MRCB to implement new building system in Kwasa Sentral

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on April 1, 2019 - April 07, 2019.
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Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is looking at implementing the MRCB Building System (MBS) for all residential buildings in Kwasa Sentral, its upcoming development in Kwasa Damansara City Centre, says its executive vice-president Datuk Seri Judin Abdul Karim.

Speaking to City & Country at International Construction Week 2019 in Kuala Lumpur recently, he says the first phase of the development — a 20-storey building — will be revealed by year-end.

“MBS is a prefabricated, prefinished volumetric construction system coupled with the candle-loc connection system. Modules can be customised for any use, and in varying sizes and shapes. They can be used in landed, low-rise and high-rise buildings,” he explains.

The modules will be fabricated off-site before being taken to the development sites where they will be stacked and locked into position. The candle-loc connection system — MRCB’s proprietary joint-connection system — is a stainless-steel pin and cast iron lateral tie plate used in between each module to set and lock the modules in place vertically and horizontally.

Different modules put together form a housing unit, and can be stacked up to a height of 40 levels.

In comparison, Industrialised Building System is a construction technique whereby components are manufactured in a controlled environment, either onsite or offsite.

Judin says the only similarity between MBS and conventional construction methods would be the foundation, lift core and central core, which are built onsite.

“Only 20% to 25% of the building is constructed onsite, thus reducing manpower, time and work required onsite. This effectively reduces noise and dust pollution and enhances safety and site cleanliness,” he explains.

“Construction onsite and prefabrication of the units using MBS can be concurrently implemented, resulting in faster project delivery. It is 30% faster compared with a conventionally constructed building. As it is built in a controlled environment, we believe 90% QLASSIC is achievable.”

QLASSIC, or Quality Assessment System in Construction, measures and evaluates the quality of workmanship of a building or construction work.

Judin says MBS can help cut the industry’s dependence on foreign workers, which has raised concerns of security and health, as well as social and economic problems. It also helps address rising construction costs as well as problems of wastage and quality with conventional construction methods.

“We have been lazy due to cheap labour and stopped being innovative. If we can get economies of scale, we can be very competitive globally and sell MBS products to other countries. It is a paradigm shift in construction,” he says.

MRCB has built a prototype — a five-storey building — using MBS in December in Kwasa Sentral.

Judin says MRCB as a contractor is also open to providing these products to other developers and is currently in talks with Sime Darby Property Bhd.

One issue with the system is how to handle progressive payments for a property. Judin says MRCB is talking to various banks to work out a suitable method when MBS is implemented in its projects.