Construction industry on track to achieve 50% IBS adoption by 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian construction industry is on track to achieve the target of 50% Industrialised Building System (IBS) adoption in projects by 2018, said IJM Corp Bhd CEO and managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon.

“By 2018, all development orders (DO) from Klang Valley and Greater Klang Valley must have an IBS score of 50 for projects that are more than 50,000 sqm. Other states are by 2020,” he said at a panel session on construction and property at the NCCIM Economic Forum 2017 yesterday.

Soam, who was involved in the five-year Construction Industry Transformation Plan (CITP) working group, said the IBS adoption is already at 35% now and the 50% can easily be achieved by next year.

However, he said the adoption must be done gradually and some persuasive compulsion is needed to get rid of cheap labour and waste, and to have cleaner roads and sites.

“The second step is, from 50% onwards, that is where the entire value chain needs to be looked at; whether we have enough workers, whether our factories are producing enough IBS components and professionals who are competent in designing IBS,” he added.

First Nationwide Group director Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok however is of view that IBS adoption must be done in tandem with the shortening of processes in the property development industry.

“Our industry is fast in adopting mechanisation and the likes but what’s the point now? There is no cost savings at the moment...what’s the point of having speed, if approval takes two years and CCC takes one year?” he questioned.

Meanwhile, Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar said there are many issues related to IBS adoption, including the high cost of machinery due to low economies of scale, negative perception on the quality of IBS and educating workers in preparation for the adoption.