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Monday, February 2, 2009

Training and Knowldege Management in IBS - Part 1

"As with any industry, training and knowledge management is key to ensuring the continued development and application of Industrialised Building System"

ICT based knowledge management systems however can bring a significant advantage to the field. This approach allows for information dissemination from institutionalized knowledge sources in a real-time information feedback flow. Informations are distributed to contractors in the field, and in return they will inform the suppliers whether the information they supply is useful or relevant and offer guidelines to improve it. With knowledge now being viewed as a significant asset, the creation and sharing of knowledge has become an important factor within and between organizations.

Training will provide workers with the skills and expertise needed in IBS

Training for contractors and suppliers of the IBS is just as important issue as knowledge management in ensuring the future of the IBS field in Malaysia. Skilled workers are required for the pre-fabrication of IBS modules, as well as at the final building assembly site. Skilled and knowledgeable crews are also needed for packaging and transporting the modules to their destinations, as well as standby crews for maintenance and repair duties. The requirement of skilled workers falls most heavily upon those involved in the pre-fabrication phase and in the final construction phase.

Workers at the fabrication phase must have the knowledge and training to fully assemble the pre-fab modules (not only the frame, but also wiring and plumbing connections) such that the module is fully functional when it leaves the assembly floor. Workers at the final construction phase on the other hand must know how to place the module within the structure’s frame, as well as make the connections between the modules to enable water, sewerage electricity, communications and alarm systems. Furthermore, they must be able to integrate these systems into the building’s monitoring networks. These tasks require skilled workers, as IBS is not just placing blocks on top of each other. Both knowledge management and training of personnel have a very high market potential for success. Training of personnel is currently being undertaken by many companies.

(Source: Techscope, MIGHT, March 2008)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prefabricated Way to Cut Work

Article excerpt from The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prefabricated parts will be used in all Government projects in a bid to reduce the dependence on foreign workers, Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed said.

He said the move would begin with projects under the Public Works Department, which are worth RM6.9bil.

The use of prefabricated parts was part of the Industrial Building System (IBS) which would be adopted for all Govern ment projects.

“The Government has ordered all government agencies carrying out development and people’s housing projects to use at least 70% IBS content in those projects,” he told a press conference at his office after the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Mohd Zin said to ensure that the IBS was implemented, a National Secretariat on IBS has been incorporated under the Works Ministry.

The secretariat would coordinate, monitor and help all parties, including the private sector, in implementing the IBS, he said.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

McDonald Goes Modular

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Industrialised Building System (IBS) in Malaysia - Part 1

The Industrialised Building System (IBS), is one of the fastest growing industries in the Malaysian construction sector. Most talks of IBS conjures images of pre-cast blocks being set upon to form offices and apartments, akin to constructing a building using LEGO® blocks. To some extent, this is correct. The key technology to IBS is the preparation of precast building structure off-site, which is then brought to the construction site and assembled. This allows building to be constructed with minimal effort and time at the construction site, which in turn provides tremendous cost savings to the contractors. However, the best savings are enjoyed by the consumers; IBS allows for homes to be owned from as little as RM 42,000.00 a year!

The potential for IBS sector in Malaysia is enormous to say the least. The conservative estimate of the industry is approximately to RM2 billion, making the future of the industry secure. Having to recognize the potential of the industry, the Government of Malaysia has implemented the roadmap for the development of IBS in Malaysia three years ago. Among the key goals of the roadmap are, to reduce the number of foreign workers in the construction sector from 75% in 2005 to 15% in 2009 through IBS, to utilize IBS in government building projects by up to 70% by 2008 and finally to achieve full industrialization by 2010.

In order to achieve these goals, a more structured approach must be taken in implementing IBS. Dishing out contracts haphazardly and hoping that the industry will build itself is a serious error of judgment. This structured approach forms a pyramid, with the bottom layer supporting the upper layers. At the bottom of the pyramid are the small components and accessories suppliers. This forms the largest group, consisting of many small and medium scale industries manufacturing items such as windows, doors, grills and frames etc. This group supports the medium sized and manufactured components group. Smaller than the small components groups, the medium components group is responsible for the sub-assembly of components and individual structure components. This group in turn supports the large component group, which manufactures precast concrete and steel frames as well as the modules. Finally, at the top of the pyramid is the developer, responsible for assembling the building. The creation of a structured system such as the pyramid, enables companies to easily identify which step of the IBS construction process they fall under, who they can sell their products to and who they can buy their components from.

Article Source: TECHSCOPE, March 2008, Malaysian industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Modular Homes - House of the Future

The current construction industry supply chain is organized along the labour intensive lines with the bulk of work is undertaken in-situ. It involves a combination of formwork preparation, ready mixed concrete usage and extensive sub-contracting. The IBS Supply Chain will transform the industry into a value chain similar to the manufacturing industry. By applying IBS, most of the on-site processes will be taken out from the construction site and put under a factory controlled environment where quality can be controlled and monitored.

The IBS Supply Chain promotes Open System and encourages full industry participation compared to the Prefab Closed System readily available now where only limited industry companies can participate. As can be seen in figure 1, IBS Supply Chain comprises of Modular Component-based products that can be produce and interchangeable between any project thus promote mass customization at the customers end. Therefore, a company that can utilize the IBS supply chain will enable it to sell systems rather than selling single products.

Market Potential

Houses of the future should be similar to products like cars or computers today. It is built mostly in a factory with parts that is easy to replace or maintain. The construction industry can be transform by following what other sectors are already doing; standardize and accessorize.

Standardising the construction industry is a critical factor in establishing an Open Building System (OBS) in Malaysia. The concept of the OBS is similar to what has happened in the ICT industry whereby through standardization of jointing parts such as USB ports, consumers can buy computer equipment such as mouse or scanner anywhere in the world. The equipment can then be easily installed by the users as the connection from the equipment to the computer has been internationally standardized.

IBS gives the ability for companies from just being a simple plain brick contractor that is driven by projects to a component builder manufacturer that is driven by consumers. Modular components or also known as volumetric components can be configured into wide variety of end products and the design can be based on customer’s individual needs through unique combinations of the modular components. Mass customization will allow companies to penetrate new markets and capture customers whose demands could not be met with standard products. Developers and contractors who embrace the IBS methodology can even upgrade their capability to export houses in countries that are in need of fast permanent shelters.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

IBS Implementation: Industry Responses

Malaysia has seen 40 years of IBS planning and implementation. Although the pace was slow during the late 1960s and 1970s, the momentum was steadily increased and gradually became part of the industry. In present day, IBS has marked its presence by successful projects throughout Malaysia. Among significant projects that use IBS are:

2007 - Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART Tunnel), Kuala Lumpur, The Spring Shopping Mall, Kuching, Sarawak

2006 - Kuching International Airport, Kuching, Sarawak, Persada Johor International Convention Centre, Johor Bahru

2005 - Serdang Hospital, Serdang, Selangor, The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Selangor

2001 - Kuala Lumpur Sentral (KL Sentral), Kuala Lumpur, Likas Stadium, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

1998 - Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Sepang, Selangor, Malawati Indoor Stadium, Shah Alam, Selangor

1997 - PETRONAS Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Selangor

1984 - Dayabumi Complex, Kuala Lumpur

1981 - High end bungalows and low cost houses throughout Selangor

1978 - 1005 units of low-cost, five-storey walk up flats, Taman Tun Sardon, Gelugor, Pulau Pinang

1969 - 6 blocks of 17-storey flats, 3 blocks of 18-storey flats and 66 units of shop houses, Jalan Rifle Range, Air Itam, Pulau Pinang

IBS Pilot Project – 7 blocks of 17-storey flats, Jalan Pekeliling, Kuala Lumpur

Other projects include:

1. 10,000 units of Teachers’ Quarters, nationwide
2. High-rise apartments in Putrajaya
3. Apartments in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur and Puchong, Selangor
4. CyberVilla Town House, Cyberjaya, Selangor
5. Pangsapuri Dahlia Akademi Audit Negara, Negeri Sembilan
6. Seremban II Township Project, Negeri Sembilan

Schools & Universities
1. Kolej Sains Kesihatan Bersekutu, Johor Bahru, Johor
2. Lim Kok Wing University, Cyberjaya, Selangor
3. Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Semambu, Kuantan, Pahang

1. Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM), Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
2. Kidney Dialysis Centre, Kuching, Sarawak

Shopping Malls
1. Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur
2. IKEA, Mutiara Damansara, Selangor
3. Jaya Jusco, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur
4. Jusco Tebrau City, Johor Bahru, Johor
5. MYDIN Hypermarket, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
6. Carrefour Hypermarket, Seberang Prai, Pulau Pinang

Factories & Warehouses
1. Pelikan Factory, Warehouse and Office, Puchong, Selangor
2. Distripark Warehouse, Westport, Pulau Indah, Selangor
3. Nippon Express Office and Warehouse, Pulau Pinang
4. Flextronics Factory Senai, Johor Bahru

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Why Modular is Better?

Traditional method of building process brings all the workers, machineries, and materials to the ground where the building is to be constructed. It contributes to the same problems plaguing construction industry for so long; over-reliance of cheap labour, inconsistent quality, prone to delays, substantial material waste, and dangerous working environment to name a few.

IBS provides means to improve this building process which give advantages to the industry. Among the benefits of IBS are:

• Requirement of few on-site workers significantly reducing labour cost for contractors (installers).
• Minimum material waste through quality control and continuous improvement.
• Sustainability as component moulds could be used repeatedly for different projects, allowing economic of scale and reduction in amortisation cost.
• Exemption of the Construction Levy on residential developments with at least 50% of IBS content

• Consistent high quality-controlled products through practice of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
• Eliminate substandard product through ‘zero-defect’ programme.
• Skilled workers with specific scope of works improve efficiencies and reduce errors.

• Faster completion of projects due to advance off-site preparations and efficient installations.
• Manageable construction schedule by the use of planning control, estimated lead time and forecasted down time.
• Not affected by weather element as off-site production allows 24-hours operation.

• Promote safe and systematic factory working environment.
• Safer working environment as minimal work is required on-site.
• Cleaner sites due to timely material delivery, systematic components storage, reduction of construction material and waste on-site.