Built Environment Living Lab Framework to enable test-bedding of innovative solutions

THE Built Environment Living Lab Framework (BE LLF) has been launched to enable test-bedding of innovative solutions in urban spaces.

This was announced by Tan Kiat How, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and in the Ministry of National Development, who was speaking at International Built Environment Week 2020 on Tuesday.

Through the BE LLF, companies in the built environment and technology sectors will be able to test out fresh, innovative solutions that could benefit the built environment. Proposals can be submitted to the Built Environment Technology Alliance, and good proposals will be test-bedded in living spaces, where possible, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said in a press statement. For proposals which are not allowed under existing regulations, the government will set up a "regulatory sandbox" to help companies through the regulatory clearance processes.

Meanwhile, the BCA, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore have worked together with trade associations and chambers, unions, employers, educational institutions and others to develop the Skills Framework for Built Environment.

The framework offers information about the sector, career pathways, occupations and job roles as well as the skills and competencies needed for each role. In addition, it lists out training programmes available for skills upgrading.

It covers 49 job roles in the built environment sector across eight career tracks, including architectural consultancy and design, engineering consultancy as well as design and quantity surveying.

The framework also singles out 163 existing and emerging technical skills and competencies needed to capitalise on changing technology and industry trends. As such, education and training providers can leverage the framework to create programmes in tune with industry needs.

Pointing out that the pandemic has shown how sectors that depend heavily on foreign workers are vulnerable to disruption, Mr Tan said: "For the construction sector to become more resilient, we need to press on with our industry transformation efforts, and leverage even more innovative technologies to tackle the challenges and disruptions posed in a Covid-19 environment."

Due to the pandemic, construction demand this year is expected to fall S$10 billion short of the S$28-33 billion projected back in January, although it is expected to rebound next year. In his speech, Mr Tan said that almost all construction projects that were suspended during the "circuit breaker" earlier this year have now resumed work.

Hugh Lim, chief executive of BCA, said: "Our firms must continue to embrace new innovations to remain competitive, and deal with challenges posed by Covid-19. As part of our industry transformation efforts for the built environment, we have been placing close attention and focus on ensuring good and meaningful jobs for Singaporeans."

Mr Lim added that the Skills Framework for Built Environment will support efforts to build a skilled and progressive workforce.