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Date [ 2014-05-21, 08:33 ]

They scored for driving productivity in the built environment sector.

(Singapore=Koreanpress) Benjamin Kim = This May, nine companies comprising builders, consultants and a sub-contractor were recognised for productivity efforts compared to six winners last year .Of these, residential projects made up seven out of the nine winning projects, that also included productive technologies.

With less than 50 employees, local sub-contractor Sterling Engineering Pte Ltd., a small firm was recognised by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for driving productivity in the built environment sector. It joins six builders and two consultants in winning the BCA Construction Productivity Award (CPA) – Advocates this year.

Introduced in 2013, the CPA – Advocates recognises outstanding developers, consultants, builders and sub-contractors for their achievements in improving productivity at company level.

“Unlike last year, this year’s winners demonstrated a wider variety of productivity initiatives, ranging from the use of high-tech and precast technology, adoption of good industry practices, workforce development and collaboration among project parties. This reflects greater industry awareness of solutions to improve productivity, which is important in enabling the sector to transform into one that is integrated, efficient and technologically-advanced”, said Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA.

Sterling Engineering advocated the need for skills upgrading to form an experienced, skilled pool of workforce. It had tapped on the Workforce Training and Upgrading (WTU) scheme under BCA’s Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF), to help defray the costs of training and upgrading its workers.

Utilising the Mechanisation Credit Scheme under CPCF, the firm had purchased equipment such as the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) plasma cutting machine to mechanise its processes and improve productivity. The machine enables one worker to cut 147 more pieces of steel plates in 52 hours compared to two workers in 176 hours previously.

“It makes business sense for companies, big and small, to optimise their productivity so that they can continually improve their business and stay competitive. There are various forms of assistance such as the BCA CPCF for companies to tap on, if they want to improve and upgrade”, said Marc Sim, Business Development Manager of Sterling Engineering.

As a main contractor, Hua Siah Construction strives to ensure all their sub-contractors embark on their productivity journeys through the mechanisation of site processes. It also adopted productive technologies such as mast climbing platforms to replace traditional scaffolding. As a result, workers do not have to erect scaffolding at every floor, saving time as well as enhancing workplace safety.

Other productivity innovations include Antara Koh Private Limited’s use of the Real Time Kinematic (RTK) Global Positioning System (GPS) for marine pile positioning. This allows piling to be conducted at night and in all weather conditions. Only one man is required to operate the system on the barge, removing the need to employ shore-based surveyors to position the marine piles. This enables pile installation to be twice as fast.

Samwoh Corporation was also recognised for introducing many innovative productivity initiatives, many of which are first of its kind to be implemented in Singapore. These include a crack measurement system which uses a laser and image recognition technology to collect road condition data for road maintenance, as well as an ultra high pressure water-blasting technology which is able to consistently remove pavement markings without the need to grind and damage the road surface. These technologies not only improve the quality of work, but result in a more efficient use of labour.

In addition, Arup Singapore Pte Ltd was lauded for adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM) extensively in its projects to manage large amounts of data and combine structural, mechanical,electrical and system services, as well as architectural finishes in a coordinated manner.

Other winners include Langdon &Seah Singapore Pte Ltd, Straits Construction Singapore Pte Ltd, Tiong Seng Contractors Pte Ltd and Koh Brothers Building & Civil Engineering Contractor (Pte) Ltd. Under the Projects sub-category, 9 teams were recognised for their efforts in improving the productivity of their projects; out of which seven were residential projects.

 Winning the Platinum awards were City Developments Limited’s condominium projects – NV Residences and Hundred Trees, as well as HDB’s Punggol Breeze and Casa Clementi.

Despite its complex design, the project team for the Conservatory Complex at Gardens by the Bay won the Gold Award for the CPA – Projects for its extensive use of prefabrication, such as structural steel frames, steel segmental arches and a glass facade. It had also used BIM to detect clashes early.


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