Technology for quantum leap & cut reliance on foreign construction workers: Khaw
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has urged the construction sector to look to technology to make a quantum leap in productivity and reduce the reliance on unskilled foreign construction workers.
He stressed that companies should look beyond incremental improvements.
In a blog post "Technology Knows No Bounds" on Thursday, Mr Khaw suggested three specific technologies: contour crafting, Cross Laminated Timber and Unitised Building System.
Contour crafting is similar to 3D printing.
An entire building can be 'printed' rapidly and efficiently using layers of concrete.
Mr Khaw said a 2,500-square foot house can be built in less than 24 hours.
A simpler variant is already here in the form of robotic fabrication.
Mr Khaw said Singapore is exploring the design of robotic fabricated highrise buildings, where robots can assemble building components such as bricks in pre-programmed patterns.
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is manufactured by binding layers of timber to produce a solid timber panel.
They are prefabricated in factories and assembled on-site, leading to productivity gain and time savings.
Mr Khaw pointed out that the Forte, a 10-storey residential development in Melbourne, was completed in 11 months instead of 14 months with only four workers, two crane crews and one supervisor on-site using CLT.
Construction time was cut by about 30 per cent.
In the Unitised Building (UB) System, room-sized units are manufactured in factories and installed on site - like the way Lego bricks are assembled.
Mr Khaw described this as a great solution, as the job can be done away from residential areas and will reduce construction noise and dust pollution.
The typical UB system cuts down construction time by 50 per cent, and has been applied to a wide variety of buildings, including hotels, residential developments and hostels.
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