City Developments Limited will be the first developer in Asia to adopt PPVC for an unprecedented, large-scale residential project – an Executive Condo (EC) The Brownstone EC at Canberra Drive. The development comprises eight 10- to 12-storey blocks with an estimated 636 apartments. They will be constructed with 3,300 building modules – likely the largest application of PPVC in the world.
PPVC has been adopted on a smaller scale in three projects here – City Developments Limited’s (CDL) Green Gallery at Singapore Botanic Gardens, a student hostel at Nanyang Technological University and an extension for Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel.
What is PPVC?
Complete flats or modules made of multiple units complete with internal finishes, fixtures and fittings that are manufactured in factories before being transported to site for installation in a Lego-like manner.
PPVC can be considered for residential and mixed (residential and commercial) developments, institutional and other projects as well as accommodation type of developments such as hotels, hostels and nursing homes.
Benefits of PPVC
- PPVC can speed up construction and potentially achieve productivity gains of up to 50% in terms of manpower and time-savings, depending on the complexity of the projects.
- Also, dust and noise pollution can be minimised as more activities are done off-site.
- With the bulk of the installation activities and manpower moved off-site to a factory-controlled environment, site safety would also improve.
To continue building a strong lead demand for game-changing technologies such as PPVC and CLT, selected Government Land Sales sites to be released later this year will be required to adopt such advanced construction technologies. An additional $55 million will also be allocated to the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF), which supports firms in technology adoption and workforce development, bringing the total amount of productivity funding set aside for the construction sector to $335 million.
To grow off-site manufacturing capability for prefabrication, BCA will roll out two more Integrated Construction and Precast Hubs (ICPHs). ICPHs enable automated manufacturing of precast components and construction products like PPVC modules and prefab bathrooms.
Lastly, BCA Academy will offer new courses to upgrade the workforce to keep pace with technological advancements starting next year. These include a five-month Specialist Diploma in Construction Productivity programme and a two-month Advanced Certificate in Construction Productivity.
The Academy will also partner Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE), a leading research centre for Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), to offer advanced management programmes at the CEO, senior and middle management levels. The programmes will help industry practitioners from developers to consultants to contractors to understand the value of VDC and BIM, and take an integrated approach in the design, construction and operation of construction projects.
At this year’s Singapore Construction Productivity Week (SCPW) held in October, Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, outlined three measures to further transform the sector. Aside from making prefabrication more prevalent, she highlighted the need to raise the quality of the construction workforce and promote greater integration across the construction value chain.
BCA is currently working on the second Construction Productivity Roadmap – details to be released next year – to bring the sector’s productivity drive to a higher level.
Dr John Keung, BCA’s CEO said, “While the adoption of productive construction technologies such as drywall and system formwork has increased, there should be a greater push to move the industry towards off-site manufacturing for on-site assembly, or Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA). The use of game-changing technologies like Prefabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a move in this direction. Advanced construction technologies yield more significant manpower and time-savings and also bring about benefits like less noise and dust during construction, safer workplaces and better quality homes.”