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Training programmes for new construction methods needed

More training programmes are needed for developers, architects and builders to get used to new construction methods, the Singapore Contractors Association said after the Government's move earlier this year to make the use of new construction methods compulsory.

SINGAPORE: More training programmes are needed for developers, architects and builders to get used to new construction methods.

The Singapore Contractors Association said this after the Government's move earlier this year to make the use of new construction methods compulsory, in efforts to boost productivity.

Prefabrication is one such construction method that private developers now have to familiarise themselves with. It involves constructing portions of a property off-site, and taking them on-site for assembly.

Going forward, certain Government Land Sale sites will only be released to developers who use productive construction methods like prefabrication. The aim is to get more private developers to adopt new building methods already used in public projects.

"Obviously, the Government will just take, maybe, some private project to look into it. Then they (the developers) will learn from the process,” said Dr Ho Nyok Yong, president of the Singapore Contractors Association. He also suggested that the Government can set up educational courses to train the developers.

Projects can be completed faster with the use of productive construction techniques. Prefabrication, for example, removes some risks of bad weather slowing down construction.

"Some say it may cost more because you have to do a lot off-site and then transport down on-site. But then, if construction time takes a lot shorter now, then in a way, there may be cost savings. So these cost savings, plus the extra cost, maybe, of constructing off-site and the transportation, which will be the biggest worry, may balance out,” said Chris Koh director of Chris International.

The Government is chipping in to catalyse the use of more productive construction methods. A S$250-million Construction Productivity and Capability Fund has been topped up with another S$30 million. When the funding expires in 2015, the Government will explore another fresh injection of financial support."

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