CDL first in asia to adopt pre-fab technology at The Brownstone EC

Likely the world’s largest application of Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction for a large-scale residential project – Expected to boost construction productivity by more than 40% and save some 55,000 man days At the launch of the annual Singapore Construction Productivity Week today, it was announced that City Developments Limited (CDL) will be the first developer in Asia to adopt the use of advanced construction technology, Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC), for a large-scale residential development.

In the use of PPVC, prefabricated building modules are hoisted into position and assembled in a Lego-like manner. Some 3,300 building modules will be used to build CDL’s Executive Condominiums (EC) named The Brownstone at Canberra Drive in Sembawang. The Brownstone EC comprises eight 10 to 12-storey blocks with an estimated 636 units. This is likely to be the largest application of PPVC in the world for a large-scale residential project.

Mr Kwek Leng Joo, CDL Deputy Chairman, said, “As an established developer committed to innovation and green practices, CDL, developer for The Criterion EC, has continuously explored using sustainable designs and construction technologies to develop buildings in a productive, safer, and eco-friendly manner. The extensive use of PPVC for this executive condo project is ideal due to its modularity of units which we have embraced from the design stage. Productivity is expected to increase by more than 40% and will save some 55,000 man days, compared to using conventional construction methods for The Brownstone EC.The project should complete four months ahead of schedule with the adoption of this game-changing technology.” He added that the building design and quality of construction will by no means be less superior to conventional buildings.

In fact, stringent quality control in factories ensures uniform and superior quality of prefabricated components, enhancing overall building quality. Adopting PPVC also enhances worksite safety as prefabrication of the building modules in factories means fewer workers onsite which in turn leads to fewer accidents and less down time. Prefabrication of the building modules also leads to cleaner worksites by generating less waste. Over the years, CDL has continuously explored sustainable innovations to construct buildings in a simpler, faster and better way. Since early 2000’s, CDL has started using drywalls for internal partition walls, and prefabricated bathroom units (PBUs) in its new condominiums. Using PBUs can yield productivity improvements of up to 80%, compared to the conventional way of constructing bathrooms onsite which involves many wet trades.

To date, CDL has installed over 10,000 PBUs in its condominiums. In 2013, CDL pushed buildable designs to new heights by leveraging the latest technology and know-how in prefabrication. For the first time in Singapore, CDL introduced a ground-breaking Prefabricated Modular System for the CDL Green Gallery at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where six building modules were pieced together onsite in less than 24 hours. This method was not only quick to build, but it also significantly minimised environmental impact onsite.