The launch of SEF Spacehub

ICPH – the way forward 

We are transforming the sector by changing the way we build. We are encouraging as much work done off-site as possible. To do so, we need off-site fabrication facilities like the one we are standing on now.

The technical term for this site is “Integrated Construction and Prefabrication Hub” (ICPH). It is an excellent application of what we call the “Design for Manufacturing and Assembly” (DfMA) approach. Essentially, the integrated hub industrialises construction processes by producing many of the precast components needed for onsite assembly in a factory-like environment. This modern Integrated Hub has a very small foot-print. It is highly mechanised and provides indoor factory-like environment to ensure high and consistent quality production. It enables high throughput and high productivity. Workers working in here would enjoy a better and more productive environment than in the traditional open fabrication yard.

Scaling up of infrastructure to support more Prefabrication 

Since we started to encourage the industry to adopt precast, prefabrication and the DfMA approach, we have seen positive response from the industry. For example, the level of prefabrication for building structural systems rose from 20 to 28 per cent. For wall systems, the prefabrication level has increased from 28 to 48 per cent.

We will continue to scale up the infrastructure needed to support this increase in prefabrication. We plan to roll out land tenders for the development of more ICPHs in the later part of 2016.

The SEF SpaceHub is the first ICPH to be awarded under a public tender by BCA. Since then, BCA has launched three more land tenders for the development of ICPHs. Another ICPH site, also at Kaki Bukit, was awarded to Straits Construction and is expected to be operational in the second half of 2016. We also recently awarded the third public tender for ICPH development to Soil-Build and the fourth ICPH tender is ongoing.

We aim to have about 10 ICPHs operational by 2020. Together with other precast yards in the region, we are confident of meeting the industry’s demand in the years ahead.

Building up the ecosystem for DfMA 

As our industry becomes familiar with the use of precast and prefabrication parts, we will move towards a higher degree of DfMA adoption. We will encourage more use of PPVC (which stands for Prefabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construction) and PBUs (which stands for Prefabricated Bathroom Units) through public projects and Government Land Sales. When appropriate, we will support companies which adopt DfMA with the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund.

As our industry embraces DfMA, we will need to upskill our workforce with the necessary skills. Under the SkillsFuture framework, we will train more Singaporeans to be the core of the sector’s professional workforce.

Conclusion 

Raising construction productivity is a long term undertaking. We are pleased to note that our efforts are showing results. Site productivity has steadily improved at an average of 1.4 per cent per year over the last four years. Indeed, we have already achieved a 2 per cent improvement in 2014.

We have much to do to entrench the foundation for sustained productivity growth in the built environment sector. The SEF SpaceHub is but one of the many pieces that we must put together to transform the industry. I am confident that if we put in our best efforts, we can build a world-class built industry in Singapore. Thank you very much.

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