Transforming the way we build at Singapore’s inaugural International Built Environment Week

Transforming the way we build at Singapore's inaugural International Built Environment Week

The inaugural IBEW welcomed more than 12,000 overseas and local visitors to the first of its kind built environment event in the region. Themed “Transforming the Way We Build” — IBEW brings together the whole built environment value chain to an integrated platform which showcases progressive firms and the latest innovations in the industry, set against the backdrop of global trends like urbanisation, digitalisation, and climate action. 

IBEW is jointly presented with twelve (12) Trade Association and Chambers (TACs)1 and participation from more than 20 Singapore firms and partner agencies. This collective spirit across the built environment value chain represents the power of the BuildSG movement2.

Mr Hugh Lim, BCA CEO, said, “Since the Construction Industry Transformation Map (ITM) was launched two years ago, our Built Environment sector has seen good progress. Leading firms are staying ahead of the curve through deep capability building, strong collaborations and co-creating effective solutions for the built environment sector.

The inaugural IBEW is a shared platform that reflects both the aspirations and the progress of the built environment sector in Singapore. Together with like-minded international partners, we envision IBEW to be the platform in the region for rich exchange of ideas and co-creating innovative solutions to transform the built environment.” (see Annex A (463KB .pdf))

The Construction ITM identified three key transformation areas: Green Building, Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) and Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) underpinned by research and innovation and manpower development. Through collaboration and co-creation with the industry and academia, the ITM seeks to bring about an advanced and integrated sector, with progressive and collaborative firms, supported by a skilled and competent workforce, offering good jobs for Singaporeans.

As part of advancing our Green Building agenda, BCA has been supporting research and innovation efforts to push the boundaries of transformation. The Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC), managed by BCA, has enabled the development of several energy-efficient technologies. These have been translated into commercial solutions adopted in Singapore and overseas (examples in Annex A (463KB .pdf)).

The latest recipient of grant support as a GBIC-Demonstration project is the PSA Corporation, who will develop a Net Zero Energy Building as part of the Tuas Port, projected to achieve energy savings of 58 per cent when compared to the same building had it been designed to comply purely with energy efficiency regulations. They will be exploring the use of coloured building-integrated photovoltaics3 (BIPVs) in its administration building which will be integrated with the building walls, replacing the need for ordinary facade cladding.

It provides an alternative to conventional photovoltaics (PVs) for buildings with limited roof space, as a combination of conventional PVs and BIPVs can also help better manage energy demands of the buildings by providing a steadier power generation pattern throughout the day. To support our national drive toward Super Low Energy (SLE4) buildings such as the PSA Corporation’s Net Zero Energy Building, the National Research Foundation Singapore has provided a funding of S$20 million to enhance the GBIC programme. (see Annex B (573KB .pdf))

In addition, to help building owners and developers source for innovative Super Low Energy (SLE) technologies, BCA and Hitachi have also launched the SLE Buildings Smart Hub5 — the first digital knowledge portal for green buildings in the region.

To support the adoption of Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD), BCA and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) had earlier launched a joint grant call for common digital platforms in November 2018. IMDA has awarded to Delphi Pte Ltd, a joint venture between Hubble Pte Ltd, and Aurum Investments Pte Ltd (a subsidiary of Woh Hup Holdings Pte Ltd), a grant to develop an interoperable and common platform that will digitally connect project parties, namely developers, designers, fabricators, builders, and building operators so that they can share digital assets through this AI-powered platform catered specifically for the construction sector.

Third-party service providers, such as quantity surveyors, M&E consultants, DfM consultants, can offer their own digital products and services on the platform. The ability to more accurately estimate demand for materials and manpower, realise just-in-time efficiencies, ensure error-free transactions, and eventual reduction of re-work through the use of new digital and data services, are some of the benefits of such a digital platform. (see Annex C (408KB .pdf))

To accelerate DfMA adoption which improves the quality of our buildings, minimises noise and dust from construction sites to the neighbours and the surrounding environment, as well as boosts site productivity, BCA will be introducing several enhancements to our Buildability Framework.

Large residential non-landed projects with a Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 25,000sqm and more will be required to meet a higher buildability requirement. After several years of capability building and more than 140 DfMA projects, we recognise that developments of this size are able to capitalise on the benefits of DfMA and enjoy economies of scale from off-site (factory) production.

In order to place more focus on design instead of just regulatory compliance, there will also be outcome-based options that consultants may adopt for these large residential non-landed developments instead of following the usual code compliance method. We will also be exempting small projects with a gross floor area (GFA) below 5,000sqm from the need to comply with the Buildability Framework. More details will be announced at a later stage.

The outcome-based options will also be extended to other development types from 2020. In addition, there will be greater emphasis on DfMA in structural, architectural, and Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) works in the new 2020 Code of Practice (COP) on Buildability. BCA will invite firms to participate in a pilot to walk-through the proposed changes, so that key learning points can be included in the detailed 2020 COP.

Lastly, research and innovation in the built environment sector has also transformed — Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme (BEAMP) has opened up new opportunities for start-ups and innovators, in the built environment sector. Since its launch, it has garnered interest from 53 innovators within the Built Environment and adjacent Sectors. From this pool of innovators, 14 were shortlisted to work with companies in the built environment to solve real life challenges.

One such firm is Tagvance who worked with Straits Construction to develop an Internet of Things (IoT) network, to relay positioning data of people and assets so as to enhance safety on the worksite. The novelty of this development is in its ability to address the challenge of penetrating through dense concrete structures to track vertical positioning in both semi-confined and large spaces which are both quite common on construction sites. (see Annex D (793KB .pdf))

IBEW 2019 — An integrated platform for the built environment

IBEW 2019 features BE Connect, a premier business platform that brings together urban solution providers from Singapore, developers from the region, and the investment community to address urban challenges in the region. Over the past nine months, BCA has met with close to 100 developers in China, India, and South East Asia to understand their needs, introducing solutions, and sharing relevant experience by Singapore’s urban solution providers. BE Connect marks a major milestone in a year-round effort to assist buyers in the region to access fully integrated solutions across the entire built environment value chain for their building needs.

IBEW 2019 offers four co-located tradeshows, gathering the latest innovations and industry solutions for the built environment. Returning in its 12th edition, BEX Asia spotlights sustainable solutions for buildings across all sectors and in its 5th edition, Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) Asia zooms in on solutions to maximise building efficiency and energy operations. New to the portfolio are Innobuild (IB) Asia presenting cutting-edge construction materials, tools and technologies to drive construction productivity and resource efficiency, and Smart Cities and Buildings (SCB) Asia highlighting the convergence of technology and construction creating more liveable cities.

Together, the tradeshows encompass the entire Built Environment value chain and gather over 550 local and international exhibiting brands from more than 30 markets. More than 70 industry leaders will be sharing their insights on the hottest technologies and trends at the tech talk seminar areas covering three thematic topics at Digital Rally, Energy Xchange and Green View. The exhibitions will welcome over 70 delegation groups from seven markets to discuss and exchange ideas on the latest innovations that will shape the future of sustainable cities.

BCA and its tripartite (Public, Private, People) partners will continue its efforts to support the built environment sector to achieve greater quality and productivity standards, build progressive and collaborative firms and support workforce needs and aspirations. At the same time, we recognise that leading Singapore firms are able to provide cutting edge solutions to meet the needs of developers from across the region. Together, we can look forward to an exciting programme which outlines how we can all transform the way we build.


Annex A - ITM Progress (463KB .pdf)
Annex B - Green Buildings Innovations Cluster Top Up and Demonstration Project (573KB .pdf)
Annex C - BCA-IMDA Common Digital Platforms Grant Call (408KB .pdf)
Annex D - BEAMP Demo Day (793KB .pdf)

Relevant links

Construction Industry Transformation Map
Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC)
Buildability Framework
Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme (BEAMP)
Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD)

1 The 12 TACs are (i) Association of Property and Facility Managers, (ii) International Facility Management Association (Singapore Chapter), (iii) Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore, (iv) Singapore Green Building Council, (v) Singapore Institute of Building Limited, (vi) Singapore Institute of Valuers & Surveyors, (vii) Society of Project Managers, (viii) Specialists Trade Alliance of Singapore, (ix) The Association of Consulting Engineers Singapore, (x) The Institution of Engineers Singapore, (xi) The Singapore Contractors Association Limited, and (xii) The Singapore Institute of Architects.
2 BuildSG is a national movement to transform the way we build Singapore and 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 BE industry.
3 PSA, together with the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) and BIPV suppliers are currently working to have the BIPV panels certified in accordance with regulatory requirements of authorities.
4 A Super Low Energy (SLE) building refers to a Green Mark certified building that achieves more than 60% of energy savings over the 2005 level.

- Speech: Opening remarks by BCA Chairman Mr Lee Fook Sun at the Opening Ceremony of the International Built Environment Week
- BCA news release: BCA launches first one-stop smart portal on green building solutions in the region

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (1.2MB .pdf).

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