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Construction sector to train 80,000 people in new tech under industry roadmap

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The construction industry will aim to train 80,000 personnel in pre-fabrication, digital and green technologies by 2025 as part of an Industry and Transformation Map (ITM) revealed on Tuesday.

THE construction industry will aim to train 80,000 personnel in pre-fabrication, digital and green technologies by 2025 as part of an Industry and Transformation Map (ITM) revealed on Tuesday.

The ITM, which is part of Singapore's wider national economic restructuring strategy, emphasises development of capabilities on three technological fronts - the use of cloud and digital technology, pre-fabrication and green buildings.

Under the roadmap, Singapore's construction sector will use more cloud and digital technology to integrate stakeholders in building life cycle management going forward, in what the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) calls an integrated digital delivery (IDD).

This is to prevent delays and abortive works often seen in the traditional construction process, where parties at different stages of a project - from design, fabrication, to assembly on-site, as well as operations and maintenance of buildings when construction has completed - are not communicating in the most efficient way.

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Firms such as Woha, Greyform, Nanyang Technological University, Kimly, Eastern Pretech, Lendlease, China Construction (South Pacific) Development, and Lum Chang, have started using tools such as radio frequency tagging and data analytics to track and automate their project processes.

Plans are also underway to encourage adoption of shared platforms and standards to fully integrate the parties involved in building projects, the BCA said.

The pre-fabrication thrust focuses on what is called Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), which reduces the need for on-site construction work in favour of off-site prefabrication. By 2020, the ITM targets to increase adoption of DfMA from the current 10-plus per cent to 40 per cent, and to build up to 10 integrated construction and prefabrication hubs to manufacture and store modules. It also plans to makes prices more competitive for sustained adoption.

Feedback from the industry will continue to be progressively incorporated into the ITM, as it is a live document that will continue to evolve to keep abreast of key trends and shifts globally and in Singapore, the BCA said.

Minister for Social and Family Development, and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said at the launch of the ITM that transformation was essential for Singapore's construction industry to compete globally: "This is particularly salient given the difficult market conditions that many of us face today. These conditions make it imperative for us to start now. When we succeed, we will have Singapore firms that will not only be able to thrive locally, but also compete overseas...To be honest, we are a bit behind in these areas today, compared with some other countries. But we have always been nimble in Singapore and responsive to challenges so I believe we will not just catch up, but aim to leapfrog our competition."

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