The Current State of IBS in Malaysia

Today, the use of IBS as a method of construction in Malaysia is evolving. Many private companies in Malaysia have teamed up with foreign expert from Australia, Netherlands, United State and Japan to offer pre-cast solution to their project (IBS Survey, 2003). The current systems used in Malaysia are large panel system (housing project in Shah Alam and Taman Brown), metal form system in Wangsa Maju, Pandan Jaya and Taman Maluri and modular system which are heavily promoted by CIDB in government project. Although the system originated overseas, local contractors has made modification to suit local requirement. Instead of steel, high quality film coated plywood shuttering is used. The form can be easily dismantled and handled by small crane and can be adjusted to suit architectural requirement (Swee in Sarja, 1998). Other systems are framing system, modular system and partially pre-cast system (the Cemlock Built System which is originate in Australia and used by the National Housing Department in Pekan Selama housing project). Moreover, pre-cast, steel frame and other IBS solutions were also used as hybrid construction to build national landmark such as Bukit Jalil Sport Complex, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Lightweight Railway Train (LRT) and Petronas Twin Towers. IBS is also used in national scale government projects trough Public Work Department (PWD) efforts e.g. Lumut Naval Base, 1976 and Teachers Quarters Project in 2005. Nevertheless, the government of Malaysia still feels that the usage of IBS is still low despite the plausible potential advantages. From the survey conducted by CIDB of Malaysia in 2003, the usage level of IBS in local construction industry stands at only 15% (IBS Survey, 2003). On the other hand, the total registered IBS contractors in Malaysia stand for 895 companies in year 2007. Registered IBS manufacturer in Malaysia until 2007 is 138 (including 70 local manufacturer) producing 347 IBS products which are available in the market. Almost all of locally developed products are based on traditional materials such as reinforced concrete and almost all innovative materials are based on imported technology (IBS Roadmap Review, 2007).

Minister of Works Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamad, who launched the event, said history has shown that construction practitioners are tough, resilient and resolute, and urged the industy to reinvent itself to face the global challenges by reducing construction time via advanced techniques and technologies and by packaging projects into smaller phases. He noted the Construction Industry Development Board instituted the Industrialised Building System Roadmap for the 2003 to 2010 period and by now, there should be sufficient IBS technology for the country's current needs (New Straits Times 30/08/2008)http://www.innovacia.com.my/news.html

The IBS Roadmap 2003-2010

The endorsement of IBS Roadmap 2003-2010 in Malaysia by the Malaysian Parliament on 29th October 2003 expressed seriousness of the government and the urgency of IBS implementation. It is a blueprint of total industrialisation of construction industry towards achieving Open Building industry by the year 2010. The roadmap is a comprehensive document that divided the IBS programme into the five main focus areas that reflect the inputs needed to drive the programme (Manpower, Materials, Management, Monetary, and Marketing) (IBS Roadmap, 2003). The content of this roadmap is focused towards achieving the industrialisation of the construction sector and the longer term objective of implementing Open Building Systems concept. The key elements and activities of the roadmap are to have a labour policy that gradually reduces percentage of foreign workers, improve Uniform Building By- Law (UBBL), develop IBS professional courses and IBS university syllabus, develop IBS standard plan for common use, establish verification and certification scheme, establish vendor developing program and to study relevant incentive to encourage IBS adoption.

Enhancing training and skills programmes is a timely move by the government to attract more locals into the industry and avoid being too dependent on foreign labour. However, the current incentive of giving 50 per cent waiver of the CIDB levy to encourage use of the Industrialised Building Systems (IBS) is inadequate (Budget 2009) NST 30/8/2008 http://www.innovacia.com.my/news.html

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