IBS growing steadily in Malaysia for the last 15 years, usage in govt projects at 84 pct
02 May 2023
The industrialised building system (IBS) in Malaysia has been growing steadily over the last 15 years supported by the Construction Industry Transformation Programme (CITP) 2016-2020, the National Construction Policy (NCP) 2021-2025, and Construction 4.0 Strategic Plan 2021-2025, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) said.
Chief executive Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid said the IBS implementation in government projects has increased to 84 per cent in 2021 compared with 79.5 per cent in 2020 whereas, in private projects, it has tremendously increased to 60 per cent in 2021 compared with 41 per cent in 2020.
“Considering the previous achievements and current development of IBS, it is fair to strongly indicate an increment of 10-15 per cent of IBS adoption rate for this year (2023) building projects, especially those projects undertaken by the private sectors,” he told Bernama.
He said IBS adoption not only improved construction quality and cost and reduced reliance on foreign labour but also accelerated construction timelines, simplifying on-site management and safety and reducing the construction industry’s environmental impact.
“Many big developers are now using IBS in their projects with favourable results, namely Gamuda Bhd, SP Setia Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, and the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).
“Other than that, few construction companies have their own IBS technology and manufacturing facilities as they have sustainable demand in projects, and among them are IJM Corporation Bhd, Gamuda, SP Setia, Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd, Sunway Bhd, LBS Bina Group Bhd and Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd,” he said.
He said as of March 2023, there are 118 IBS suppliers in Malaysia, covering all types of IBS categories.
Ahmad Asri said IBS has been mandated for use in government projects since 2008 and in private projects starting Jan 10, 2018, when the housing and local government ministry at that time required projects worth RM50 million and above to have a minimum IBS score of 50.
“Currently, the government is reviewing the circular to increase the score to 70 as an initiative to maximise the use of IBS and increase productivity by reducing labour dependency at project sites.
“The recommendation to increase the IBS score to 70 has been approved by the Cabinet on May 19, 2021, and the new circular will be announced to the public soon,” he said.
IBS projects in Malaysia
He said Gamuda’s property development arm, Gamuda Land, used IBS for its 714-unit Rumah Selangorku Jade Hills project in Kajang and reportedly cut building time to two years from three.
Ahmad Asri said another project developed using the IBS approach is PKNS’s 864-unit affordable housing complex in Cyber Valley while SP Setia also used IBS in residential and commercial projects including Setia City Mall, Specialty Centre at Hospital Kuala Lumpur and AIMST University in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
He said Mah Sing Group used the IBS for its M Aruna development in Rawang to improve output quality, construction efficiency, and delivery time.
“As a result, the development received multiple green certifications from prestigious green building certification authorities, including Malaysia’s Green Building Index (GBI) accreditation and Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark,” he said.
Malaysia’s first digital IBS
Gamuda Digital IBS is an end-to-end digital IBS solutions provider, pioneering digital IBS adoption in Malaysia with the country’s first digital IBS facility in Sepang.
According to Gamuda Annual Report 2022, its Digital IBS can easily build a wide range of products such as affordable homes, luxurious landed homes, high-rise buildings, and even public facilities like schools and hospitals.
“Every component is produced in our controlled factory environment and fully tested, which means that the quality of the components is assured through this safer and more sustainable construction method with minimal wastage.
“Digital IBS is a powerful production system to deliver end products that are error-free with high precision and quality, which enables designs to be completed online amidst a shared platform, thus, eliminating errors and enhancing efficiency throughout the construction process,” it said.
The company said state-of-the-art robotics and a high degree of automation are also significant aspects of Digital IBS.
“These enable the manufacturing of high-quality end products that meet stringent tolerance levels as well as allow the use of a wide range of precast products towards accommodating a variety of building applications including precast bathroom pods.
“Our high-quality control standard is already seeing Digital IBS rapidly expanding into several Gamuda Land projects, including Amber Residence at twentyfive.7, Gaia Residences at Gamuda Gardens and Maya Bay Residences at Gamuda Cove,” it said.
Group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling said the company recognised the advantage provided by digital systems in increasing competitiveness and productivity and has been progressively implementing more digital processes and workflows in its operations.
“Digital construction methodologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Digital IBS have served as key differentiators for Gamuda,” he said.
He said to date, the company has adopted, amongst others, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, drone surveying, and an integrated Geospatial Information System (GIS)+BIM portal with other exciting developments in the pipeline.
“Underlining the success of our digital transformation, we are building the digital capabilities of our people both through the injection of new talent with the required knowledge and expertise as well as through training and upskilling existing employees,” he said.
Lin said with the government expected to introduce more incentives to encourage greater use of Digital IBS, Gamuda Land would adopt Digital IBS across all of its developments in line with the circular construction framework.
He said the increasing emphasis on productivity, quality, and the ongoing manpower shortage positioned the company to its advantage.
“Already in the financial year 2023, a few notable wins surpassing 2,500 residential units including an RM87 million contract to supply and install precast components for a government project in Negeri Sembilan, which is our largest to date.
“Our order book outlook for Digital IBS has been improving and it is on a good pathway to growth that is sustainable which will augur competitive advantage in the next two years,” he added.
Outlook on IBS technology
According to Ahmad Asri, IBS has been shown to enable shorter project completion timelines and enhanced quality of work, resulting in a more cost-efficient construction sector.
However, he said in the Malaysian context, IBS is still about component manufacturing whereas, in many other countries, IBS is being applied to volumetric construction which allowed companies to achieve much higher cost and time efficiencies.
“As such, in the future, we will see more adoption of volumetric construction and more advanced technologies being developed to improve the construction industry productivity such as 3D printing, robotics, and other smart construction technologies.
He said the adoption of BIM, one of the most advanced and important technologies to assist in improving the productivity and sustainability of construction projects in Malaysia, would enable efficient and effective life cycle management of the built environment, which would in turn improve the productivity and sustainability of a construction project.
He added that BIM’s intelligent digital models benefitted all stages of a construction project as various parties could access and update the same digital model to facilitate coordination, communication, analysis, project management, and even asset management.