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Leverage Digitisation to Lift Construction Sector

3 October 2019

New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: Construction industry needs digitisation to bounce back, said OrangeBeam group chief executive officer Datuk Faris Yahaya.

Faris said a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report had shown that the industry stood to save up to $1.7 trillion (RM7.1 trillion) in construction, engineering and design costs globally within the next decade with full-scale digitisation.

“It’s a sobering reality that construction is one of the least digitised industries today , especially when it is known for its notoriety in cost and time overruns,” he said in OrangeBeam’s 2020 Budget wishlist emailed to the New Straits Times today.

He said the local industry needs to adopt new technology to be more efficient.

“First mover and adopters in the industry must be empowered and set as examples for the rest. While we are appreciative of existing incentives by the government to encourage adoption of technology but currently, these are limited to certain sectors.”

Faris called on the government and regulators to provide more support and funding to the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

This will allow CIDB to form an alternative financing task force, including research/studies, in developing a friendlier model to support construction companies that are struggling to keep afloat during global economic downturn.

The government should also consider extending such support and funding to companies which are looking beyond existing technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

“About RM75.4 billion (US$18 billion) was invested in construction technology between 2013 and early 2018, that tells us there is plenty to leverage and a lot to go around.

“However, acceptance within the industry is still low. Only a few large companies are using BIM despite push by the CIDB for adoption of construction technologies and provision of testing, certifications and training for construction companies,” he added.

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