IBEW 2020 Week 3: Digitalisation & innovation in the built environment sector

28 Sep 2020


Whether it is out of pandemic necessity or part of a longer-term roadmap to resilience, digital adoption has been set in motion in all corners of the built environment sector.  

Week three of the month-long Digital International Built Environment Week (IBEW) 2020 was dedicated to digitalisation and innovation efforts within the sector. With COVID-19 as both a key disruptor and catalyst, enterprises are taking the digitalisation leap and accelerating their journey towards industry transformation.

Highlights of the week included a look at the latest digital technologies – from digital twin solutions to generative design technologies, surveillance robots and smart buildings. Whether it is out of pandemic necessity or part of a longer-term roadmap to resilience, digital adoption has been set in motion in all corners of the built environment sector.

Can COVID fuel innovation?

Moderated by Architect Jin Sung, Executive Director, ID Architects, the session on 15 September brought together guest speakers Mr Phil Langley, Director, Creative Technologies, Bryden Wood, Mr Nicolas Mangon, Vice President of Architecture, Engineering and Construction (Business Strategy and Marketing), Autodesk and Mr Tushar Nath, Digital Innovation Lead, Soilbuild Construction Group to discuss how digital innovations could help enterprises evolve, especially in the post-COVID-19 era.

With metrics such as air quality and safe distancing taking precedence due to the pandemic, organisations could turn to data as a source for automated and generative design technologies. Mr Langley and Mr Mangon shared examples of how data could shape design, and help decision-makers solve challenges such as office layout, air ventilation and the planning of highways and schools. Mr Nath also shared Soilbuild’s Common Data Environment, a single-sourced data repository which serves to enhance collaboration among its stakeholders.

Smarter buildings as a catalyst for change

Once considered a functional role, Facilities Management (FM) is now tasked to evolve and meet new experiential and sustainability demands. Moderated by Mr Tony Khoo, Chief Executive Officer, EM Services and President, Singapore International Facility Management Association, this session focused on digitalisation within the Facilities Management industry, with Smart FM as a core pivot for the sector.

Panellists Ms Sylvie Ouziel, International President, Envision Digital, Mr John Carrillo, Immediate Past Board Chairman, International Facility Management Association and Mr Alvin Ng, Vice President, Digital Solutions APAC, Johnson Controls agreed on the new realities facing the built environment sector – the rise of telecommuting, data analytics, and the importance of occupant wellness.

In response to these challenges, Ms Ouziel shared how a system-of-systems approach, with true machine to machine (M2M) automation of buildings on a fleet level, would enable enterprises to detect global trends and react quickly. Mr Ng also shared his company’s blueprint for Smart FM with a suite of solutions that provide a holistic view of human-centric, connected spaces that are also safe and secure.

Digital technology trends in the built environment sector

Industry players in the digital built environment ecosystem also gathered to share insights into the latest technology trends in the sector in a panel session moderated by Mr Lau Shih Hor, Honourary Treasurer and Chairman, SGTech Smart Nation Chapter.

Mr Mitul Shah, Associate Director, KPMG Singapore, kicked off the discussion with his survey of key technologies with mid-term impact such as Internet-of-Things (IoT), Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, converging into a Digital Twin solution. Recommendations for the sector included nurturing the skillsets and culture for digitalisation to thrive.

Ms Sara Pereira, Director, Oneberry Technologies and Mr Mohammad Dzulakmal Bin Abu Bakar, Vice President of Solutions, Graffiquo walked through the innovative digital solutions developed by our local tech companies – from a security robot and anomaly recognition video analytics system to a 3D visual digital twin dashboard for cities.

Further fielding questions from the floor were Ms Sybil Tan, Director, KPMG, Mr Liong Yuen Ming, Chief Technology Officer, BCA and Mr Liau Eng Soon, Cluster Director, Sectoral Transformation, Infocomm Media Development Authority. The panellists  shared ways on how different players could move forward with platforms such as the BuildSG-COVIDSafe Platform (CSP) as well as grants and schemes to support companies on their digital journey.

Summary of Week 1 of IBEW
Summary of Week 2 of IBEW
Summary of Week 4 of IBEW
Summary of Week 5 of IBEW

About the International Built Environment Week

The second edition of International Built Environment Week (IBEW) – Asia Pacific’s most comprehensive event on the built environment – was held online from 1 to 30 September 2020.

IBEW is jointly presented by the Building and Construction Authority and Reed Exhibitions Singapore with the support of 12 Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs). This collective spirit across the built environment value chain epitomises the BuildSG movement*.

For more information on IBEW, visit www.ibew.sg

*BuildSG is a national movement to transform the way we build Singapore. It is a collaborative effort by the industry and government for firms to keep ahead of the curve through deep capability building, strong collaborations and co-creating effective solutions for the built environment sector.


The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) champions the development and transformation of the built environment sector, in order to improve Singapore’s living environment. BCA oversees areas such as safety, quality, inclusiveness, sustainability and productivity, all of which, together with our stakeholders and partners, help to achieve our mission to transform the Built Environment sector and shape a liveable and smart built environment for Singapore.