Board calls for stronger infrastructure to cope with impact of natural disasters


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  • Saturday, 20 Feb 2016

Najib (centre) launching the Construction Industry Transformation Programme in September last year. – filepic

THE CONSTRUCTION Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia has urged industry players to ensure infrastructure in the country is built with resilience to better withstand the potential impact of climate change in the country.

“Infrastructure and buildings in Malaysia are relatively less resilient to natural calamities.

“From the design stage, industry players often overlook the usage of sustainable construction materials, flood mitigation systems and maintenance in mitigating the impact of harsh environment caused by climate change,” CIDB technology development sector senior general manager Datuk Elias Ismail, .

“Malaysia annually experiences heavy flooding and monsoon rain, resulting in substantial damage to the built environment.

“It is paramount to encourage the investment and maintenance of critical infrastructure and ensure resilience to reduce the risk of damages caused by freak storm and flood as well as to cope with the impact of climate change,” he added.

“Strengthening the resilience of the country’s infrastructure to climate change and natural disaster is one of the key focus under the 11th Malaysian Plan’s sustainability goal,” said Elias.

He said to elevate the standards of the local construction industry, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had launched the Construction Industry Transformation Programme (CITP) in September last year.

The CITP is an important game changer for the construction industry to be a modern, world-class and sustainable sector.

It is a five-year plan formulated by the Works Ministry and CIDB in partnership with local construction industry players.

Under the environmental sustainability thrust of CITP, it is the Government’s goal to ensure that 100% of large infrastructure and building projects are rated for sustainability and exceed the stringent requirements.

“It is for us to ensure that a comprehensive suite of sustainability rating tools is made available to promote compliance.

“Therefore, the Works Ministry through the Public Works Department (JKR) and CIDB has introduced MyCREST, or the Malaysian Carbon Reduction and Environmental Sustainability Tool.

“MyCREST is a rating tool that aims to quantify and reduce carbon emissions and the environmental implications while taking into account a more holistic life-cycle view of the built environment.

“This will certainly enhance the resilience of the project,” added Elias. We are also reviewing major rating tools in the world to introduce a sustainability and resilience rating tool for infrastructures by this year.

“The new tool will be the first of its kind in Malaysia and the emerging world,” he added.

The CITP also emphasised the need to focus on high-impact public projects to lead the change.

In line with the Government’s agenda to increase resilience, JKR has mandated that all large public projects implemented by JKR under the 11th Malaysian Plan must subscribe to a sustainable rating tool: Penarafan Hijau JKR (pH JKR) or MyCREST.

Further to this, several infrastructure rehabilitation programmes are underway in various states to enhance resilience such as the Sungai Segget Rejuvenation project in Johor.

A new sewerage and flood mitigation system is also being constructed to significantly improve the capacity of existing channels to withstand heavy rainfalls in the future.

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