Half of private sector projects to use IBS next year — CIDB

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 18, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) targets 50% of the private construction projects, valued at over RM50 million, to use the industrialised building system (IBS) by next year.

Its chief executive, Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid, is confident the adoption rate in private projects, which stands at about 35% currently, will increase steadily as more companies are aware of the system’s benefits.

“In Kuala Lumpur, most high-rise buildings are now constructed using IBS because companies can no longer do it the old manual way,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event by CIDB yesterday.

IBS is a construction technique whereby components are manufactured in a controlled environment, either on site or off-site, transported and then assembled into a structure with minimum work.

IBS has been mandated for use in government projects since 2008. It was mandated for use in the private projects starting Jan 10 last year, when the housing and local government ministry said projects worth RM50 million and above are required to have a minimum IBS score of 50.

According to Ahmad, seven states have accepted this federal-level mandate. “However, they will have to trickle it down to the local authorities. It has not yet been made compulsory for local authorities to follow. We will give them time. But, by 2020, we will make it mandatory,” he said.

At present, only Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Putrajaya Holdings require the use of IBS for private projects.

Besides making the rule compulsory, quality has to be ensured, said Ahmad.

“Everyone wants to use IBS. But there are companies that that don’t specifically follow the proper

IBS standard,” he said.

To facilitate this, CIDB has launched a testing and certification programme, called Impact, to verify, validate and certify the products of IBS manufacturers in the country.

There are currently 300 such manufacturers based on CIDB’s standards.

On outlook for the construction industry this year, Ahmad said, growth would likely remain flat for now as the government continues to review certain projects.

The momentum should pick up by mid-year, he said.