Mr Hugh Lim, CEO of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA)
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. I am pleased to join you at today’s BCA-SCAL Network for Productivity Leadership session. I would like to thank BCA for initiating this network for industry practitioners to share their knowledge and experiences on adopting new construction methods to raise productivity. The focus for today’s session is virtual design and construction, or VDC.
Technology in the construction industry
2. In recent years, new technologies have changed the construction industry. Living in the age of information technology, a powerful array of disruptive trends such as VDC and the Building Information Modelling, or BIM has become an integral module to improving productivity.
3. BIM is significant as a key component of the VDC process. It is also the key driver towards the design for manufacturing and assembly, or DfMA, by facilitating the adoption of more prefabrication for labour-efficient construction, with as much work as possible done off-site.
4. With the use of VDC and BIM, stakeholders like the architects, engineers and clients can now view three-dimensional models to understand and visualise details in the construction process for better integration and to minimise design conflicts. VDC and BIM also support a more streamlined and lean construction methods through proper planning and control of work sequences. In adopting these new technologies, companies need to identify the skill gaps and to constantly upgrade and build up capabilities to ensure the workforce is in pace with technological advancements and latest trends. Companies should also instill a culture of continuous innovation and address how construction processes can be improved to minimise duplication, rework and delays.
5. Greatearth Pte Ltd is an exemplary role model that many organisations could emulate. The organisation has truly embraced a productivity mindset, keeping abreast of disruptive technologies and development.
6. In recent years, the construction sector has managed to raise productivity, with annual site productivity improving from 0.3 percent in 2010 to about 2 percent per year from 2014 to 2016. This is the result of sustained efforts by BCA, working with SCAL to drive productivity and championing companies to adopt advanced construction technologies such as DfMA and VDC.
7. We are also encouraged by the recent government measures such as co-funding the adoption of productive technologies under the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund and funding the cost premium for adopting game-changing technologies in public sector projects through the $150 million Public Sector Construction Productivity Fund to drive DfMA adoption.
8. Since 2011, SCAL has collaborated with BCA to conduct productivity clinics to assist companies with applications for funding to defray costs and boost productivity in their construction processes. To date, 63 sessions have been conducted. These sessions serve to equip companies with knowledge on improving their workforce capability, adopt new technologies for greater productivity and implement other cost-saving measures.
9. Last year, SCAL undertook a study on construction productivity in collaboration with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or SCCCI to unearth new and valuable dimensions for productivity improvements. We have published the report as part of SCAL’s 80th Anniversary commemoration. Detailed findings were also released at the Construction Productivity Conference held earlier in May with practical recommendations for construction firms, government and stakeholders across the construction value chain.
10. Other productivity initiatives include conducting a Masterclass on Project Management to equip professionals on time management for construction projects as well as launching the SCAL Productivity and Innovation Awards that is aimed to promote greater innovation within the industry.
11. In our budget recommendations for 2017, one key strategy identified was to develop and nurture local expertise to forge collaborations between multinational companies and large local corporations with SMEs where there is a transfer of technical knowhow and expertise. This could also be in the form of larger firms leading SMEs on adopting productive technologies. We hope the government will review our recommendations to provide incentives to large companies to promote collaborations.
12. The construction sector has vast potential for improving productivity and efficiency. However, to capture all this potential, it would require a committed and concerted effort of all industry stakeholders across many aspects, from technology, operations and strategy to be able to fully reap its benefits.
13. The construction sector will be a key pillar in building for the future economy. Leveraging on these technologies is the way forward for the industry and for organisations to remain relevant and competitive. As individuals, I hope you will be advocates to drive productivity at your workplaces.
14. In closing, I wish all of you fruitful and productive session ahead. Thank you.