The Industrialised Building System (IBS) has proven to be safer, quicker, more cost-effective and yields more consistent construction quality compared with conventional means. Hence, the Malaysian government has been pushing for IBS to be utilised in building both public and private housing developments.
Heeding the government’s call and its own conviction that IBS is the way forward for sustainable property development in the country, LBS Bina Group has, through its subsidiary MGB Bhd, adopted IBS using the formwork system for more than 10 years.
“Previously, our focus was mainly on IBS steel framing and aluminium formworks. In tandem with the government’s call to improve quality and productivity through the adoption of IBS, the group further increased its IBS adoption via a joint venture with SANY Group in 2017 to leverage SANY’s expertise in precast concrete design and manufacturing as well as usage of precast concrete machineries. This partnership strengthens our position in delivering excellence through innovation,” says LBS executive director Dato’ Cynthia Lim.
Following the joint venture, and with an investment of about RM20 million, a mobile IBS plant was set up onsite in May 2018 for the construction of LBS’ Alam Perdana township in Selangor using precast concrete.
The mobile plant takes up 10 acres and is operated by more than 150 employees. The facility is capable of producing 2,000 residential units annually.
“It has successfully supplied our pilot project. 673 units of double-storey terraced houses at LBS Alam Perdana Township within a relatively short period of time. The pilot project achieved a construction time reduction of 33% from 18 months to 12 months, which led to 31% reduction of manpower and 49% savings in total on-site labour cost,” says Lim.
Alam Perdana is a 469.86-acre development located in Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor. It is a fully gated-and-guarded community consisting of a variety of residential properties including double-storey terraced houses, semi-detached houses, townhouses and high-rise apartments.
The expansion plan
Riding on the success of the mobile plant, LBS replicated the model and further invested about RM40 million to set up its first permanent IBS precast concrete plant in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.
With a built-up area spanning 119,017 sq ft, the launch of the permanent plant was officiated by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin on March 16, 2019.
Combining both plants, the group will be able to produce 4,000 units of properties annually, up from its current production rate of 2,000 units.
“The short-term target is to cater for our own projects such as LBS Alam Perdana and Kita@Cybersouth. Later, we hope to supply to other property developers and the government for its affordable housing projects,” says Lim.
She also believes the demand for IBS components will increase steadily as more and more builders look to alternative methods to raise efficiency, quality and productivity amidst a subdued property market and with the government aggressively pushing for greater IBS adoption.
“We expect the demand for IBS to pick up once the government’s proposal to make IBS mandatory by 2020 is approved and come into effect,” she reveals.