KOTA KINABALU: The government will identify issues faced by the construction sector in adopting the industrialised building system (IBS) moving forward, says Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
He admitted that the construction industry still preferred the conventional way rather than IBS, including in dilapidated schools’ upgrading works.
Fadillah said a study has recently been initiated to study what the current challenges are in adopting IBS.
“IBS was actually implemented for school projects in Sabah back in 2018, but in 2019 they decided to go back to the conventional method because of few issues faced during its implementation.
“There is also public perception; people still prefer the conventional concrete compared to drywall because they think it was not strong enough – when in reality, it is equivalent or stronger.
“That is why we at the Works Ministry, through the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), have engaged with the Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Institute (Rehda) to do a survey on why there are still issues with IBS.
“Hopefully, after the study is done, we will be able to address whatever issues faced by industry players, ” he told reporters here on Wednesday (Aug 19) after handing over letters of acceptance to contractors for 17 dilapidated schools to be redone and upgraded in Sabah.
Fadillah said the 17 projects were part of the 62 schools nationwide identified under the 2019 allocation for upgrading works.
“There are 43 schools under the development budget totalling RM128mil, while another 19 schools in Sabah is under a PFI (private fund initiative) budget totalling RM78mil.
“Out of the 19, we have issued the letter to contractors for 17 school projects, and the remaining two will be issued in the nearest time, ” he said.
Fadillah added that for 2020, the government has allocated RM726mil for 87 schools to be upgraded, 22 in the peninsula (RM142.5mil) and 65 schools in Sabah (RM583.5mil).
Asked whether the 2020 projects will see more IBS models, he said his ministry is pushing for that, but there was room to suit local requirements.
“If there are certain areas where the use of IBS may not be suitable, then we can revert to the conventional method.
“So, this is where the close relationship between Works Ministry, state Works Department and all stakeholders is required to decide what is the best model for implementation, ” said Fadilah.