Singapore Government to Step up Construction Productivity Using Technology

The construction industry in Singapore is probably unique in the world, characterized by high land prices and rental incomes, expensive labor and strict building codes. No other country in the world has a strategic sand reserve.

Emphasis on Efficiency

Productivity in Singapore’s construction sector is already increasing 1.3% year on year, due to efficient management practices and a high level of mechanization. According to National Development Minister L. Wong, however, this can still be improved further by a factor of almost three. A specific time frame for the implementation of this was not mentioned.

Technological Solutions

In keeping with the country’s focus on technological innovation, this increased work rate is planned to be achieved through new technologies. This development will be coordinated by the governmental Building and Construction Authority or BCA, which has identified several dozen specific advances as priorities for the long term. Although the agency is expected to play a major research role in the years to come, all stakeholders from academia to construction companies were consulted during the planning stage and will be actively involved in the process.

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Among the technologies to be investigated will be improved computer aided design paradigms, including advanced visualization programs, better civil engineering practices and structural modeling. Modules built in factories and shipped to construction sites for assembly are expected to yield many productivity advantages, while state of the art construction materials will maximize savings in this regard. Off-site modular construction in particular has been shown to be capable of radical improvements in efficiency, as a number of different modules can be constructed simultaneously without waiting for previous phases to be completed. In addition, decorative finishing and services such as electrical and water conduits can be added at the same time as structural building is taking place.

3D printing, which has already been proven to be a viable construction method in nearby China, will be investigated for a variety of purposes. Interestingly, robotics and automated equipment solutions were specifically mentioned, raising the possibility of completely unattended construction. For a country where it is very difficult to live on less than $1000 per month, any labor saving method is worth considering.

A Centralized, Non-Coercive Approach

Although this ambitious initiative is in government hands, and certain technologies have in the past been promoted by being specified for new construction on Government Land Sale plots, the approach in future will be more free-form. Increased manpower savings will remain an ultimate goal, but the specific techniques used to achieve this will largely be left in the hands of individual contractors.

Additionally, the government is developing a framework for information sharing between the various entities involved in the construction process, enabling the use of advanced technologies throughout. At present, building plans developed by engineers and architects who’ve already embraced advanced techniques are often difficult to interpret by those behind the curve.

All of this will not be achieved at the cost of lower quality, safety or environmental effects. The construction industry internationally will be wise to keep an eye on what will be happening in Singapore within the medium term.

About Morris Edwards
Morris Edwards is a content writer at, he writes different topics like Singapore Rushing to be Asia’s New Tech Hub, Singapore Government to Adopt Facebook Workplace across the Board and More and all topics related to Technology and Company Registration in Singapore.