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HDB invests S$4.7 million to boost construction productivity in Singapore

Anuradha Shukla | Sept. 15, 2017
It will work together with NTU to develop a Smart Integrated Construction System over the next three years.

Apartment
Credit: GraphicStock

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) will be investing S$4.7 million to boost construction productivity and safety in Singapore.

The fund will be used to jointly develop a Smart Integrated Construction System (SICS) with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) over the next three years to transform traditional construction work processes and boost productivity.

The system will feature the HDB integrated building information system (IBIS), a central digital database that serves as a collaborative workspace.

Using 3-dimensional modelling of HDB projects as a common platform, industry partners in the entire construction supply chain can log in real-time information and progress updates on the project from their dispersed locations. This streamlines information and speeds up data-sharing amongst the different partners, including architects, contractors, pre-casters and construction material suppliers, enabling them to better keep track of budgets and timelines.

SICS will also host a smart tracking system that will virtually manage the logistics of construction inventory as they move from various suppliers to the construction site.

By attaching smart sensors with geo-tagging capabilities to building components, contractors will be able to manage the flow of construction materials into the work site, and swiftly identify and correct lapses such as wrong deliveries. This will minimise disruptions to the construction process and enable it to progress smoothly.

In addition, SICS includes a smart crane system that automates the manual hoisting process of building components on site.

Through smart sensors embedded in the precast components and a network of sensors placed around the construction site, the smart crane system will be able to calculate and determine the quickest and safest hoisting path to mitigate potential collisions and swaying. This reduces construction time and improving safety.

Besides NTU, HDB has also partnered with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) to jointly conduct a three-year social behavioural study called New Urban Kampung research programme.

The S$6 million study will leverage big data and advanced modelling tools to analyse shifts in socio-demographic factors and create new housing solutions in tandem with residents' evolving needs and aspirations. 

"The fast-changing urban landscape brings along with it increasingly complex housing issues and needs. To meet these challenges, HDB wants to advance the "science" behind how we plan, design and build our HDB towns and estates," said HDB's chief executive officer, Dr Cheong Koon Hean.

 " With behavioural science studies and data analysis, we can better understand our residents' needs and changing lifestyles and their likely responses to our plans and initiatives. Smart construction solutions will also enable us to build more productively and achieve better quality," he added.

 

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