Speech by 2M Indranee Rajah at Launch of Built Environment Innovation Hub at BCA Braddell Campus

Thursday, 26 October 2023


1. Good afternoon, I am happy to join all of you today for the launch of the Built Environment Innovation Hub at BCA Braddell Campus, or BEIH in short.

2. This campus has undergone intensification works over the years. More recently, two buildings were rejuvenated to become a new 7-storey zero-energy building, and a 16-storey super low energy building.

3. With the completion of these two buildings, which are designed to support the built environment transformation, we are now re-positioning the campus as the BEIH. 

a. The BEIH will serve as a collaborative space to connect like-minded individuals, showcase innovative technologies, and facilitate the transfer of ideas and knowledge to accelerate the transformation of the Built Environment sector.

b. This is yet another step forward towards making our vision of an integrated and collaborative built environment ecosystem, with forward looking firms and innovative solution providers working together, a reality.

Connect: Hub for Collaboration

4. We want BEIH to become the “go-to” place for firms, industry associations, government agencies, research institutions, solution providers and students to connect, seek new ideas and solutions. This will help to anchor and build up a vibrant innovation-oriented ecosystem.

5. To get this going, we have since October 2022 held a series of thematic Technology Exchange and Networking sessions at the BEIH. The turn-out has been steady, with more than 300 participants over 4 sessions. These intimate sessions provide opportunities for innovators to pitch their solutions, and for interested firms to interact with the founders, witness cutting-edge solutions, and explore new collaborations.

a. The most recent session was on robotics and automation. At this session, SquareDog Robotics, an award-winning firm in smart service robots, showcased its range of robots which can perform tasks such as façade cleaning, painting and transportation of goods at the BEIH, allowing them to demonstrate their product capabilities to potential clients.

6. In the longer term, we hope to grow the community, and attract overseas companies to join these networking sessions, in order to widen our horizons and learn about the different use cases.

Showcase: Exemplifying Innovation and Technology through BEIH

7. Innovation and technology are key enablers of the Built Environment Industry Transformation Map (ITM). Where we are standing in now, is itself an innovative building, and a showcase of how technology can be incorporated into building materials, construction processes and building management systems to yield outstanding outcomes in productivity, sustainability. We will have the opportunity to tour the building to see for ourselves.

a. As you can see from the distinctive wood texture, this building was constructed from Mass Engineered Timber, which is a sustainable material, using a productive assembly method for construction.

b. The BEIH also serves as a living lab for research collaborators and firms to testbed solutions. For instance, we are currently test bedding an innovative cooling solution that uses a combination of natural ventilation, air movement from ceiling fans and air-conditioning, at the new Super Low Energy Building. This is a Cities of Tomorrow project which BCA is collaborating on with NUS to study the optimal conditions when natural ventilation is desirable and reduce reliance on energy-intensive air conditioning. The results have been promising, as the project had achieved up to 55% reduction in energy consumption at its proof-of-concept stage.

Catalyst for Knowledge and Skills Transfer

8. BCA Academy, as part of BEIH, will continue to support knowledge transfer in innovation and technology, through talent cultivation and competency development in its role as the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centre for the Built Environment sector.

a. As part of its’ efforts to increase the pool of mid-career entrants for forerunner firms, BCA Academy will be launching five new SkillsFuture Career Transition Programmes in areas such as sustainable design and digital delivery. Each programme comprises 6 to 9 months of classroom learning and 3 months of workplace learning. 

9. BCA Academy is also going beyond the traditional classroom experience. It has partnered Serl.io, a technology company to develop an AI Driven Mixed Reality Experiential Learning Platform, to simulate real-world scenarios using 3D animated objects for training in areas such as lift maintenance, pipe-fitting and plumbing.

a. This provides a cost-effective and efficient solution, eliminating the need for extensive equipment. Learners can also develop practical skills and knowledge in a remote and safe environment. 

Enhancements to BEAMP

10. Beyond providing a networking space, we have programmes to forge new partnerships with firms. An open innovation initiative, the Built Environment Accelerate-to-Market Programme, (BEAMP), has been bringing innovators and industry firms together to fast-track the innovation process for new solutions since 2019. BEAMP is jointly organized by BCA, JTC and Enterprise Singapore.

a. Thus far, 4 programme cycles have been launched with 44 projects awarded to-date.

b. The results have been encouraging. For instance, BEAMP has helped local innovator Fabrica AI to secure pilots with Woh Hup, Dragages Singapore, SoilBuild, Gin Chia Co and BHCC Construction Pte Ltd to deploy its automated floor tile grouting robot which  could potentially double the speed of grouting work.

11. A new cycle will be launched in 1st quarter of 2024 with one new enhancement to BEAMP.

a. Further assistance, beyond support at the initial development phase, will be provided to help firms deploy new solutions through small-scale commercial trials. This will enable them to secure early market traction and build track record, which will in turn bolster their chances of commercialisation in the wider industry.

CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge 2023 Demo Day

12. In conjunction with the launch of BEIH today, we also have the CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge (or CSXC) 2023 Demo Day.

13. The top ten global finalists at the CSXC 2023 Demo Day will pitch their technologies and business models for a chance to pilot them in CapitaLand’s properties around the world.

14. This represents the first of many partnerships that BEIH will build with the industry, to support of industry-led innovation efforts in areas of global relevance such as sustainability.

15. I would also like to thank CapitaLand for taking the lead to invest in these efforts to push our research and innovation boundaries.


16. In conclusion, I would like to thank BCA colleagues and our industry partners, who have worked so hard to make the BEIH a reality.

17. Let us continue to use innovation and technology to push the boundaries of what is possible, and to lower costs and increase productivity.  

18. I would like to encourage all to tap on available grants, the facilities and training offered at BEIH.

19. Thank you.

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