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Building design system in Singapore gets overhauled to factor in maintenance requirements

By Ng Jun Sen, for Straits Times

Nov 27, 2017

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A building manager takes over a building, only to find that his maintenance equipment cannot fit through the narrow corridor of the new structure.

It is a scenario that building managers here say happens all too often because maintenance is typically regarded as an afterthought - something to be considered only after the gleaming building is complete. But that is about to change with a new framework to be launched by the end of the year to overhaul the languishing sector - likely as part of the Government's real estate industry transformation map.

For a start, the new Design for Maintainability framework, developed by the Building and Construction Authority, will ensure that buildings are safe and easy to maintain by involving facility managers earlier in the process. The framework will also require managers to adopt 3D technologies, such as the software that uses Building Information Modelling, which are already available to designers. But they will first need to pick up the necessary skills to use such standardized software.

The use of technology will also help streamline the handover process. Currently, most developers hand over tomes of blueprints that are hard to visualize upon project completion, leaving the managers unaware of how to manage their buildings properly.

"There is often a disconnect between the teams in charge of the construction phase and the people in charge of facilities management," said DP Architects technical director Mathieu Meur.

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