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Sunday, Aug 17, 2014

Singapore

Khaw: Productive construction methods needed

The New Paper | Sunday, Aug 17, 2014

Developers who successfully bid for projects on selected government land sales sites will now have to adopt more productive construction methods.

These techniques can yield manpower and time savings of between 35 and 50 per cent over conventional methods, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a Facebook post yesterday.

"We need game-changing construction technologies to boost our construction productivity and reduce our reliance on construction workers," he said.

One of the methods is to use "prefab" construction, in which complete flats or modules of multiple units, complete with internal fixtures, are manufactured in factories. They are later assembled on-site like Lego blocks.

This relies on building components made in a factory, "thus reducing the need for workers, and cutting down on noise and dust at the construction site", said Mr Khaw of the method.

Another involves the use of cross-laminated timber, a multi-layered wood commonly used in Europe, which meets the same fire safety requirements as concrete and steel.

Usually used for the construction of walls, lift shafts and floors, it can also support heavier loads than sawn timber, and is lighter than concrete.

Among the first to use the new prefab method here will be a 10-storey building extension of the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport hotel, while Nanyang Technological University's sports hall will be built using cross-laminated timber.

To facilitate the push for these "game-changing technologies", the Building and Construction Authority will provide funding support to those who adopt them and provide training to build up expertise in the area.

Said Mr Khaw: "The desired outcome of these efforts is for our construction industry to be cleaner, quieter and faster, without compromising on safety and quality."


This article was first published on August 15, 2014.
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