Since its inception in 2011 with only four staff, D-Team Engineering has grown into an award-winning enterprise that continually seeks to offer the best products and services to its customers.
The engineering firm’s first project was Resorts World Sentosa Crockfords Hotel, a contract valued at $160,000.
In a little more than seven years, D-Team has not only been awarded with the highest (level 6) recognition in Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration & Ventilation (ACMV) Works by the Building & Construction Authority — it has also since secured major projects worth more than $25 million.
This year, the company added a new accolade under its belt — it received its first Enterprise 50 (E50) Award.
In its 24th year, the E50 Awards recognises the top 50 local and privately held companies across various sectors that have contributed to the economic development in Singapore and abroad.
What is the secret behind D-Team’s continual growth and progress?
Managing director Derek Wu Jin, 48, cites the company’s unique business model, a term rarely used by construction or traditional engineering companies.
Mr Wu explains that diversification is essential in the construction industry. With local markets setting growth limitations, companies have to expand their operating spheres to find both diversity and volume for their businesses.
As such, diversification is needed to protect the business from high market volatility in certain sectors.
As a result, D-Team offers comprehensive services that cater to every stage of project developments — from design needs analyses to commissioning — and constantly seeks to diversify its projects. It has also taken pains to become an industry pioneer in sustainable technology.
The engineering firm has worked on several Green Mark projects for commercial and industrial buildings in Singapore, installing more efficient quality chiller plants to help clients achieve utility bill cost savings of up to 50 per cent.
By 2030, it aims to have its chiller plants contribute to the Government’s national target of greening 80 per cent of building stock.
Among the first
With its technical expertise and resources, it is not hard to see why D-Team is part of the pioneer group of companies in Singapore that offer Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) projects.
Mr Wu explains: “PPVC is a construction method where free-standing volumetric modules are constructed and assembled in an approved fabrication facility before being installed in a building under building works.”
Not only can PPVC potentially achieve manpower and productivity improvements of up to 50 per cent, but it also reduces dust and noise pollution, since more activities are done off-site.
“Our willingness to adopt new technologies and practices help us remain a sustainable and competitive firm in our industry,” he adds.
Its current projects include Parc Botannia at Fernvale, in collaboration with Sing Holdings and Wee Hur Development.
Cultivating strong relationships
Internally, D-Team also recognises the importance of staff development. Mr Wu, who has noticed a lack of good engineers in the industry in the last decade, believes in the importance of nurturing the potential of employees and acknowledging their contributions.
Indeed, D-Team’s technical expertise was pivotal in helping them secure Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 Engineered Smoke Control (ESC) Project in 2014 — a project with a contract value of $15 million.
Says Mr Wu: “We were able to gain the trust of our clients and progress beyond traditional ACMV installations to design ESC systems. ESC projects at a large scale are rare. We approached the problem critically, and consistently produced well-received solutions for our clients.”
He stresses that trust and string relationships are crucial in the construction industry, and are in fact, the foundation that D-Team’s business is built on.
Going above and beyond
In 2015, the firm began providing comprehensive facility maintenance and management services — working on buildings with high technical requirements such as the Biopolis laboratory buildings for A*Star.
Not only does it strive to go beyond the scope of traditional industry demands, but it also excels in working with its clientele that ranges from factories to hospitals.
The firm is also always game to adapt to the changing business landscape, and keen to adopt new technologies and practices to remain sustainable and competitive.
While the construction industry has been less affected by digital transformation compared to other sectors, Mr Wu stresses that “there are digital assistance tools we have been exploring and monitoring, and we will not hesitate to use them to improve our efficiency when they are ready”.
Winning the E50 accolade is just the beginning for D-Team. Says Mr Wu: “We are privileged and honoured, but feel particularly happy for our business partners, as this is more of an acknowledgement to them.
“There are always things to improve on, and we will continue to better ourselves for our customers and partners.”