Contractors, be more ‘neighbour-friendly’

CLIMATE change is not the only reason why Singapore is taking a serious interest in sustainable development.

The current economic crisis presents a number of challenges – or provides the impetus, some would say – for Singapore’s building industry to not only cut cost but also come up with innovative and green-friendly construction practices.

To get builders to reduce the impact of building works on the community, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will soon be launching the “Green and Considerate Builders Scheme”.

Under this voluntary scheme, builders are encouraged to adopt “considerate” and “neighbour-friendly” work practices.

Speaking at the Singapore Contractors Association annual dinner yesterday, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said “this is increasingly important as the built environment becomes denser, and issues such as noise and disruptions from construction works are now of greater concern to the public and community”.

The BCA, he added, will be rolling out a few initiatives next year to raise the industry’s level of professionalism to ensure that it stays competitive. These include the licensing of builders, continual manpower development and the Construction Registration of Tradesmen Scheme (Coretrade).

Said Mr Mah: “Today the industry is heavily reliant on foreign workers, and the transient nature of such labour makes it difficult to uplift or even retain the skills base. Yet, contractors tell me that crane operators are in short supply even with attractive pay of several thousands of dollars a month.

“With Coretrade, I hope that our construction industry will become more attractive to more local skilled workers.”

Source : Today – 22 Oct 2008

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