Sustainable Infrastar for Greener infrastructure

The Sustainable Infrastructure Rating Tool (Sustainable Infrastar) launched in March 2019 by Works Minister Baru Bian, covers the gap in addressing environmental concerns for the construction industry.

Environmental sustainability is one of the strategic thrusts under the Construction Industry Transformation Programme 2016-2020 (CITP 2016 -2020). It is also often sidelined when developers seek to complete construction jobs quickly and cheaply, noted Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) chief executive Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid.

Sustainable Infrastar covers infrastructure construction, including highways and roads, train, water treatment plant, airport rail link, jetty and marina, sewerage pipe network, wastewater treatment plant and telecommunication networks.

There were five pioneer infrastructure constructions being assessed under this rating tool. These include the Regional Sewage Treatment Plant in Bandar Indera Mahkota, Kuantan, Pahang; Power Generation Plant in Sandakan, Sabah; Kahang Dam construction in Kluang; the Setiawangsa–Pantai Expressway; and the West Coast Expressway (Banting to Taiping).

Recently added to the list are the Sungai Besi Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway and Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway.

“The projects will be assessed during the pre-construction stage for provisional rating and upon completion for full rating. The projects that get more than 40 per cent points will be given one-star, five-star being the highest score,” Ahmad Asri said.

Companies, he added, are often reluctant to incorporate environmental sustainability into their projects due to concerns of increased costs. However, this is not the case.

“They (Companies) can reap many benefits, including cutting down on the construction and operating costs, if they include the elements at the design stage,” he said, adding that the rating tool would look at overall element of sustainability such as the usage of sustainable products and recycling elements.

To encourage more companies to participate in the rating programme, CIDB would bear the assessment costs of between RM8,000 and RM30,000, based on the scale of the project.

The Works Ministry has set a target of getting some 50 per cent of projects, worth RM100 million, to be certified under this rating by January 2021. However, said Ahmad Asri, the assessment will not be mandatory yet as it was not the best way to create a culture.

“That’s why we are focusing on strengthening the ecosystem through capacity building and technology until next year. We will see how it goes from there,” he added. — Construction+ Online