The last few years have been a challenge for Singapore’s construction sector. Amid falling demand, spiralling debts and waning investor confidence, the arrival of a global pandemic almost brought the industry to its knees. And, as borders closed, so too did access to the vital pool of migrant labour and the pre-cast components used in built-to-order construction projects.
But Singapore has always had its sights set on the long-term. When the country’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) announced its Construction Industry Transformation Map (ITM), its vision was to place the nation firmly at the forefront of digital construction. It saw Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) as an opportunity to facilitate seamless sharing and delivery of digital information—from design to off-site fabrication, and from on-site assembly to operations and building maintenance. It would also improve the prospects, salaries and working conditions of those involved in the industry—a sector that employs around 12% of the country’s workforce.
BIM roadmaps have been a central component in Singapore’s planning process for the best part of a decade. IDD builds on this momentum and enables project stakeholders to connect and streamline their work processes by using innovative technology.
One of the problems in construction is that there are so many parties, including owners, engineers, policymakers, architects, project managers, estimators and MEP contractors—to name but a few—involved in the process. Issues with sharing information across this wide group of stakeholders are the root cause of many aborted works, delays, and cost overruns. An Integrated Digital Delivery approach means all parties along the value chain have access to the same high-quality information. Implementing digital construction strategies is all about optimising and digitally integrating the project delivery process. The result is faster, cheaper, and safer construction.
Following digital construction best-practice and adopting a cloud-based solution across the value chain can result in the following 5 benefits:
Construction is a complicated process. At every turn, there’s the prospect of delays and cost overruns. A digital delivery software takes away the pain of creating and submitting an RFI. Using a cloud-based solution reduces emails and other forms of communication from the process—which means the RFI reviewer can provide a faster response.
Having to complete work for a second time is frustrating and costs money—money that comes straight off the bottom line. Right from the outset, IDD reduces the risk of rework. It provides a far more effective way to compare different versions of BIM-based documentation without having to download them and eliminates the need for manual logistics tracking. Using BIM-based construction documentation means every member of the entire project team is working on the latest designs.
The ability to submit and approve documentation digitally reduces the risk of missed requests and construction delays, each of which can impact profitability. Using a digital model to estimate costs also reduces the time taken for quantity take-off, improves accuracy and reduces construction waste. Digital processes deliver onsite efficiencies and, because the office and field are connected, lead to faster decisions.
Being able to sequence and schedule construction digitally improves onsite efficiencies and makes it easier to highlight potential challenges before construction actually commences. More importantly, it allows stakeholders throughout the value chain to consider any potential hazards during the construction process and address them before workers are exposed to actual danger.
Using digital tools to manage the meticulous and rigorous cross-disciplinary Integrated Concurrent Engineering (ICE) meetings creates the opportunity to engage a far wider audience and make decisions in real time. Automating the process of clash detection allows the BIM/VDC to focus on big-ticket clashes rather than be distracted by an array of minor issues. Using digital QA/QC inspections makes information management so much more effective and helps avoid the kind of audit headaches prevalent in a paper-based business.
A number of firms have already been recognised for their success in embracing digital construction at the 2021 BCA Integrated Digital Delivery Awards.
If your firm isn’t one of them, then you could be left behind. Streamlining projects through technology can give your organisation a competitive advantage, enabling you to stay ahead in the game.
Delivering complex construction projects more efficiently means solving the problem of connecting teams and workflows. Get it right, and your company will achieve significant cost savings and productivity gains.
To get started with IDD, take advantage of the free Digital Construction Readiness Assessment brought to you by Autodesk Construction Solutions. It is a short survey—developed using the BCA’s IDD framework—that will benchmark your existing processes against digital construction best practices.
After completing the survey you will receive a report that provides recommendations on how to improve in each of the five essential use cases across the digital delivery value chain. The report will also outline the potential savings you can unlock by adopting cloud solutions recommended by the BCA.