Modern I—a building construction system that integrates structural and architectural façade works level by level through a planning timetable and moveable screens—is the brainchild of Boston Loi Teck Han, Managing Director of Architech Construction Pte Ltd.
With a double degree in Architecture and Environmental Design from the University of Tasmania as well as over 22 years of industry experience under his belt, he takes it upon himself to continuously seek for innovative techniques in order to enhance workflow and practices on the ground.
It is his fervent hope that Modern I will ultimately help position Asian countries to be on par with the best in the field of manufactured construction on the international stage.
Construction Plus spoke to Boston to learn more about his newly patented invention, which has been further revolutionised over time since its inception in 2009, tailored specially for high-rise construction of 15 floors and beyond.
What is the unique positioning of Modern I’s construction methodology in terms of building high-rises?
Unlike conventional construction methods, in which the main focus is to complete structural works before commencing architectural façade works, Modern I completes both structural and architectural features of each floor simultaneously. To achieve that, the system utilises a unique moveable protection screen in addition to a customised project task schedule. Thus, each floor is completed within a period of eight to 15 days, covering external doors; windows; balcony railing; air-conditioning railing; ledge; and plastering.
Construction is carried out four storeys at a time, with the first floor completed as the fifth storey is raised. Completion of each floor is executed using a combination of hardware and software.
How does it revolutionise the conventional sequential construction method?
Floor-to-ceiling aluminium perforated screens, flexible yet durable, are custom-made to suit each individual project. The mechanical elevated screens are hinged and completely enclose the entire floor. The screens feature panels designed to open and close to allow insertion of a materials platform; weight-bearing flooring to allow two to three men to work simultaneously; flip-down panels for shoes; entrances for passenger lift-shafts; and safety features to avoid loose materials from flying out.
A customised crane (or cranes) with a moveable arm, that is able to cover the circumference of a building, is placed on the top-most floor, so that materials can be lifted from the ground to the floor being worked on via a materials platform that can be winched in place.
In terms of software, this holistic solution identifies set dates for the awarding of subcontractors at the beginning of each construction process. This includes specific times to obtain measurements, plans and specifications of all the deliverables; and a timetable for selection and sourcing of materials, fabrication and installation.
Its software also calculates the man-hours needed for each stage of work together with planned due dates. Following that, assigned workers’ duties are coordinated with subcontractors’ timetable, while coordination of work sequence between contractors and subcontractors is ensured. This is vital particularly when the services are interdependent.
What are the key advantages of Modern I?
First and foremost, Modern I is designed for safety by decreasing the risk for those working at height as the working levels are screened and protected. Both efficiency and speed are boosted because architectural and M&E (mechanical and electrical) works can already begin at an early stage with lesser manpower required.
Besides that, it enables the completion schedule per floor to be programmed accurately, saving up to three months of construction time ahead of schedule. The resulting productivity and consistency also produce better monthly cash flow for main contractors and subcontractors.
What sparked off its invention in the first place?
I always think outside the box to break away from the conventional. Back in 2009, the safety screens available in the market were meant solely for safety and not for work. Thus, I decided to modify the safety screens according to my methodology via a complicated two-page formula, which involved planning, site process, subcontractor response and cycle. Following that, the safety screen was reconfigured to also serve as a working screen, from three tiers to four tiers—that is the hardware aspect. Its software, comprising programmes and weekly reports, was simplified to feature only numbers and colours to be easily comprehensible to subcontractors and workers of all ethnicities on-site. Additionally, operational consultancy was provided to ensure smooth implementation.
What is the next step in Modern I’s development?
Continuous effort is made to concurrently penetrate the Hong Kong, China and Malaysia markets.
Building Modern Pte Ltd
Address: 200 Jalan Sultan, Textile Centre #02-15 Singapore 199018
Email: [email protected]
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