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Speech by BCA CEO Dr. John Keung at the opening of the Singapore Construction Productivity Week at the Singapore Expo Max Atria

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Ms Grace Fu 
Minister, Prime Minister's Office,
Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, and
Second Minister for the Foreign Affairs

Mr Chua Wee Phong
Chairman, Sphere Exhibits

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning and welcome to the opening of the Singapore Construction Productivity Week (or SCPW).

The theme for this year's SCPW is "Build Smart for a Future Ready Singapore".

As you are aware, BCA is working on the 2nd Construction Productivity Roadmap to bring our productivity drive to the next higher level. We are engaging the industry at all levels for discussion. Just last week, BCA organised the third International Panel of Experts (or IPE) meeting on construction productivity and prefabrication technology. I am heartened to note that it was the biggest gathering of about 250 participants including top management and decision makers from developers, consultants, builders, public agencies and the academia. Over the two days, we exchanged insights, shared experience and discussed ways to further improve Singapore's construction productivity. The feedback that BCA has gathered through such engagements will be used in developing the second Construction Productivity Roadmap.

One key aspect in achieving transformational improvements in our work processes is not only through technology adoption.

More importantly, it is in getting alignment from various stakeholders to drive better integration across the construction value chain, from public agencies, developers, consultants, contractors and sub-contractors.

As part of this year's SCPW, the Build Smart Conference will have prominent local and international speakers share trends, case studies and their experience in adopting modern technologies and processes. An interactive workshop on game-changing construction technologies was also held for the first time, enabling participants to understand the technicalities, key considerations and good practices when adopting such technologies. The workshop was fully subscribed and this shows that our industry professionals are eager to find out more and are gearing themselves up in adopting game-changing technologies.

Engaging the younger generation 
Besides all these, we also need to attract more locals into the sector to support its transformation.

To raise awareness and engage the younger generation in advanced productive technologies, this year's SCPW will feature an inaugural Building Information Modelling (or BIM) Shoot-Out where students from Institutes of Higher Learning will compete using the three-dimensional modelling technology. The Productivity Challenge is also held for the first time, where tertiary students demonstrate their planning as well as choice of buildable systems and labour-efficient construction methods within a given set of parameters and cost constraints for a project. These activities are in addition to the annual BIM Competition and Productivity Race which continue to receive strong participation from students from local universities, polytechnics and the BCA Academy.

Conclusion
In conclusion, it is time for the built environment sector to make the change and scale new heights.

We can no longer rely on outdated methods of construction and cheap foreign labour when many advanced countries have already progressed to a level of productivity achievement way beyond ours. We must double our efforts to do more. While businesses may feel the stress and pain from restructuring, it is better now than later especially given the strong pipeline of construction projects in the next few years.

I hope that you would take time to join the many exciting activities happening during SCPW. I would also like to thank our Guest of Honour Minister Grace Fu and sponsors and partners for strongly supporting the SCPW and making the event a success.

Related:

BCA news release: BCA to unveil second Construction Productivity Roadmap next year

Portable document format version of the speech is also available (27KB .pdf).

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