IBS has been introduced in Malaysia since early 1960s when Ministry of Housing and Local Government of Malaysia visited several European countries and evaluate their housing development program (Thanoon et al, 2003). After their successful visit in 1964, the government had started first project on IBS, just a year later aims to speed up the delivery time and built affordable and quality houses. About 22.7 acres of land along Jalan Pekeliling, Kuala Lumpur was dedicated to the project comprising 7 blocks of 17 stories flat there are 3000 units of low-cost flat and 40 shops lot.
This project was awarded to JV Gammon & Larsen and Nielsen using Danish System of large panel pre-cast concrete wall and plank slabs. The project was completed within 27 months from 1966 to 1968 including the time taken in the construction of the RM 2.5 million casting yard at Jalan Damansara (CIDB, 2006; CIDB, 2003 and Thanoon et al, 2003).
In 1965, the second housing project initiated by the government comprising 6 blocks of 17 stories flats and 3 block of 18 stories flats at Jalan Rifle Range, Penang. The project was awarded to Hochtief and Chee Seng using French Estoit System (CIDB, 2006; CIDB, 2003 and Din, 1984).
Another earliest IBS project was at Taman Tun Sardon, Penang (1,000 units of five-storey walk up flat). IBS pre-cast component and system in the project was designed by British Research Establishment for low cost housing (BRECAST system).
A similar system was constructed almost at the same time at Edmonton, North London and about 20,000 BRECAST dwellings were constructed through out UK from 1964 to 1974 (CIDB, 2006). Nonetheless, the building design was very basic and not considering the aspect of serviceability such as the local needs to have wet toilet and bathroom (Rahman and Omar, 2006).
Many construction in the following years utilised precast wall panel system. One can observed that IBS was engage at first place in the construction of low-cost high-rise residential building to overcome the increasing demand for housing needs (CIDB, 2006).
Nonetheless, the industrialisation of construction at the earlier stage was never sustained. Failure of early closed fabricated system made the industry afraid of changing their construction method. Some of the foreign systems that were introduced during the late 60s and 70s were also found not to be suitable with Malaysia climate and social practices (CIDB, 2005).
Newer and better technologies were constantly being introduced than in the market. Wet joint systems were identified to be more suitable to be used in our tropical climate and it was also better to utilised the bathroom types which were relatively wetter than those in the Europe (CIDB, 2005).
In 1978, the Penang State Government launched another 1200 units of housing using prefabrication technology. Two years later, the Ministry of Defense adopted large prefabricated panel construction system to build 2800 unit of living quarters at Lumut Naval Base (Trikha and Ali, 2004).
Dring the period of early 80s up to 90s the use of structural steel components took new turn particularly in high rise buildings in Kuala Lumpur. The usage of steel structure gained much attention with the construction of 36-storey Dayabumi complex that was completed in 1984 by Takenaka Corporation of Japan (CIDB, 2003 and CIDB, 2006).
In the 90s, demand for the new township has seen the increase in the use of precast concrete system in high rise residential buildings. Between 1981 and 1993, Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) a state government development agency acquired pre-cast concrete technology from Praton Haus International based on Germany to build low cost house and high cost bungalow for the new townships in Selangor (CIDB, 2003 and Hassim et al, 2009). It was recorded then, around 52,000 housing units was constructed using Praton Haus system (Trikha and Ali, 2004).
In this booming period of Malaysian construction 1994 -1997, hybrid IBS application used in many national iconic landmarks such as Bukit Jalil Sport Complex, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (steel beam and roof trusses and precast concrete slab: Victor Buyck Steel Construction), Lightweight Railway Train (LRT), KL Sentral Station (steel roof structure and precast hollow core: RSPA – Bovis), KL Tower (steel beams and columns for tower head: Wayss & Freytag), Kuala Lumpur International Airport (steel roof structure: KLIAB – Eversendai) and Petronas Twin Towers (steel beams and steel decking for the floor system – Mayjus JV and SKJ JV) (CIDB, 2006). It also includes the development and construction of new administration capital of Malaysia; Putrajaya and the first Malaysia cyber city; Cyberjaya.
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 to offer solutions to their IBS project (Eastern Pretech, BPB Malaysian Gypsum, Lafarge and Duralite) (CIDB, 2003). Many had acquired enough knowledge through technology transfer to build up own capacity in IBS technologies (PKNS Engineering, Setia Precast and Global Globe). In fact, Malaysian was also keen on developing own IBS technologies (Zenbes, CSR, IJM Formwork, Pryda, Baktian and HC Precast).
The local IBS manufacturers were mushrooming, although yet to operate in full capacity. The current IBS systems used in Malaysia housing projects are large panel systems, steel frame, precast frame and formwork system. The IBS system is largely used for private residential projects in Shah Alam, Wangsa Maju and Pandan (Sarja, 1998), Dua Residency, KL, Taman Mount Austin and Tongkang Pecah, Johor (CIDB, 2006).
It was used in public residential projects in Putrajaya Prescient 17 and Prescient 9 (used pre-cast technologies by Taisei Corporation in Japan and later adopted by Setia Precast Sdn. Bhd), PPR Sungai Besi, Sungai Bedaun, Labuan and Telipok, Sabah (CIDB, 2006).
The new generation of building that utilised IBS is better in term of quality, and architectural appearance compared to the earlier generation. In large public and private buildings and infrastructure projects, pre-cast panel, steel frame and other IBS systems were used as hybrid construction technique to construct government schools and teachers housing complexes (Kuala Kangsar, Yan and Sungai Petani), hospitals (Serdang Hospital and UKM Hospital), collages and universities (Penang Matriculation Collage, UiTM, Kuching and University PETRONAS and University of Malaysia Sabah), custom complexes (Kelana Jaya and Johor Bahru), private buildings (Weld Tower, Maju Perdana, Traders Hotel, City Square and Olympia Tower, Jaya Jusco, IKEA) and police quarters (Senawang) (CIDB, 2006).