Minister Desmond Lee opened International Built Environment Week (IBEW) 2021 today

Desmond Lee at the opening of IBEW 2021

Singapore, 7 September 2021 – International Built Environment Week (IBEW) 2021, themed Re-imagining the Future, kicked off today with 3,700 participants joining from Singapore and from around the world.

Minister for National Development, Desmond Lee, officiated the event by delivering his keynote speech. He assured that the government will continuously partner the construction industry players and launch three broad strategies.

First, a value chain approach will be adopted to transform the built environment (BE) holistically. Thus far, the government has been supporting the transformation of individual firms. For instance, the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF) provides broad-based support for individual companies at the project level. These initiatives are important and necessary to help companies transform their own work processes to be more productive.

The government, as a developer, has also taken the lead to push for transformation outcomes in public sector projects. For instance, higher productivity and sustainability standards are currently already required for public sector projects under the Productivity Gateway Framework and the GreenGov.SG initiatives. However, Minister Lee also expects private sector developers to play a bigger role in order to accelerate the sector’s transformation journey.

Second, regulations to support transformation for the BE sector will be ensured to deal with the increasingly complex environment. They must be reviewed and streamlined regularly to keep up with the advancements in technology and to reduce the burden on the sector.

The government has also taken a closer look at the overall regulatory approval process for developments. Currently, industry practitioners make their regulatory submissions for new developments to agencies via an online platform called CORENET. Since its launch in 2001, CORENET has facilitated paperless submissions for regulatory approvals.

The system has now been renewed and improved, called CORENET X, and will serve as a one-stop integrated digital shopfront for the industry to make regulatory submissions regarding building developments, to all the relevant agencies. The end goal to make approval an efficient, faster, and an easier-to-navigate process that will benefit both industry practitioners and regulatory agencies, and of course the public at large. CORENET X is planned to be implemented in the second half of 2023.

Third, the government will continually review and raise the standards for sustainability. There will be refreshed Green Mark scheme to raise standards in energy performance, and place greater emphasis on other important sustainability outcomes. The new scheme is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and incorporates the principles of the World Green Building Council’s Health and Wellbeing framework. It will also take reference from leading international professional standards such as the Whole Life Carbon calculation methodology developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Desmond Lee opening IBEW 2021

Minister Lee concluded, “We have worked closely with you to develop some of the strategies and measures that I have outlined, and we will continue to build on these partnerships. Together, we can make our future Built Environment sector a lot more sustainable, productive and resilient, and create many good jobs for Singaporeans, for generations to come.”

– Construction+ Online