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Welcome speech by BCA Chairman Mr. Quek See Tiat at the BCA Awards 2013, Resorts World Sentosa

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, 
Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening.

A very warm welcome to the BCA Awards ceremony. More than 2,200 guests have gathered here tonight to celebrate the stellar achievements of the built environment sector. With close to 300 awards this year, it not only shows continued strong support for the BCA Awards, but more importantly, excellence in the built environment.

Please allow me to say a few words before we proceed with dinner and the Awards ceremony. I promise you I will be very brief. With 300 awards, I guess we should get a move on.

This year, new awards have been created to recognise more holistically the contributions of various stakeholders in the construction value chain, and achievements at different construction stages. For instance, the Construction Productivity Award, or CPA, has been enhanced to better recognise stakeholders with productivity achievements. Under the CPA umbrella, the existing CPA-Projects continue to be awarded to project teams that have demonstrated productivity in their projects. The new CPA-Advocates category focuses on firm-level productivity achievements of developers, consultants and builders as a result of adopting technology and initiating high productivity solutions in design, construction methods and processes.

Another new award is the Universal Design Mark Award. It serves to give greater recognition of projects that incorporate Universal Design at the design stage. The award encourages developers and architects to think UD and pursue a 'design for all' mindset at the start of their projects.

As we celebrate 25 years of construction quality excellence, BCA has also introduced a Quality Excellence Award to recognise leading progressive developers and builders who have embraced quality workmanship, and have successfully delivered high quality projects consistently through programmes such as the BCA Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS) and Quality Mark Scheme.

Built environment sector plays a defining role in shaping Singapore's living environment
All of you here, the built environment industry players, should be proud of your achievements. You have come a long way in creating a better built environment for all Singaporeans and Singapore residents. This is evident from the growing number of green buildings and a more inclusive and friendly built environment. The Singapore way of living has also become synonymous with high quality living, where high workmanship standards ensure minimal defects in buildings.

We, however, cannot rest on our laurels. More needs to be done to make our environment greener and more user-friendly. We must create a sustainable environment for our future generations. From the second half of this year, the legislation on greening existing buildings will be rolled out in phases. Building owners will be required to achieve the minimum BCA Green Mark standard for existing buildings when a cooling system is installed or retrofitted. They will also be expected to carry out three-yearly energy audits on building cooling systems and submit building information and energy consumption data annually.

These new regulatory measures are critical if we are to succeed in our goal of greening 80% of buildings in Singapore by 2030.

As for making our built environment more inclusive and user-friendly, BCA recently completed a public consultation on the Code of Accessibility where feedback from the public and industry were gathered on proposed revisions to the Code. There were some suggestions on incorporating more elderly and family-friendly features in buildings as well as improving accessibility and connectivity in public spaces. BCA is reviewing the suggestions and will share the results of the public consultation in the coming months.

It would be remiss of me not to mention safety this evening. As the built environment sector continues to play a defining role in shaping Singapore into a world-class city, building safety remains the top priority.

We recently adopted the Eurocodes for the structural design of buildings and civil engineering works as we proactively review our building safety regulations to be on par with international standards.

Industry needs to adapt to emerge stronger and more resilient
To successfully shape our built environment, we must have a strong and resilient industry. The industry needs to take the next big leap and transition into one that is knowledge-based, and highly efficient. Firms must learn to do more with less. An efficient industry that relies on less manpower is more resilient to changes in construction demand and labour supply.

With the ramping up in construction projects in the next few years, I strongly urge the built environment sector to take bolder steps to reduce reliance on foreign workers, embrace labour-saving methods and technologies, and raise productivity.

Conclusion
In conclusion, may I extend my heartiest congratulations to all the BCA Award winners for your achievements and contributions. I look forward to another year of great partnership of all the industry stakeholders as we pursue our goal of a safe, high quality, sustainable and friendly built environment. Thank you, and have a great evening.

 

Footnote

Portable document format version of the speech is also available (24KB .pdf).

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