As part of the CEE’s initiative to improve the productivity, safety, and quality of the construction sector in Singapore, it was decided to form a Research Cluster of Excellence, BIM (Building Information Modeling) & Construction Digitalization, at CEE/NTU within the CUS (Center for Urban Solutions) as part of the effort to drive towards Industry 4.0 in Digital Engineering & Construction.
The objective is to enhance the IDD (Integrated Digital Delivery) means and to align with the Construction Industry Transformation Map (ITM) where IDD is a means to support DfMA (Design for Manufacturing & Assembly) and IFM (Integrated Facilities Management). The Cluster intends to focus on the Construction & Engineering applications of BIM-based digital tools and solutions through applied Research & Development; educating the industry professionals about the solutions; partnering with world renowned BIM researchers and practitioners, and leading BIM solution vendors.
The idea is to provide an excellent academic research environment for the industry, researchers, and public agencies to collaborate in making DfMA and IFM processes more efficient and productive using digital technologies. The objectives are to:
- Facilitate design collaboration in DfMA approaches (such as PPVC, Prefab MEP) among architects, engineers, contractors and suppliers, and promote public-private partnership in digital regulatory compliance.
- Enhance integration of Cloud-based BIM models and digital solutions across different stakeholders.
- Improve construction supply chain and logistics processes from the production plant to project sites.
- Enhance IFM and design for maintainability through IoT based ubiquitous sensing and AI based data interpretation and decision making on BIM platform.
- Translate the research outcomes of these highly productive digital technologies and management practices into working products and solutions for the industry to adopt.
The research cluster champions BIM education in form of workshops, trainings, and seminars. NTU hopes to bring together various international BIM specialists, researchers, students, and industry leaders from diverse domains such as civil/mechanical/electrical engineering, architecture, facility management, computer science, social and business to focus on research on digital tools embracing Construction 4.0 digital technologies, IoT based sensing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (AR/VR), robotics and automation.
The Cluster will transform construction sector from a labour intensive to a high tech, digitised industry to enhance automation, increase efficiency and reduce cost through integration of AI, bigdata, BIM, new sensing, monitoring, robotic and visualisation technologies. It will also improve some of the practice in transport, logistics and maritime sectors. It is hoped these efforts will lead to a R&D&T (training) Centre for Singapore and the region.