Written by the Late Dato’ Ir. Dr. Hj. Abu Hashim Abd Ghani
Edited by Ir Ahmad Masyhur Jahaya
The concept of using prefabricated components in the construction industry is certainly not new and continues to improve in terms of cost effectiveness and efficiency. Buildings could now structurally go up in double quick time but, unimpressively, fitting out electrical installations took just as long as it ever was.
Over the years, the electrical installations in Malaysia have been relying on traditional hard-wired systems which are labour intensive, low flexibility, costly and time inefficient. The progress of simplifying electrical installations is slow and there is also reluctance in the uptake of modern trends such as the modular wiring system.
The modular wiring system has been in existence for more than two decades in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Ericsson Head office in Cyberjaya, Security Commission Headquarters in Damansara, Bank Negara Financial & Resource Centre in Bank Negara and Nucleus Tower in Mutiara Damansara are among the first few projects in Malaysia where modular wiring system installations were carried out.
While the European and American countries are leading the way, many local practicing engineers and contractors are hesitant to adapt the modular wiring system because of the lack of knowledge and familiarity with the design and installation. They are not willing to venture into something new but proven, choosing to comfortably fall back on the same old method of the traditional hard-wired installation. Frankly, many see a change in design and installation approach as a potential risk.
Over the years, the electrical installations in Malaysia have been relying on traditional hard-wired systems which are labour intensive, low flexibility, costly and time inefficient.
MANPOWER ISSUE UNDER COVID-19
The construction industry in Malaysia is experiencing a labour shortage due to the dependence on cheap foreign labour. Under COVID-19 restrictions, these vital workers are being repatriated to their home countries and no local resources are available to fill the gap.
With the ongoing pandemic situation, industry players should reflect on the future and rely less heavily on the traditional hard-wired system or cheap foreign labour. Embracing available technologies with the application of prefabricated components and the modular wiring system could be a way out.
IR. AHMAD MASYHUR JAHAYA
Director, Perunding Hashim & NEH Sdn Bhd
Ir Ahmad Masyhur Jahaya holds a Joint Honours Degree in Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering from Strathclyde University. He is registered with BEM in both Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. He is also a GBI Facilitator, ACEM Council Member and IEM Sub Committee member under Membership. His experience with construction started in 1997 and he has been involved with various projects as a M&E consultant, particularly those requiring BIM inputs for offices, residential and mixed developments.
This is an excerpt. The original article is published in Construction+ Q2 2022 Issue: Technology & Innovation.
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