Researchers at the University of Salford have signed an agreement with the Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and University Technology Mara to help improve Malaysia's construction industry - including introducing advanced off-site construction manufacturing to the country.
The five year scheme will see Salford's Research Institute for the Built & Human Environment (BuHu) as the official research partner of the CIDB's Construction Industry Master Plan - a major initiative designed to turn around the profitability of Malaysia's construction sector. The initial focus of the partnership will be on introducing 'industrialised building systems' to the country - standard prefabricated concrete-framed buildings that are constructed in a factory, rather than on site, and which result in improved efficiency and safety.
Salford's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Ghassan Aouad, said: "This is a highly significant step forward for the Malaysian construction industry and we are delighted to help contribute to Malaysia's vision. This partnership will further strengthen our international global links and is very welcome.
"Prefabricated buildings offer greater efficiency, safety and standardisation and researchers will be helping to make a huge difference to the sector and to the overall Malaysian economy." Part of the scheme will see the University of Salford hosting several Malaysian PhD students who will help to develop the industrialised building systems model. They will work within Salford's BuHu research institute - which is internationally recognised for its work within the sector, and achieved the highest possible rating of six stars in the Research Assessment Exercise.
CIDB Research Manager Dr Zuhairi said: "BuHu was selected to assist the CIDB with its master plan because of its strong reputation as being one of the best research and development organisations in Europe. We are looking forward to seeing the results of this partnership."