SARAWAK is persuading the construction industry to use Industrialised Building Systems (IBS) in their housing projects.
Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the IBS method would enable cost savings and quality improvements as it was less labour intensive.
He said the use of IBS in housing projects could reduce costs by 30% compared to the conventional method.
Johari said that IBS also provided the opportunity for the industry players to develop a new image for the construction industry.
“With conventional construction methods, the industry is always associated with unprofessional practices.
“There are a lot of weaknesses in the conventional methods and I encourage the local construction industry to start using IBS,” he said after visiting the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) affordable housing projects in Matang, Kuching yesterday.
Johari said that HDC would take the lead in persuading its main contractors to use IBS in its new housing projects.
IBS is a construction system that uses pre-fabricated components. The manufacture of the components is done systematically by form works and other mechanical equipment.
The components are manufactured off-site and delivered to construction sites for assembly and building.
On the projects in Matang Lot and Matang Sungai Tengah, Johari said he was satisfied with the quality. “There are weaknesses, like in the drainage system and the lack of car porches, but we are getting them redone,” he said.
Johari said the 467 units of affordable houses in the area were part of the state’s programme to tackle squatters in Kuching.
He said a unit cost RM104,000 but was sold at RM42,000 for an intermediate unit and RM47,000 for a corner unit.
The units are available to anyone who earns RM2,500 and below, and have no land or house of their own.
Both projects costing RM17mil are scheduled for completion on Aug 3 this year.
Johari said that Sarawak was allocated RM200mil for its affordable housing and village extension programmes under the National Stimulus Package.
He said the state would use the allocation within the year.
Other affordable housing projects were in Kota Samarahan, Song (Kapit), Kanowit (Sarikei), Permai Jaya (Miri) and Kidurong (Bintulu), he added.