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How Straits Construction Expects to Reduce Major Reworks by 20%


Founded in 1969, Straits Construction Singapore Pte Ltd has grown to become one of Singapore’s leading construction businesses, with projects spanning across both public and private sectors. Since its inception, it has prided itself on its appetite for innovation.

“From the start, we saw how we could do things better and faster,” says Edmund Leong, Head of Department (HOD), Innovation & Technology Adoption – (BIM / ICT). His team manages technology implementation across the business.

“We are constantly using technology to improve product quality, manufacturing processes, and the skills of our employees,” he says.

Building The Continuum

Straits Construction first started using Autodesk Construction Cloud in late 2020, and since then all new projects have been started using the platform.

The Continuum is one such development. Built across two plots of land straddling a public highway, and with a unique conservation problem thrown in, the project presented a number of challenges.

With projects such as this, it is essential that Straits Construction can provide real-time access to data, models, documents and analytics, says Leong.

“The thing that struck us the most about Autodesk Construction Cloud is its capability as a centralised repository for project information,” he says.

“It allows us to have a traceable single source of truth for the whole project,” he continues.

“Of course, accessibility and automation is also important for us. It’s literally available anywhere, any time, and we are no longer limited by an in-house system.”


Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

The Continuum project has incorporated several Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) methods in its design, including Advanced Precast Concrete Systems (APCS), Prefabricated Bathroom Units (PBU) and Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC), plus Prefabricated Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (PMEP) systems.


In fact, more than 90% of the superstructure structural elements in the project were designed with APCS, and more than 60% of the bathrooms will be prefabricated.


The architectural and engineering design aspects of The Continuum will work around these components as much as possible. Of course, some variations are always going to be necessary. However, thanks to Autodesk Construction Cloud, the manufacturers can be informed of any variations early in the project development cycle, says Leong.


“DfMA means we can prefabricate as much as possible without compromising the creativity of the designers,” he adds. “ We are able to efficiently deliver an aesthetically pleasing and functional project for the developer.”


By incorporating these advanced DfMA designs, Straits Construction can reduce confusion and wastage in the construction phase of the project, which has downstream benefits to both the profitability and sustainability of the overall development.


The conservation challenge

One unique component of the Continuum project was the heritage zone encompassing Thiam Siew House.

This decades-old bungalow has a protection order placed on it, prohibiting damage or alteration to the fabric of the building, including its facade.

Leong explains that the first step for the conservation engineers was to scan the house inside and out, to ensure every detail had been recorded. This scan was then incorporated into the designs for the overall development in Autodesk Construction Cloud.

“Once construction is complete, we’ll scan again to prove to the authorities that nothing has been changed,” says Leong.


Reducing major reworks with Autodesk Construction Cloud

Autodesk Construction Cloud also allows Leong and his colleagues at Straits Construction to make better-informed, data-driven decisions.

“In the past, we’d always tried to create metrics and trends to represent progress using the data,” says Leong. “But we couldn’t get the data as fast as we wanted.”

This is where Autodesk Construction Cloud comes in. Leong says that Straits Construction now has the ability to draw attention to project trends as they are happening, allowing teams and decision makers to take action immediately to remediate issues.

“Autodesk Construction Cloud allows us to bring decision making ‘up front’ in the design and development stage,” says Leong. “It makes your construction cycle more predictable and less costly.”

In fact, Leong says that thanks to speed that information can be accessed in Autodesk Construction Cloud, Straits Construction anticipates at least a 20% reduction in major reworks required on the Continuum project.

Using the Autodesk platform also allows Straits Construction to implement an information freeze on the structural and MEP.

“If you don’t freeze information up front, you have a downstream challenge where fabricators are being crunched on production work,” says Leong.

“By having an information freeze, we dramatically reduce the number of variation orders we need,” he adds.

All this data can be used to benchmark and improve performance for future projects, too, says Leong. Any areas that experience underperformance can then be prioritised for further optimisation, including staff training.

Building for the future

Leong foresees a future where even more data can be incorporated into Autodesk Construction Cloud, and is excited about future applications of that data.

He describes a scenario where QR codes on site will help engineers overlay 3D models onto the as-built environment, allowing them to check progress, plan next steps, and perform quality assurance.

“Using VR and AR allows us to avoid subjectivity,” says Leong.

“This project is still in its early stages of construction, and we are planning to utilise AR tools to help us monitor the actual work done and what's to be built,” explains Leong. “It’s a very exciting future.”

Construction on The Continuum is due to be completed in 2026.