Email Conversation on IBS (3 July 2010)

Dear Sir,

I read your email today from my University mailing box which i seldom use nowadays. Sincerely apologise for late reply then.

It is good to hear from practitioners whom involved in IBS since 1985. I'm fully respect your comments sir and would welcome more in the future. As you might know, CIDB and MTIB (Timber Board) are now promoting timber IBS. As for steel in favour of concrete, i'm not sure on the industry’s respond. Perhaps you might know better than me.

As a non-technical researcher of IBS, we see IBS as part of innovation in construction that promote "newness". It is based on degree of industrialisation. The more IBS is pre-assembled, reproduced using automation and robotics, more value will be added into IBS systems. As in other industrial based sector, we see it as process rather than "assembly of products". The way forward for IBS is mass-customisation and modular systems. But of course, IBS will forever seen as expensive. But the last time, flat screen TV was also considered as luxury item. Volume and value will bring brig price down.

I'm totally agreed with you that IBS need to find ways in associating itself with a green and sustainable “buzz and hype”. You might be surprised by the fact that concrete panel is now considered as sustainable since based on their reusabilty and recycability characteristics.

My organisation CIDB (CREAM-research arm of CIDB) will conduct a half day seminar (free of charge-invitation only) on IBS next week 13 July 2010 involves international IBS speakers. The theme of the seminar is to link the IBS with the green and sustainable initiatives. We might continue our conversation there. If you interested to join us, i would be please to invite you there. Kindly give me you contact details and fax. Thanks

CIDB Malaysia

Greetings Dr Kamar,

I saw an article you co-wrote with Dr Zuhairi.

I have been involved in several IBS systems in Malaysia from 1985 but I think the answer to IBS is in the "materials". For instance if one were to carry out construction on lunar surfaces where there is no water and lack of facilities, the construction method will have to different to suit the resources of the location. On earth, if the project is in the remote region, perhaps earth construction is worth considering if cement and steel need to transported from far away areas. This is how I see it.

Lets say if steel is a wasteful component in buildings, perhaps it could be partly or fully replaced with other kind of reos. Concrete is not a sustainable material, perhaps the substitute could be steel, wood etc..etc

What do you think?

Best Wishes,

Parminder Singh
Consultant Engineer & Researcher

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