Government and Industry Collaborate on the Development and Adoption of National Standards for the Exchange of Computer-aided Design Data and Information in the Construction Industry

Under a landmark memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed today, key parties in Singapore's construction industry agreed to jointly develop a set of common standards for restructuring the computer-aided design (CAD) ...

Singapore, 29 September 1998 | For Immediate Release

Under a landmark memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed today, key parties in Singapore's construction industry agreed to jointly develop a set of common standards for restructuring the computer-aided design (CAD) data and information of their building projects and to adopt them as national standards. This will pave the way for quicker and wider exchange of vital electronic information and increase productivity in the construction industry.

The MOU was signed by the chief executives of three statutory boards - Mr Lam Siew Wah of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB); Mr Stephen Yeo of the National Computer Board (NCB); and Mr Lee Suan Hiang of the Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB) - and Mr Edward D'Silva, President of the Singapore Chapter of the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). The IAI consists of a consortium of public agencies and industry vendors including the Housing & Development Board, the Public Works Department and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Signing the MOU as supporters were the presidents of the eight professional bodies representing the Singapore construction industry. The bodies are the Association of Consulting Engineers, Singapore; the Institution of Engineers, Singapore; the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore; the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd; the Singapore Institute of Architects, the Singapore Institute of Building Ltd; the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers; and the Society of Project Managers.

Construction Industry IT Standard for Data Exchange

The MOU marks the intent by the signatories to actively participate in projects to derive a set of common standards for efficient data exchange among the various professionals and businesses in the construction industry, that is, developers, architects, engineering consulting firms and quantity surveyors. Having a set of common standards will reduce the differences in the way firms in the construction industry are currently structuring their CAD data. These differences have created barriers for effective sharing of electronic design data between the firms when they work as partners on a building design project.

The signatories to the MOU also expressed their intent to adopt the national standards upon their completion.

Under the MOU, the project will be co-funded by the sponsors: CIDB, NCB, PSB and IAI (Singapore Chapter). A project steering committee consisting of both sponsors and supporters will be formed to oversee the successful completion of the projects. The project is expected to last approximately 9 to 18 months and will be managed by the NCB.


Under the MOU, the project aims

- to improve the process of data exchange, including the common adoption of standards such as layering convention, the use of symbols and classification of data.

- to achieve greater productivity through standardisation of IT convention for data exchange in order to improve information exchange in the industry.

On the signing of the MOU, Mr Lam Siew Wah, Chief Executive Officer of CIDB, said "IT plays a key role in transforming the construction industry as we enter into the next millennium. The setting up of a national IT standard for information exchange is a concrete step in this transformation process. The industry will be enabled to tap the potential of IT to achieve a higher level of efficiency and productivity."

Commenting on the significance of the MOU, Mr Stephen Yeo, Chief Executive, NCB: "The ability to manage and apply knowledge and information is a core competency for Singapore's knowledge-based economy. The challenge then is for us to organise this knowledge and information in such a way that it becomes meaningful to users. IT serves as a key enabler in this, and the setting up of national standards for information exchange in Singapore's construction industry is a step forward". Mr Lee Suan Hiang, Chief Executive of PSB, said "As the national standards body, PSB works closely with industry to develop standards and promote standardisation as a means to achieve greater productivity and competitiveness. This initiative is an excellent example of a strategic partnership. All parties will reap the benefits of substantial cost savings, reduced errors and greater efficiency throughout the design and procurement stages of the building life-cycle. PSB looks forward to seeing more such industry-led projects on the adoption of national standards."

Jointly issued by the Construction Industry Development Board, National Computer Board and Singapore Productivity and Standards Board on the 29 September 1998.