Industrialized Building System (IBS) is a construction technique whereby building components are manufactured in factories then transported and assembled into a structure with limited on site work.
The benefits of IBS are clear and eminent as it allows for building to be constructed in a shorter time span and with greatly reduced activities at the construction site, which in turn provides tremendous
cost savings to the builders.
There are six main IBS groups identified as being popularly used in Malaysia, namely
(i) Pre-cast concrete framing, panel and box systems
(ii) Steel formwork system
(iii) Steel framing system
(iv) Timber framing system
(v) Blockwork system
(vi) Innovative system.
IBS likely savings from government projects as a result of IBS implementation would help to reduce government’s development expenditures. IBS can also help to reduce our reliance on mostly foreign unskilled labour and will also improve the industry’s image as well as create awareness among local workforce on the benefits of joining the industry. Additionally, in the long-run, the IBS expertise gained will become a trading platform to strengthen the country’s comparative advantages and reinforces its economic
stature in promoting exports of high value-added products and services.
Alternative construction method. In Malaysia, the Construction Industry Development Berhad (CIDB) defines IBS as a technique of construction whereby building components are manufactured at factories or off site, transported and then assembled into a structure with minimum work. In Singapore, the term IBS refers to a construction system for all types of structures, including infrastructure. Whatever the
definition, the root idea of IBS is the same, which is the manufacture of components for the construction of structures in a controlled environment.
The six characteristics of IBS are as follows:
– Industrial production of components though pre-fabrication;
– Highly mechanised in-situ processes i.e. slip-forms, post-tensioning, tunnel shutters;
– Reduced labour during prefabrication of components and site works;
– Modern design and manufacturing methods i.e. involvement of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM);
– Systematic Quality Control i.e. ISO 9000 principles;
– Open Building Concept i.e. permitting hybrid applications, adaptable to standardisation and Modular Coordination (MC).
Types of IBS
• Six main types. The Malaysian construction industry is undergoing a transitional change from an industry employing conventional technology to one which is more systematic and mechanised. Based on structural classification by CIDB, there are six main IBS groups identified as being popularly used in Malaysia.
1. Pre-cast concrete framing, panel and box systems.
2. Steel formwork system.
3. Steel framing system.
4. Timber framing system.
5. Blockwork system.
6. Innovative system.
IBS in Malaysia. The use of IBS in Malaysia started in 1963. In 1966 and 1967, the first two projects constructed using IBS method were the construction of 3009 unit of flats-accommodation in Jalan Pekeliling, Kuala Lumpur and 3741 units in Jalan Padang Tembak, Pulau Pinang. The success of the IBS method in the country can be observed from the many structures built from the year 1995 to 1998, including the Petronas Twin Tower, the Light Rail Transit and the Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex.
IBS has also been implemented in the construction of multiple-storey highways and monorail transit tracks that used pre-cast beam.
Five degrees of Industrialisation. In IBS, degree of industrialisation refers to the level of technology and the amount of capital employed in the fabrication and production of the components. Although investment in technology may be costly at the outset, it will generate benefits progressively with the number of units produced once the break-even point is reached. There are five degrees of industrialization.
It generally implies building in a factory components or full modules very similar to the ones done on a traditional construction site. It also very often brings the construction costs down, as much as 15% in some instances.
The tooling is taking over the tasks performed by labour, although the engineer and the programmer are the critical people involved. A study about Swedish woodframe panels assembled by automation indicates an economy up to 27% compared with traditional construction methods.
The same tooling is performing by itself diversified multiple tasks.
Reproduction is the introduction of an innovative technology capable of simplifying the production of complex goods, of short-cutting long sequential operations.
Relying on mechanized tooling to ease the work of the labour (pneumatic harmer, power tools, etc…)
Rapid growth in the construction sector. The construction GDP is projected to grow about 10% in 2014, the third year in a row that the sector will be growing double digits. Under the 10th Malaysian Plan, a total of RM230b has been allocated under development spending. Out of this, 60% or RM138b will be expended in the construction sector.
• Issues in construction. It is common knowledge that the construction industry is complicated and challenging. The nature of the industry is on-site one-of-a-kind production, and resource as well as schedule-driven. The perennial problems in the industry include time overrun, cost overrun and waste generation. Traditional construction methods have not been able to surmount these challenges.
Too much reliance on foreign workers. The Malaysian construction industry has been heavily dependent on the unskilled foreign workers especially from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar and Nepal as they are cheap, widely available and highly flexible. Indeed, the strategy on foreign labour was deliberate, as reflected in the Sixth Malaysia Plan (1991-1995) with the government liberalising the
policy on the employment of foreign labour to supplement the problem of labour shortages during that period.
Profit driven. In order to limit the inflow of foreign labour, the Government has tightened the requirement for work permits, increased the levy on foreign workers and steer the industry towards the usage of IBS. A major reason for this is the availability of a large pool of foreign workers in the market. Malaysian contractors do not pay for skills, relying instead on tried and tested means such as a readily available pool of unskilled foreign workers and under priced-resources to generate profits.
• Labor cost to increase. In other countries, minimal Government intervention is required to steer the private sector to adopt IBS. The high cost of labour would typically drive the industry to opt for more productive and less labour intensive construction method such as IBS. In the long term, a similar scenario for Malaysia is also likely, given that foreign workers cannot remain perpetually low and under priced. As their skills and productivity increases, their wages would also reflect this. Hence, the industry should be prepared for the imminent increase in labour cost.
Rising material waste. Waste is another serious problem in construction projects. Waste has direct impact on the productivity, material loss and completion time of project resulting in loss of a significant amount of revenue. With the increasing demand for major infrastructure projects in Malaysia such as KVMRT and highways, commercial buildings and residential development, a large amount of construction waste is being produced. As a result, the wastage costs of construction is increasing every year.
• Minimize wastage. IBS reduces the use the conventional formwork. In particular, the usage of IBS eliminates or greatly reduces onsite conventional timber formwork. The reduction in timber usage is in itself good for the environment. Furthermore, the IBS elements are mainly produced in offsite factory under a more controlled setting thus ensuring quality and minimize wastage. Hence, minimal wastage will be experienced at both the factory and the construction sites.
• Simplified construction method. IBS promises lower onsite worker requirements due to (i) its simplified construction method, and (ii) the elimination of conventional timber formwork. The simplified method can reduce wastage and cost of construction. According to CIDB, the adoption of IBS will likely reduce wastage material and consequently reduces cost by approximately 5% – 6%.
• Fewer number of unskilled workers. Implementation of IBS may also reduce the number of unskilled workers in the construction industry. With less unskilled labour involved in the IBS construction, overall construction quality may be enhanced. This will enable the builder to save on rework cost attributable to the unskilled workers.
• Reduce onsite services. The reduction of onsite workers will reduce congestion, especially when it involves several crews of workers (e.g. concreter, brick layer, plasterer, carpenter, electrician and plumber) at the same time. Using the IBS construction, services from the concreter, plasterer, brick layer and carpenter are no longer needed onsite but only in the IBS factory. Their site tasks will then
be replaced by a group of assemblers which consist of only about 5 persons per project.
Quality control of products
• Controlled environment. The IBS elements are manufactured in a shaded and protected casting area where critical factors, including curing temperature, are taken into account. Temperature controlled steam curing will ensure that the qualities of the pre-cast products are better than the cast in-situ concrete. This is important to prevent structural cracking and to avoid weather related delays. The concrete mix design and stripping time can be controlled, monitored or even accelerated using additives.
• Shorter construction period. The IBS construction will save valuable time and help to reduce the risk of project delay and possible monetary losses. The design and production of IBS elements can begin while the construction site is still under survey or at earthwork phase. The usage of large structural panels speed up the structural works thus other trades such as painting, electrical wiring and plumbing works can begin sooner. The average delivery time for a complete house using IBS construction is approximately
3 to 5 months whereby the conventional system generally takes about 18 months to complete.
• Safer work environment. IBS on-site work requirements involve more assembly-type operations as most of the building elements are manufactured in factory. Thus the IBS construction promotes principally safer and systematic factory setting as opposed to largely on-site working environment under the conventional method.
Cleanliness and neatness of worksite
• Cleanliness. IBS construction provides for cleaner worksites due to:
– Systematic components storage and timely (just-in-time) material delivery.
– Elimination/reduction of raw construction materials at worksite.
– Casting in factory of most building elements result in elimination/reduction of waste materials at worksite.
– Minimizing the use of formworks and props at worksite also because of casting in factory.
• Less dependency on foreign workers. Less dependency on foreign workers may result in the reduction of money outflow from the country as well as attendant social problems, low quality works and associated delays.
• In summary, IBS construction helps to simplify the construction processes and increases productivity, quality and safety. As a result, the total costs of construction are expected to be reduced by 15%.
Public sector is mandated to use IBS.
The Malaysian government has mandated for government projects to comprise 70% IBS components. At least 291 IBS projects were carried out under the 9th Malaysia Plan, constituting a total project value in excess of RM10b. RM6b worth of IBS projects were carried out directly under the purview of Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR), while the remaining RM4b worth of IBS projects (non-JKR) were outsourced to contractors in the private sector.
• Next challenge is to convince the private sector to embrace IBS. Annually, more than half of the value of construction projects in Malaysia are awarded by the local private sector. The goal of the new IBS Roadmap (2011-2015) is to promote the usage of 50% IBS content in the private sector. In order to achieve this, the buy-in of the private sector is important. Residential projects such as flats, condominiums and terrace houses have high IBS potential due to the repetitive nature of production. The private sector built RM13.6b worth of residential projects compared to only RM1.8b by the public
sector in 2013.
• Less than half of private sector projects use
IBS. According to CIDB, in the Klang Valley (2013), about 46% of 400 construction projects
that are completed or still with works in progress used IBS. The remaining 54% still used
conventional methods. The aforementioned 400 IBS projects comprised of privately-owned building projects, such as the construction of commercial, residential, and office buildings, utility towers as well as factories.
Consider Implementing Industrial Building System (IBS)
Proven technologies and approaches as well as regulatory support can enable large scale, low cost housing production. The Industrial Building System (IBS) is a technique where the components used for building are manufactured in a controlled environment either on-site or off-site, which can reduce costs.
Not only does a uniform method make materials cheaper, it also reduces profiteering and increases productivity. However, the government needs to implement various rules and regulations to oversee developers and suppliers.
IBS is not a new concept, however the usage of this method is still low in the construction sector (around 15%-20%) due to several issues.
Currently, the construction sector supply chains are fragmented, which is not a conducive environment as the IBS supply chain requires close control of materials and resources management.
Implementation of IBS would be essential in moving Malaysia towards higher value-added supply chain activities. In the end, ensuring the well-being of citizens would eventually lead to spillover effects and economic prosperity as well.
LIst of Public Listed IBS Manufacturers in Malaysia.
|Manufacturer Name||Public Listed
|Sunway Cavity Wall
Panel Sdn Bhd
|Sunway Group （SUNCON）|
|PJDCP Malta Sdn Bhd||PJ Development|
|Oka Concrete Industries Sdn Bhd||OKA Corporation Bhd|
|Setia Precast Sdn Bhd||SP Setia Group Bhd|
|Associated Concrete Products (M) Sdn Bhd||MTDACPI Engineering Bhd|
|Kimlun Bhd||Kimlun Group Bhd|
|SPC Industries Sdn Bhd||Kimlun Group Bhd|
|Asia Roofing Industries Sdn Bhd||AJIYA Bhd|
|Multi-Usage Holdings Berhad||Multi-Usage Holdings Berhad|
|UAC Berhad||Boustead Group Bhd|
|IRIS KOTA (M) Sdn Bhd||IRIS Bhd.|
|MLGLOBAL jv SANI (在今年七月份刚开始Joint Venture in IBS Precast Manufacturing Business.)||ML环球