The History of IBS in Malaysia - 1998 - 2008

At this state, 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 projects (Eastern Pretech, BPB Malaysian Gypsum, Lafarge and Duralite). 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 developed their own IBS technologies (Zenbes, CSR, IJM Formwork, Pryda, Baktian and HC Precast). 

The local IBS manufacturers are mushrooming, although the facilities yet to operate in full capacity. In 1999, the Public Works Department (PWD) had designed the 5-storey block of quarters for Judicial and Legal Training Institute at Bangi. The first storey was built using cast in-situ concrete beams and columns with the upper 4 storeys built with precast concrete wall system. The precast component was supplied by Norwest Holding Sdn. Bhd. and Associated Structural Concrete Sdn. Bhd. 

Between 1998 and 2002, Encorp Berhad and Leighton introduced precast concrete walls and precast planks in the development of 10,000 units of teachers’ quarters on 107 sites throughout Malaysia. A total of 4,700 units of the teachers’ quarters were completed by Sunway Precast Industries Sdn. Bhd. and the remaining units were completed by Leighton and Hume Industries Sdn. Bhd. The project comprised low-rise (4 and 5-storey high) apartment complexes were designed by NRY Architects Sdn. Bhd. Each apartment unit has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a balcony and a courtyard. The IBS system is largely used for private residential projects in Shah Alam, Wangsa Maju and Pandan, Dua Residency, Taman Mount Austin and Tongkang Pecah, Johor. 

Starting on 2006, O-Stable Panel Sdn. Bhd. has been widely used as IBS system in double storey bungalow and terrace houses at Selangor and Putrajaya. The prefabricated component was supplied for Putra Perdana Construction Sdn. Bhd. for bungalow houses at Putrajaya, and PKNS and Baktian Sdn. Bhd. for houses in Selangor. It used in public residential projects in Putrajaya Prescient 17 and Prescient 9, PPR Sungai Besi, Sungai Bedaun, and Telipok, Sabah. 

The new generation of building that utilised IBS is better in term of quality, and architectural appearance compared to the earlier generation. IBS is also widely used to construct government’s 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 and immigration 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). 

The establishment of the CIDB in 1996 (under Act 520) as a government agency under the Ministry of Work aims to enhance the development of the construction industry spearheading IBS adoption to new heights. In 1999, based on the resolution made during the Colloquium of Industrialised Construction System 1998, CIDB formed the IBS Steering Committee in an effort to bring to the fore all the IBS-related issues in a framework to drive the industry forward.  The IBS Strategic Plan 1999 was published as a result of the establishment of this committee. 

The IBS Strategic Plan 1999 proved to be a good framework that set wheels in motion towards full adoption of the IBS industry. The programme had laid out definite missions to ensure a successful upgrading of the Malaysian construction industry and to maintain a competitive edge in the global market with IBS. . In the plan, the main thrusts put forward were to make construction sustainable, to be able to penetrate the global market, to support and utilise knowledge-driven technology, to raise the standard and quality of construction, and to produce a human-friendly built environment.  While the efforts seem to be successful at some point, there is still a lot of room for improvement. A greater coordination of the whole industry is needed for greater success in the campaign.

Developed by the captains of the industry, IBS Roadmap 2003-2010 had succeeded IBS Strategic Plan 1999 in 2003. The roadmap that aimed to facilitate the transformation of the Malaysian construction sector was endorsed by the government during its parliamentary sitting in October 2003. The master plan is based on the 5-M Strategy (Manpower, Materials-Components-Machines, Management-Processes-Methods, Monetary and Marketing) with the target of having an industrialised construction industry as well as achieving targets on developing an open building industry by the year 2010. 109 milestones were set to be achieved by the year 2010. The lead secretariat for the development and monitoring of IBS Roadmap consists of the CIDB, IBS Steering Committee and IBS Technical Committee under the patronage of the Ministry of Works. 

The IBS agenda was further boosted with the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Malaysia Budget announcements. In the year 2000 and 2004, the Finish originated company Eastern Pretech (M) Sdn. Bhd. had supplied prefabricated components such as hollow core slabs, precast planks, precast balcony, precast beams, precast columns, precast staircase elements, precast parapet walls and load bearing walls for residential projects of townhouses and apartments at Cyberjaya and Seremban. 

In 2004, new government building projects had been strongly encouraged to have at least 50% of IBS content in their construction elements which had been calculated using IBS Score Manual developed by CIDB. Furthermore, in 2005, the government had pledged to construct 100,000 units of affordable houses using IBS.

Finally, in 2006, a tax incentive was offered through Acceleration Capital Allowance (ACA). IBS manufacturers would be given ACA for expenses incurred in the purchase of steel moulds used for production of precast concrete components to be claimed within three years.

The government also realised that it is important for the private sector to participate in ensuring the successful implementation of the programme by creating sufficient demand for the players. Currently there is an exemption to the Malaysian construction levy (CIDB levy - 0.125 % of the total cost of the project according to Article 520) on contractors that have used IBS in 50% of the building components in residential buildings.

Some may argue that the incentive in the form of an exemption of levy for projects with a minimum IBS Score of 50% is too little to justify capital investment on IBS (Shaari, 2006). The effectiveness of the offer is very unlikely due to the fact that the current levy imposed on building projects is already low. Initially the levy charged for construction projects was at 0.25%. However, after the enforcement of the Economic Stimulus Package in 2003, it was reduced to 0.125%, and as for low, low-medium and medium cost housing projects, no levy is imposed. Based on the 0.125% rates, say for a RM 20 million project, the levy to be paid to the Government is only RM 250,000.  The offer will only be attractive if the increase in cost due to the usage of IBS components is less than that value.

In 2007, the CIDB performed a mid-term review of the implementation of IBS Roadmap. The review was performed using available data supplemented by the collection of industry perceptions through interviews with key industry decision makers. The report was published under the title Implementing IBS Roadmap 2003-2010. Several recommendations have been brought up to remove and reduce barriers in the roadmap implementation including developing and executing a holistic communication plan, employing different approaches for different industry segments, changing customer perceptions and creating demand as a leverage to IBS adoption.

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