Welcome speech by BCA Chairman Mr. Quek See Tiat at the third Singapore Construction Productivity Week at the Singapore Expo

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance

Mr Chua Wee Phong, 
Chairman, Sphere Exhibits

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning.

Welcome to the third Singapore Construction Productivity Week (or SCPW in short).

A skilled and competent workforce is a critical component in Singapore's construction productivity journey. This should be complemented with the adoption of advanced technology as well as innovative and productive construction methods, to improve work processes on site.

Recognising that these are winning factors for firms to sustain their businesses amidst the challenges, BCA has put together a host of key events to share experiences and learn from best practices under the Singapore Construction Productivity Week since 2011. Events during the week such as the Build Smart Conference, BIM Competition and the BuildTechAsia Exhibition, are aimed at bringing building professionals together to learn from one another, solutions that can help the industry build up capabilities and to improve productivity.

The Build Smart Conference on construction technology will give participants the opportunity to gain insights from the success stories and experiences of progressive firms in their pursuit of higher construction productivity.

Complementing the conference is the BuildTechAsia Exhibition, which has been gaining popularity over the years. The gross exhibition space has increased from 7,000m2 in 2011 to 12,500m2 this year, with 180 exhibitors showcasing their latest productive technologies and products. SPHERE exhibits, the organiser of the exhibition, has been partnering the Building and Construction Authority (or BCA) to provide this platform so that all us in the Industry can be up to date with the latest know-how.

Besides focusing on productive technologies, we also want to encourage builders and subcontractors to build up the capabilities of their workers. The Skilled Builders Competition is a platform for workers to pit their skills against each other in higher value trades such as the installation of drywalls, plumping and timber flooring, as well as in navigating mobile aerial platforms. The participants must work within a specific timeframe to produce accurate results and high quality end products. This year, we have 43 teams vying for the top positions.

SCPW this year is also packed with activities relating to the Building Information Modelling (or BIM) technology, a game-changer identified to raise productivity. First, BCA has invited government representatives from the region to convene at the inaugural Government BIM Symposium to share experiences in the adoption of BIM. The public sector agencies will share learning points, explore collaboration in BIM research and development, and explore ways to work towards a harmonisation of BIM standards within the region.

We have also gathered the International Panel of Experts (IPE) on BIM for the 2nd time to review Singapore's initiatives under the BIM Roadmap and share insights on the way forward for BIM adoption in Singapore.

And this is the second year we have organised the 48-hour BIM competition, to get participating teams, including foreign based teams, to come up with a complete building design within two days. The 3D models would have to also take into account details such as calculations, sun and wind analysis as well as energy consumption data. It is indeed no mean feat. I heard that the judges had a really difficult time deciding on the winners.

There is still much room for ideas on how best to integrate BIM within the whole construction cycle. We are also tapping on the potential of what mobile applications can bring to the use of BIM technology. That is why BCA organised the first BIM Mobile App Challenge to get local and international students and professionals to design mobile apps for BIM, that have the potential to be replicated for practical use locally. We are pleased to have received some really promising ideas.

Today, we will also be witnessing two MOU exchanges relating to BIM. The first is between the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and members of the Construction Industry Joint Committee (CIJC) to develop a BIM object library that will help the industry save time in creating standard building components. The other is between BCA and the People's Association.

The joint programme offers students from BCA Academy the opportunity to undertake projects to convert the building plans of Community Clubs' into BIM format. The People's Association will use the BIM models to help improve the quality and productivity in the way their building facilities are operated and managed. These are all exciting collaboration efforts between the government and industry in building capabilities and the sharing of knowledge.

On this note, I would like to take the opportunity to extend our appreciation to the Construction Industry Joint Committee (CIJC), the Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL), Specialists Trade Alliance of Singapore (STAS), buildingSMART, SPHERE Exhibits and other supporting partners and sponsors for making SCPW happen. Moving forward, BCA will continue to forge close partnerships with the industry to drive the productivity message through our initiatives and the annual SCPW.

Together, I am confident that we can work towards the vision of a highly integrated and technologically advanced built environment sector, led by progressive firms, and supported by a skilled and competent workforce.

Thank you.

Footnote / Related

Memorandums of Understanding: (1) Building and Construction Authority & People's Association; (2) Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and the rest of Construction Industry Joint Committee (CIJC) (55KB .pdf)

Cross laminated timber (CLT) and Pre-fabricated, pre-finished volumetric construction (1421KB.pdf)

The third Singapore Construction Productivity Week 2013: Events (109KB .pdf)

Integrated Construction and Precast Hub (30KB .pdf)

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