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SG Tharman: Building industry must deal with 'pain & gain'

Property Here - Thursday, August 01, 2013

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In order for the construction industry to upgrade itself, it needs to learn to go through the ‘pain’ of increased foreign worker levies and tight labour market combined with the ‘gain’ of strong government subsidies.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that “this combination of pain and gain is a strong incentive for the upgrading of this sector and for our innovation to reach a new level. We have to let this process work out so that we can move the sector to a new level in the years to come”.

Speaking at the opening of Singapore Construction Productivity Week on Wednesday, Mr Tharman called for closer cooperation between players such as architects, contractors and developers to improve productivity within the industry.

With public sector projects accounting for over 50 percent of the city-state’s total construction demand over the next few years, it will work closely with the construction industry to ramp up productivity. To achieve this, the government plans to improve capabilities and adopt new technologies, the Minister said.

The government intends to promote volumetric construction, which involves the building of apartments equipped with internal furnishings at a factory, as one of the labour saving technologies. The units will then be taken to the construction site where they will be assembled and installed.

Other new technologies that the government hopes to promote include Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Building Information Modelling (BIM).

CLT makes use of prefabricated solid timber panels in place of steel and concrete for buildings, while BIM involves the generation and management of detailed 3D building designs.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@allproperty.com.sg