Singapore is one of the most modern nations in the world, with its government spending continuously on infrastructure development projects throughout the nation. According to the “Singapore Construction Industry Databook Series – Market Size & Forecast by Value and Volume (area and units) across 40+ Market Segments in Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Institutional and Infrastructure Construction, Q1 2022 Update, Opportunities”, it is expected that, the construction industry in Singapore would grow by 8.9% reaching SGD 37,298 million in 2022. Also, the growth momentum is expected to continue over the forecast period, recording a CAGR of 8.2% during the period 2022-26. Further, as per the Databook Series, the country’s construction output is expected to reach SGD 45,460.0 million by 2026.
Despite the expected growth in times to come, the construction industry in Singapore has been experiencing a number of challenges amidst the global pandemic. Manpower woes, safety breaches and project flux being the prime ones.
This blog thus attempts at overseeing the current challenges that are hampering the Singapore Construction Industry as well as discussing how advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) can come in to rescue.
What are the major challenges faced in the Singapore Construction Industry?
After more than two years since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 91% of the total population of Singapore has been vaccinated and the people are gradually preparing to cohabit with the pandemic. The COVID-19 border restrictions have been relaxed, and new workers are entering the country. This phenomenon however, has brought in associated advantages as well as disadvantages. While on one hand, the incoming of new workers has helped ease the manpower crunch faced by the country; on the other hand, the outflow of more-skilled labor and the inflow of less-skilled ones (who require training) have given a great hit to the productivity in the sector. Coupled with this are the new on-boarding requirements brought in due to pandemic that have increased the costs of hiring new labors, thus further adding on to the challenges for the construction firms. These have together left the construction industry in a state of flux as there has been acceleration in the number of projects.
However, the challenges do not end here. The industry has also seen a hike in workplace fatalities. With the much recent incident of death of a 49-year old local worker, falling 9.5m below on the factory floor while preparing to do roof cleaning work, the workplace fatalities count for the year 2022 reached to 24. Some industry players and safety experts have pointed out ‘manpower shortages and tighter deadlines due to COVID-19 disruptions’ as the cause behind the increasing rate of workplace fatalities and accidents. In fact, very recently, the Prime Minister of the country – Lee Hsien Loong – commented that “safety standards and practices seem to have slipped as the economy reopens”. Thus, workplace safety in Singapore coupled with skilled labor shortage continues to be a bone in the throat for the construction firms.
How AI can rescue the Singapore Construction Industry?
Looking into the growing challenges posed by labor woes and safety breaches leading to increased project flux in the Singapore construction industry, the question arises “is there any solution that can free the sector from the clutches of these challenges?
The answer is YES!
This is where AI can come into rescue.
With greater advancements in technology, AI in construction has emerged with great potentiality to help the industry in its various facets starting from safety in construction, to productivity and ESG. AI in construction can be helpful in the following ways:
AI promoting Safety in Singapore Construction Industry:
AI can be a viable solution for mitigating worker fatality issues in the Singapore Construction Industry. When properly trained, the smart technologies like AI and computer vision acquire the capability to detect and alert various safety non-compliances taking place in the jobsite, in turn enabling instant risk mitigation and enhancing construction safety.
AI addressing Labor Shortages in Singapore Construction Industry
Advanced technologies such as AI and ML are capable of real-time analysis of tons of complex jobsite data. This can facilitate better planning of labor and machinery distribution in the jobsite, in turn helping meet labor shortages that the construction sector has been facing in Singapore. In addition to this, construction robotics, automated construction progress monitoring, 360 degree construction photo documentation and the like can further minimize human work in construction and enable the construction firms in Singapore to address the shortage of skilled laborers.
AI improving Productivity of Singapore Construction Industry
The ability of the advanced technologies to increase safety in construction, to analyze tones of complex data for better planning of men and machinery, for auto-progress tracking, and the like ultimately helps boost productivity in construction. Since these technologies work with minimal or no human interference, the construction firms in Singapore can orient the existing human resources towards tasks of greater ROI, thus increasing productivity in the sector. Further, better planning can help them to stay on schedule, prevent budget overruns and at the same time maintain quality in construction.
Thus, it becomes quite evident that advanced technologies like AI can offer the much-needed solutions to overcome the grave challenges faced by the Singapore Construction Industry in recent times.
How can viAct help the Singapore Construction Industry?
viAct is one of the leading ConTech startups in Asia which since its very inception strives to solve various safety, productivity and ESG challenges being faced by the construction industry. After the successful implementation of its Construction Management Software in various construction job sites, viAct - headquartered in Hong Kong - is now all set to expand its construction management solution to Singapore to help the sector mitigate the grave challenges that it has been facing in the recent times. In this regard, viAct’s Digital Works Supervision System (DWSS) can play a much important role.
viAct’s DWSS system for construction leverages the power of its proprietary scenario-based AI along with computer vision to cater to the various safety, productivity and environmental needs of the industry. Its construction safety solutions are well-trained and tested to detect and automatically alert the stakeholders in real-time of any safety non-compliances taking place in the jobsite, helping them prevent accidents before they take place. Also the AI Monitoring platform provides the construction stakeholders a single platform to integrate data, insights and automation.
Through real-time data analysis and predictive AI, the complex jobsite data is broken down into useful insights that can help stakeholders make better planning and distribution of men, materials and money. This helps the construction firms to stay on schedule, prevent cost overruns, maintain project quality and most importantly boost productivity in construction.
Improve safety standards of your construction jobsite with viAct’s Construction Management Software!
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