IBS Surveys in Malaysia : A Compilation

IBS Surveys in Malaysia: A Compilation

The earliest IBS survey in Malaysia was conducted by the Construction Industry Development Board (CDIB) in 2003 to study the awareness and usage of IBS in construction from the point of view  of contractor G5 to G7. While the second part IBS survey continued in 2005 is to survey architects’ opinion and acceptance on IBS. The third IBS survey was conducted in 2008 is to measure the acceptance of construction industry (class G7 – G4 contractors) towards IBS system and the ranking of IBS benefits. The fourth IBS survey 2010 was conducted to measure the drivers, barriers and the critical success factors of G7 contractors in adopting IBS construction. IBS Roadmap's mid-term review was condcted in 2007 to review the implementation of IBS roadmap 2003-2011.

Based on surveys conducted in 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and IBS Roadmap’s mid-term review in 2007, the initial take up for IBS was not as high as first anticipated at this stage particularly from private sector. The adoption is somehow fail to get private sector buy-in.

IBS Survey 2003 stated only 15 % of construction projects used IBS in Malaysia (CIDB, 2003). This survey highlighted that 54 % of respondent want to use IBS in the future and the most popular IBS is steel roof trust (55%) (CIDB, 2003).

IBS Survey in 2005 highlighted that only 30 % of architect is in favor of IBS design meanwhile 70% of architects lack of knowledge on IBS. 34% want to use IBS in the future (CIDB, 2005).

IBS roadmap’s mid-term review in 2007 indicated that approximately only 10% of the complete projects used IBS in the year 2006 as compared to forecasting IBS usage of 50 % in 2006 and 70% in year 2008 as projected in the roadmap (Hamid et al 2008).

While the IBS survey 2008 that had carried out from June 2008 to December 2008. There measured the ranking of IBS benefits listed from the most beneficial to the least beneficial are (1) Minimal wastage, (2) Cleaner environment (3) Less site materials (4) Reduction of site labour (5) Controlled quality (6) Faster project completion (7) Neater and safer construction sites and (8) Lower total construction costs (Majid et al, 2011).

The t-test of the average percentage difference shows that all the respondents consisting of class contractors (G7, G6, G5 and G4) have strong agreement on the IBS actual use (problems faced in using IBS), the awareness on IBS and the IBS actual use (promotion of IBS by the government through CIDB) with 0.63%, 3.98% and 4.06% respectively. But there are disagreement in perceived IBS usefulness, the perceived ease of IBS usage and the actual use of IBS (the benefits of using IBS in construction) vis-à-vis 12.74%, 10.06% and 6.54%. This shows that all the contractors are facing the common problems in using IBS. However, they are highly aware of the importance of IBS in the construction industry as well as the need to overcome the problems in using IBS. They appreciate the role of CIDB to promote IBS in the Malaysian construction industry. In contrast, there is doubt on IBS actual use in the context of benefit, perceived ease of IBS use and perceived IBS usefulness from the all the correspondents consisting of contractors, where the t-test on items shows that G7 have strong agreement on the usage of IBS with their acceptance of the IBS system as compared to other class of contractors (G6, G5, G4).

IBS survey 2010 was conducted to measure the drivers, barriers and the critical success factors of G7 contractors in adopting IBS construction. G7 is CIDB contractor grade that can applied tender without limit. The survey shows that the acceptance, adoption and deployment of IBS in the Malaysian construction industry is still low and does not help to improve outstanding and persisting problems in productivity, dependency on foreign workers and high level of construction wastage (Kamar et al, 2011).

IBS Survey 2010 highlighted that the use of system formwork (metal, aluminium and plastic) gained its popularity recently due to its flexibility (can be used in many projects, recyclable at many phase of construction and can be used in different types of design structure). System formwork is not dependent on economy of scale and commercially viability (Kamar et al, 2011). The most significant barriers restricting the use of IBS among contractors were considered to be higher construction cost, high capital investment, difficulties in achieving economies of scale, inability to freeze design early and complex interfacing, and lack of knowledge in IBS. Other factors related to level of Information Technology (IT), building regulation, and code and standard however, were not considered relevant by the contractors (Kamar et al, 2011). The most important drivers for contractors to use IBS were achieving high quality, gaining speed of construction, minimising on site duration, client’s demand, and addressing skill shortage. Factors such as energy saving, building’s regulation, and dealing with adverse weather condition appear to have been overlooked by the contractors (Kamar et al, 2011). The most important critical success factor that has been identified is Top – Down Corporate Vision, Early Decision to use IBS and Early Assemble of Project Team. The least important critical success factors are Development Role, Training and Information Technology (IT). Therefore, there is important for the policy makers like CIDB to convince the top management of the companies and the CEOs on the benefits of IBS (Kamar et al, 2011).

The surveys (2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and IBS Roadmap’s mid-term reviews) indicated that the availability of cheap foreign labour which offset the cost benefit of using IBS is a root cause of the slow adoption. It also relates to sheer cost of investment and the inadequacy of market size. Small contractors are already familiar with the conventional system and for them the technology suit well with small scale projects and therefore not willing to switch to mechanised based system. In this sense, small contractors lack financial backup and are not able to set up their own manufacturing plants as it involves very intensive capital investment (Rahman and Omar, 2006). The surveys (2003, 2005, 2008 and IBS Roadmap’s mid-term reviews) highlighted that the idealism, processes and management and skill sets behind IBS is differs from the traditional method. Lack of knowledge in IBS construction technology is equally important (Kamar and Hamid, 2011). There are cases, where building projects are awarded and constructed using IBS system but were contribute to the project delays and bad qualities (Kamar and Hamid, 2011). This has leaves the industry with a noticeable difficulties when using IBS. As a result, the industry is reluctant to embrace in IBS unless it is required by the clients.

A wider understanding on the characteristics and what is involved in IBS is needed. There is a critical need to manage the design and manufacturing differently from the traditional way as IBS is different and needs a different mind-set along with the right environment (Kamar et al, 2011). Therefore, in formulating and implementing IBS Roadmap 2011 -2015, rethinking the old processes is critical if the industry is to move forward. There are consensuses of opinions that IBS best handled as a holistic process rather than just a collection of technological solutions. The approach requires total synchronisation on construction, manufacturing and design processes. It needs emphasis on rationalisation, standardisation, repetition, collaboration, supply chain partnering and more effective planning and project management (Hamid et al, 2008).


Rahman, A.B.A. and  Omar, W., (2006) Issues and challenges in the implementation of IBS in Malaysia, Proceeding of the 6th Asia-Pacific Structural Engineering and Construction Conference (ASPEC 2006): Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 5-6 September 2006.

Hamid,  Z.A., Kamar, K.A.M., Zain, M.Z.M., Ghani, M.K. and Rahim, A.H.A., (2008) Industrialized Building System (IBS) in Malaysia: the current state and R&D initiatives, Malaysian Construction Research Journal (MCRJ). Vol 2 No., 1-11.

CIDB, (2003) Industrialized Building System (IBS) Roadmap 2003-2010 Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Kuala Lumpur.

CIDB (2003) IBS Survey 2003, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), CIDB Publication, Kuala Lumpur

CIDB (2005) IBS Survey 2005: Measuring the Perspective of Architect, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), CIDB Publication, Kuala Lumpur

CIDB (2007) IBS Roadmap mid-term review, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), CIDB Publication, Kuala Lumpur

Orange Book, (2009), IBS Manufacturers/Distributors/ Suppliers and Onsite Manufacturers Directory, Volume 3,Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

CIDB (2010) IBS Info 2010, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Malaysia, issue 1.

Majid, T. A., Azman, M. N. A., Zakaria, S. A. S., Yahya, A. S., Zaini, S. S., Ahamad, M. S. S. & Hhanafi, M. H. (2011). Quantitative Analysis on the Level of IBS Acceptance in the Malaysian Construction Industry. Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, 6, 179-190.

Kamar K.A.M and Hamid, Z. A (2011), Supply Chain Strategy for Contractor in Adopting Industrialised Building System (IBS), Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 5(12): pg 2552-2557

Kamar, K. A.M., Hamid, Z. A and Alshawi, M (2011), Industrialised Building System (IBS) in Malaysia, Construction Research Institute of Malaysia (CREAM) Publication, Kuala Lumpur, ISBN 978–967–0242–05-7

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