Sustainable Construction Sector

Posted on 10 January 2022

The dynamism of the ASEAN economy is  paving  the  way  for  the  region’s recovery  and  upholding  the  weak global  economy during  this  time of uncertainty.  In  response  to  the pandemic,  the  region  rallied  very quickly to the crisis by implementing strong  recovery  strategies  for  a balanced and sustainable growth. The opportunity is clear, the concept of sustainability has eventually been given   serious   consideration   to holistically take care of the countries’ environment, economy and the society.

The construction sector has not only been the driver of the region economy recovery but also plays a vital role in achieving a sustainable growth.

The construction sector can contribute meaningfully in addressing the impact of climate change for a clean environment, building efficient infrastructure for the economy and equally important, developing cities for a sustainable living environment to the society.

In Indonesia, typically construction projects are using only 20-30% of steel as building materials compared to cement and timber. The type of steel used are basically reinforcing bar for a reinforced concrete structure. However, the demand is growing for sustainable construction materials, shifting to higher strength steel grade and a new approach in structural technology in their construction design. The latest project that has gone in  for  this initiative  is  the  first  and longest elevated tollroad in Indonesia, linking the city of Jakarta to Cikampek. The tollroad is using high strength steel plate as the construction material for a resilient structure, improved recycling rates and better cost saving.

Construction sector is leading the growth in Malaysia by restarting its activities mainly on infrastructure, renewable energy, residential, telecommunications and water infrastructure projects. Various construction projects continue in East Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, on upgrading of road, power, water infrastructure projects, as well as improving health and education facilities. The government has allocated part of the next year’s budget to improve land connectivity within major cities and rural area. Smaller and medium projects are as important for a well-balanced growth. Hence, the maintenance of basic infrastructure and utilities in local authority and rural areas will be given special attention to achieve an even development.

One of the objectives of the Build Build Build programme in Philippines is to decentralised the economic activities and population that are skewed towards Metro Manila, Metro Davao and Metro Cebu. The programme will deliver a sustainable built environment outside of Luzon, developing safe and resilient cities and communities in the region of Visayas and Mindanao.     The connectivity of major cities in the Luzon region will improved when the Luzon Railway System is upgraded linking the north and the south of the island. Another project similar to this is the Mindanao Rail Network, the longest network ever planned in the country will be built to ensure efficient road and rail transport across the island.

Under the adoption of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) and Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD), Singapore is promoting integrated construction and prefabrication hubs to building component materials for 

higher efficiency, less pollution and safer construction environment at the same time, improved productivity, quality control and reduce wastage of raw materials. The Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) is a construction method where building components are fabricated off-site before it is delivered and installed on- site. Mass Engineering Timber (MET) construction is both a productive and sustainable method of construction where engineered wood products with improved structural integrity are built off-site in factories. The country is pushing for a higher adoption rate for DfMA technologies to lower the reliance of the foreign workers.

In Thailand there are growing interests for green building from sustainable construction products and energy saving materials. One of the leading examples is the O-Nes Tower by Thai Obayashi, introducing the latest innovative and sustainable commercial green building to the country. The structural design concept of the building showcases structural steel of CFT (Concrete Filled Steel Tube) and V- column steel façade which being built off-site requiring less manpower on-site, better-quality products, less pollution and safer. The design has achieved a higher building rentable ratio. The design of the building also includes the surrounding environment both inside and outside of the building to be green and energy saving, creating an elegant atmosphere bring customers closer to nature. This concept is said to be the future of Thailand construction  industry.

Rapid urbanisation in Vietnam cities has not only adding pressure to the transportation and utilities systems but also a threat to climate change in the country. To improve the situation, the government has planned to construct the eight sections of the North-South Expressway and develop the transportation infrastructure which include the dual-track broad-gauge line connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, two express railway sections, and upgrades to  the  existing  railway.  Environment  friendly  transport will  be  introduced  like  bullet  train  technology,  metro, light rail and Smart Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which are more beneficial to the growing population.

A sustainable construction sector is important for the growth of the region as it promotes economic and clean environment alongside with social development through effective mechanisms to meet current and future challenges. Progress among the member countries has been uneven for a sustainable construction industry in term of technology and innovation, productivity and cost. Cooperation across  the region is imperative to achieve one voice not only among the industries in construction sector but also industries along the value chain for a sustainable and competitive progress.

Source : SEAISI