Singapore HDB invests in smart tech to boost construction productivity

The HDB is investing S$10.7m in deals with Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore University of Technology and Design to boost construction productivity.

HDB flats in Singapore
HDB Reuters

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) of Singapore signed two new research and development deals with the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in the efforts to boost construction productivity and safety and establish a new social framework in building robust communities.

The housing board invested a total of S$10.7 million in the research deals as it leverages the power of technologies such as Big Data and data analytics.

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The S$4.7 million collaboration with NTU will see the development of a Smart Integrated Construction System (SICS) which will harness smart technology. The utilisation of smart centers and automation enables the transformation of traditional construction work processes.

The key features of the system are the HDB Integrated Building Information System (IBIS), the Smart Tracking System, and the Smart Crane System.

The IBIS is a central digital database which will serve as a collaborative workspace. With the use of three-dimensional modelling of HDB projects as a common platform, industry players in the construction supply chain will be able to log in real-time information and progress updates.

"This streamlines information and speeds up data-sharing amongst the different partners, including architects, contractors, pre-casters and construction material suppliers, enabling them to better keep track of budgets and timelines," HDB said in a statement.

The Smart Tracking System, on the other hand, supports the IBIS and virtually manage the logistics of construction inventory, with buildings being equipped with smart sensors to help contractors manage and identify lapses.

Meanwhile, the Smart Crane System automates the manual hoisting process of building components on site at the safest level.

On the other hand, the S$6 million deal between HDB and SUTD will explore on a study called the New Urban Kampung research programme. This will lay out the adoption of cutting-edge modelling tools to analyse shifts in socio-demographic factors and create new housing solutions in tandem with residents' evolving needs and aspirations.

"HDB wants to advance the "science" behind how we plan, design and build our HDB towns and estates. With behavioural science studies and data analysis, we can better understand our residents' needs and changing lifestyles and their likely responses to our plans and initiatives," HDB CEO Cheong Koon Hean stated.