New building technologies the way to boost productivity: Khaw

Singapore is taking a leaf from abroad when it comes to adopting new building technologies, which could result in the reducing our dependence of foreign labour. In a blog post released on Thursday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan outlined three different technologies that the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is looking at.

The first is contour crafting, which like 3D printing, enables builders to construct an entire building using layers of concrete.

The second is the use of prefabricated cross laminated timber, which is hardier and can handle heavier loads. A firm in Melbourne, Australia used such wood to create a 10-storey residential house in 11 months, or 30 per cent faster.

Lastly, BCA has its eye on the unitised building system, where room-sized units complete with internal finishes and fittings are manufactured in factories, then transported to the site to be built in a Lego-like manner. This can cut down construction time by as much as 50 per cent, noted Mr Khaw.

The BCA is now looking at helping firms adopt some of these new technologies if possible, and will hasten the approval process.

Said Mr Khaw, "The future is already here, in several other parts of the world. Let's make sure Singapore is not left out."

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