hubble's co-founder and chief executive Lin Shijing said the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated technology adoption by an estimated five years.

"The need for an integrated platform to enhance collaboration and data sharing has become more pronounced… Technology can step in to simplify and ensure that stakeholders across the entire value chain can refer to the single source of truth and use the right data to make informed decisions," he added.

The platform is developed by Delphi, a joint venture between local tech firm Hubble and Aurum Investments, a subsidiary of construction company Woh Hup Holdings.

Mr Lin said it took 18 months to develop the platform, which will be refreshed with new features over time.

The project is co-funded by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and supported by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

The platform was developed in response to the BCA's Construction Industry Transformation Map launched in 2017, with digitalisation as its key plank.

In a statement yesterday, Hubble noted that more government tenders for construction projects are including integrated digital delivery as a criterion, with more than 50 per cent of the total value of construction contracts this year to come from the public sector.

In January, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said the construction sector, which saw projects delayed due to the pandemic, is expected to see recovery over the next five years, with the public sector supporting growth in the medium term.

He noted that contracts are expected to grow to between $23 billion and $28 billion this year. Public sector projects include Jurong Region MRT Line and Cross Island MRT Line.

Mr Yong Derong, executive director of Woh Hup Holdings, said five of its 18 existing projects are using the platform.

The company plans to adopt the solution for all its projects by the end of this year.

  • >1,000

  • Number of companies registered on the Hubble cloud-based platform, which allows stakeholders in the construction value chain to design, fabricate, manage and monitor work sites in real time.

"The construction sector is highly fragmented and paper-dependent, so this digital setting will definitely increase productivity and hopefully reduce manpower eventually," Mr Yong added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2021, with the headline Construction industry takes digital leap forward. Subscribe