Disruptive technology in construction breaks new ground in Malaysia

JKR and Autodesk signed an MoU to strengthen strategic cooperation to drive digital transformation in the construction industry at a national level.

THE local construction industry has faced an array of challenges such as labour shortages, inflationary pressures, rising costs of materials and increasing supply chain disruptions among others.

These have led to project delays, teams working in silos, inefficient use of time and negative environmental impact.

What was once an industry that has generally been a laggard in digital adoption, is now seeing positive changes of greater intent and investment in technology in construction to further economic growth and success.

Moreover, government initiatives such as the National Construction Policy 2030 and the National 4IR Policy are taking proactive measures to embrace digitalisation for improved competitiveness, productivity and sustainable construction practices.

To align with nationwide ambitions, the Public Works Department (JKR) has been spearheading the application of disruptive technologies to transform Malaysia’s construction sector.

Established in 1872, JKR is responsible for implementing infrastructure development and maintenance projects for various ministries, departments, statutory bodies and state governments such as roads, buildings, airports, ports and jetties.

In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Autodesk, JKR is driving digital transformation across construction at a national level through digital technologies.

Since 2010, the department has applied the Building Information Modelling (BIM) in over 200 projects such as the construction of a health clinic in Maran, Pahang, for the Health Ministry.

The JKR team seamlessly executed its end-to-end construction and avoided delays, cost overruns and build errors repeatedly experienced in previous projects without BIM.

JKR targets 50% of projects worth RM10mil and above to be aided by BIM in 2021, increasing by 10% every year.

“From our experience, several benefits have been gained through BIM implementation,” said JKR deputy director general Amran Mohd Majid.

“These include stakeholders getting a better understanding on design intent through 3D model visualisations during design review and value engineering sessions, comprehensive asset information records for facility management reference and minimising risk of project cost increases through clash detection processes.”

Construction: An industry ripe for digital transformation

To meet Malaysia’s rapidly expanding building and infrastructure needs, the digitisation of processes and information is a major leap forward in reducing rework, enhancing productivity and improving bottom lines.

Autodesk has been working with construction firms locally and globally, providing access to advanced technologies such as BIM, generative design and digital twins to optimise resources, achieve economic and productivity efficiencies as well as drive sustainable impact.

The JKR and Autodesk MoU is set to strengthen strategic cooperation to drive digital transformation in the construction industry at a national level.

Through this collaboration, BIM as well as emerging technologies such as Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will create a vibrant construction industry in the country and serve as an inspiration for embracing innovation.

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