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BCA to boost productivity through tighter buildability and constructability requirements and enhanced incentives

Monday, 11 March 2013

Singapore, 11 March 2013 - BCA introduced new measures to further spearhead construction productivity and quality growth in the built environment sector. These include:
(a) Raising minimum buildability and constructability requirements for all new projects to accelerate the adoption of more buildable designs and productive construction methods (refer to Annex A) 
(b) Enhancing the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF) to boost incentives and support for companies, especially the smaller firms, to kick-start their productivity journey (refer to Annexes B and C)

Raising minimum buildability and constructability requirements

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is set to raise the minimum buildability and constructability score requirements for all new projects by 3 points each in July 2013 and another 2 points in July 2014.

This is aimed at improving productivity across the entire construction value chain starting from planning and design to construction. Based on past projects, a 5-point increase in the buildability score will yield manpower savings of approximately 10% to 15%.

With higher buildability requirements, architects and engineers upstream in the construction value chain will have to consider the productivity requirement early and ensure that building designs are easier and more efficient to construct. This means that building designs will have to include more productive technologies and wider adoption of standard components to allow for ease of construction. For example, designs involving the use of brickwalls and plastering finishes which are more labour-intensive, would be strongly discouraged under the buildability requirements.

In addition, contractors downstream will have to exploit technology and productive methods of construction, as well as improve their work processes to meet the higher constructability requirements.

To set a benchmark for the rest of the industry to follow, the government will take the lead by requiring public sector projects to adopt buildability and constructability standards higher than the new minimum requirements.

Developers will also have to meet higher buildability and constructability standards for new private developments on Government Land Sales (GLS) sites, and productivity requirements will be introduced for existing bonus Gross Floor Area (GFA) schemes.

To encourage consultants and contractors towards more buildable design and adoption of advanced construction technologies, BCA will be introducing tendering advantage for both consultants and contractors with good buildability and constructability records respectively, in their tenders for public sector projects with effect from 15 July 2013. BCA is also exploring bonus incentives for both consultants and contractors to further encourage them to go far beyond the minimum legislated buildability and constructability scores.

"Currently, most building projects are just meeting the minimum buildability and constructability requirements. However, there are also some that have exceeded the mandatory buildability and constructability standards by a significant margin. While we are taking bolder steps to boost productivity in the built environment sector, we will carefully monitor the effectiveness of such measures and ensure that they are doable," said CEO of BCA, Dr John Keung.

Enhancement of the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF)

To further support productivity efforts and extend more help to contractors and consultants, BCA is enhancing its incentive schemes under the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF). To date, about $85 million of the CPCF has been committed, benefitting more than 2,300 individual firms, of which more than 80% are small firms.

The funding level of the Mechanisation Credit (MechC) and Productivity Improvement Project (PIP) schemes will be raised from 50% to 70% for firms which achieve at least 30% improvement in productivity.

With this enhancement, contractors can now receive more funding support when purchasing or leasing equipment like the auto-wheel washer or boom lift when they tap the MechC scheme to improve productivity. Companies can also receive additional reimbursements for their investments when tapping on the PIP scheme to improve their site processes and adopt advanced construction technology.

Furthermore, funding caps for firm and industry-level applications under the PIP scheme will be raised to encourage more firms to bring in new technologies. For firm-level applications, the funding cap will be increased from $100,000 to $300,000 for the adoption of key productive technologies. Such technologies include the system formwork, prefabricated bathrooms, self-compacting concrete, and precast and steel construction. BCA will also raise the funding cap for industry-level applications to $5 million per application for projects that are game-changing and achieving at least 40% productivity improvement.

Lastly, BCA will introduce a MechC Referral Programme to encourage contractors to help their smaller sub-contractors overcome their inertia in improving productivity. Contractors can earn an additional $20,000 credit to increase their funding cap as an incentive for every successful referral to the MechC scheme.

Dr John Keung said, "These measures will help companies in the built environment sector make the transition, so that the sector as a whole will be transformed into one which is highly integrated and technologically advanced, and supported by a skilled and competent workforce."

BCA will be meeting industry stakeholders over the next two months to share these new measures and incentives, and work through the implementation details.

Footnotes

Annex A: Buildability and Constructability (24KB .pdf)
Annex B: Mechanisation Credit (MechC) Scheme (266KB .pdf)
Annex C: Productivity Improvement Project (PIP) Scheme (663KB .pdf)
Case studies of construction companies with productivity improvements (70KB .pdf)
Portable document format version of the media release is also available (997KB .pdf).

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