One of the most important milestones of IBS policy is regulation on the use of IBS in the construction of public buildings. In November 2008, the Treasury Malaysia issued a Treasury Circular Letter, now referred to as SPP 7/2008, to all Malaysian government agencies directing them to increase the IBS contents of their building development projects to a level not less than 70 points of the IBS score and in that sense IBS must be incorporated as part of the contract document for tender.
The circular letter took effect immediately and the Implementation and Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department has been given the task of monitoring the level of compliance to this directive by the respective agencies. The decision was to create sufficient momentum for the demand for IBS components and to create a spill-out effect throughout the nation.
To monitor the implementation, the government established the National IBS Secretariat. It involves coordination between inter-ministry levels to make sure the policy is successfully implemented. During a period from October 2008 and May 2010, about 331 projects under 17 ministries were awarded and constructed using IBS. The majority of the projects were construction of public schools, hospitals, higher learning institutions and government offices throughout Malaysia. The total cost of the projects was about RM 9.6 billion.
The new IBS Roadmap 2011-2015 has been launched in 2011. The policy’s objective is to impose high-level intended outcomes of implementing IBS. To remain focused, it has been narrowed down to four policy objectives which are quality, efficiency, competency and sustainability. A sustainable IBS industry will contribute to the competitiveness of the construction industry.
The effort to promote IBS was highlighted under Strategic Thrust 5: innovate through R&D to adopt a new construction method of Construction Industry Master Plan (CIMP). A number of programmes have been undertaken under the recommendation of CIMP including the establishment of the IBS Centre located at Jalan Chan Sow Lin, Kuala Lumpur. The IBS Centre is a one-stop centre for IBS programmes initiated by CIDB, providing training and consultancy on IBS and showcasing IBS technologies through the demonstration projects. The centre has 5 elementary tasks: industry planning, promotion and marketing, verification and certification, training and technology development.
Currently, the centre offers 7 professional training courses: Module IBS01: Introduction to IBS and Modular Coordination; Module IBS02: IBS Score Calculation and Submission; Module IBS03: Precast Concrete Planning and Execution; Module IBS04: Analysis and Design of Precast Concrete Structure; Module IBS05: Analysis and Design of Steel Frame Structures; Module IBS06: Modular Coordination Design; and Module IBS07: Procurement and Contract Administration.
The CIDB also offers courses for contractors to become IBS component installers under the National Occupational Skill Standard for Construction Industry (NOSS). The CIMP also supports the Research and Development (R&D) activities on IBS conducted by the Construction Research Institute of Malaysia (CREAM), a research arm of CIDB. The establishment of Makmal Kerja Raya Malaysia (MKRM), a national laboratory for IBS testing and research, has further enhanced R&D activities and become an important element under the Verification, Validation, Certification and Testing (VVCT) quality assurance programme. IBS manufacturers have to certify under the VVCT in order to be included in the Orange Book (Directory for IBS manufacturer). To date, there are about 12 IBS researches that have been conducted, worth more than RM 6.0 million of capital investment.