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Minister Tan Kiat How opened BuildTech Asia Digital Series 2021 today

Minister Tan Kiat How delivering his opening address at the BuildTech Digital Series 2021

Singapore, 7 July 2021 – Minister for Communications and Information, Tan Kiat How, opened BuildTech Asia Digital Series 2021 today. He believes that technology plays an important role in ensuring that construction work can continue safely amid the current challenging situation.

To ease processes in the construction industry, the government has launched the BuildSG-COVIDSafe Platform and tapped on Bluetooth-enabled TraceTogether tokens for contact tracing purposes. Minister Tan is confident that such solutions can be developed and adopted quickly because of the investments the government has made in digitalisation over the years. This should then be coupled with measures like regular testing, dedicated transport requirements and vaccinations.

Minister Tan also believes that the multi-pronged measures and the collective effort have lent the industry players a more stable situation as compared to a year ago. He mentioned that there are three key themes in the next phase of industry transformation—sustainability, automation, and digitalisation:

  • Singapore is now making a whole-of-nation push on sustainability with the Singapore Green Plan 2030. The government is working with the industry to strengthen capabilities in sustainability to work towards building a Greener, more liveable city.
  • Automating manpower-intensive construction processes could be intensified by tapping on prefabrication or Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) technologies. Singapore has doubled the DfMA adoption rate over the last three years, from 19 per cent in 2017 to 39 per cent in 2020.
  • Collaboration and industry-led partnerships between the public and private sectors (Alliances for Action/AfAs) could help expedite the digitalisation process. AfAs has secured the commitment of at least 300 industry stakeholders, to implement chosen digital platforms that are interoperable with one another.

In line with this, the government has also established the Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme (BEAMP) to accelerate the deployment of innovative solutions in the built environment sector. The BEAMP provides mentorship opportunities for solution providers and helps them grow their business networks.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) also announced today that eight promising, home-grown innovators have been selected under the third cycle of the BEAMP. The innovators will develop 11 innovative solutions with their industry partners to overcome common industry challenges, improve productivity and transform the built environment.

For instance, the firm VRCollab has developed an augmented reality tool that will allow project teams to visualise and rehearse the on-site installation of the prefabricated elements before starting construction. This would reduce downstream issues with installation as changes can be made by designers to avoid such issues. The tool will also allow workers to remotely access BIM designs and data on-site, which would assist them in the construction of the building.

“We will continue to support our firms to build these capabilities, through initiatives such as the BEAMP and financial support schemes under BCA’s BuildSG Transformation Fund. That said, I am acutely aware that for our local firms, we are still dealing with an immense crisis of manpower shortages.  This would remain our immediate priority, as we continue to work together to explore ways to bring in workers safely. The smart technologies available here at BuildTech Asia 2021 can help you on your transformation journey,” he concluded.

– Construction+ Online