Page 1




July 2020 | MCI (P) 004/03/2020

COVER STORY: Wastewater surveillance to help assess COVID-19 transmission


ENVIRONMENT & WATER ENGINEERING: Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant begins commercial operations HEALTH & SAFETY ENGINEERING: Surbana Jurong acquires blast testing and consultancy firm CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT: Positioning after COVID-19

Have your competency recognised!




16 Wastewater surveillance to help assess COVID-19 transmission The initiative complements clinical testing.



18 Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant begins commercial operations The large-scale, dual-mode desalination plant is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore.


20 Surbana Jurong acquires blast testing and consultancy firm The acquisition will enhance expertise in the protection of buildings and infrastructure.


22 The future of sustainability in the ACI 318 Concrete Building Code Exploring the ways in which structural engineering regulations can be modified to reduce the environmental impacts of concrete buildings.


27 Urban concrete - requisites and remedies Concrete has an important role to play in the rapid urbanisation that is taking place.

20 President Dr Richard Kwok Chief Editor T Bhaskaran t_b_n8@yahoo.com

Publications Manager Desmond Teo desmond@iesnet.org.sg Publications Executive Queek Jiayu jiayu@iesnet.org.sg

Editorial Panel Dr Chandra Segaran Prof Er Meng Joo Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Gary Chiam Dr Victor Sim Mr Syafiq Shahul Dr Alexander Wiegand Media Representative Multimedia Communications (2000) Pte Ltd sales@multimediacomms.sg

Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd Cover designed by Irin Kuah Cover images by National Environment Agency Published by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore 70 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289758 Tel: 6469 5000 I Fax: 6467 1108 Printed in Singapore



32 Creating tall wind turbine towers with 3D-printed concrete bases Three leaders in their respective industry sectors to collaborate.


34 Positioning after COVID-19 The eventual containment of COVID-19 could help stabilise the sector from 2021 onwards.



39 Digital twins assisting Mass Rapid Transit Corporation of Malaysia Leveraging the experience gained earlier to ensure improved outcomes in the current project. 40 High-performance construction chemicals for Italian railway station Redevelopment of the structure, originally built in 1915, presented challenges. 44 An architectural symbol of hospitality Katara Towers, a new luxury hotel complex, is taking shape on Qatar’s coast.




The Singapore Engineer is published monthly by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES). The publication is distributed free-of-charge to IES members and affiliates. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor or IES. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine shall be reproduced, mechanically or electronically, without the prior consent of IES. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy of the content at press time, IES will not be liable for any discrepancies. Unsolicited contributions are welcome but their inclusion in the magazine is at the discretion of the Editor.




GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES SGD 1.36 BILLION CONSTRUCTION SUPPORT PACKAGE A new SGD 1.36 billion Construction Support Package will be extended to firms in the construction sector to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19, so that they can resume work quickly and safely. As the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in Singapore have been migrant workers living in dormitories, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has worked with the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL), the Specialists Trade Alliance of Singapore (STAS) and other trade associations, to develop safe distancing measures specifically for the construction sector, to minimise the risk of another outbreak among these workers. The Government will provide additional funding to help construction companies offset the cost of these sectoral requirements. On 26 May 2020, DPM Heng Swee Keat announced the Fortitude Budget, giving further Government support to help businesses stay afloat and preserve employment for locals as we emerged from the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker. In particular, the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) for local employees in the Built Environment sector (including consultants) was increased to 75% (from the earlier 25%), and Foreign Worker Levy waivers and rebates for the construction sector were extended to up to two months. All construction firms would receive a 100% Foreign Worker Levy waiver and SGD 750 Foreign Worker Levy rebate in June 2020, as well as a 50% Foreign Worker Levy waiver and SGD 375 Foreign Worker Levy rebate in July 2020. At the same time, DPM Heng had announced that the Built Environment sector would receive further government support to co-share costs that will be incurred by firms in order to resume their existing projects safely. Broadly, the Government will do the following: • Extend advance payments for public sector projects beyond May 2020. • Provide support for prolongation costs for public sector projects. • Help companies offset additional compliance costs due to COVID-19, including swabbing tests for construction workers.

CONSTRUCTION SUPPORT PACKAGE Construction Restart Booster A SGD 525.8 million construction restart booster will be made available to help construction firms, which have to incur additional compliance costs unique to the sector in order to resume works safely. This funding will co-share contractors’ costs in procuring additional material/equipment to comply with COVID-Safe 04


Worksite requirements (e.g. additional portable toilets, PPEs, masks, barricades). The funding will be given to construction projects regardless of whether they have restarted or are pending restart, as these compliance costs would eventually be incurred.

Co-funding salaries of Safe Management Officers Contractors are required to deploy Safe Management Officers (SMOs) to ensure that safe management measures are implemented at construction worksites. Even though the SMO position can be taken up by an existing employee rather than a new hire, the Government will set aside SGD 48 million to co-fund 50% of salaries of SMOs who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents for six months from September 2020 to February 2021, provided that the firms adhere to COVID-Safe Worksite practices.

Co-sharing of prolongation costs for public sector projects Government Procurement Entities (GPEs) will co-share the prolongation costs for public sector construction contracts and tenders which closed before 1 June 2020. This will add up to SGD 793 million. GPEs will co-share 50% of the prolongation cost, capped at 1.8% of contract sum. Main contractors for public sector construction projects may submit claims for the following prolongation costs for delays, which are accompanied by certified Extensions of Time (EOTs) due to COVID-19: • Rental of plant and equipment by main contractors and the sub-contractors. • Other project-related costs such as vector control, insurance, etc. BCA believes that in these challenging times, private sector developers should also likewise adopt similar practices to co-share prolongation costs with project contractors.

EXTENSION OF ADVANCE PAYMENTS FOR PUBLIC SECTOR PROJECTS As some construction projects have not fully resumed work yet, the Government will extend advance payments to firms working on public sector projects. Main contractors of public sector projects were earlier granted advance payments for the months of April and May 2020. GPEs will now extend advance payments up to the point when the projects have obtained approval to restart, subject to a total advance payment cap of 5% of the project’s awarded contract sum or SGD 10 M, whichever is lower. Main contractors will be required to


pass on a portion of the advance payments to their subcontractors within two weeks of receiving the payment certificate from GPEs.

EXTENSION OF GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES FOR COVID-19 TESTS As part of BCA’s COVID-Safe Workforce criteria, employers should ensure that their employees undergo periodic swab tests to safeguard the health and safety of their employees as required. This includes all construction work permit holders and S Pass holders (except for those working in company office premises) and Singapore Citizens/ Permanent Residents/ Employment Pass holders working on construction sites. Personnel living outside dormitories (e.g. HDB/PRP), or dormitories which have been cleared by Inter-Agency Taskforce (ITF) can continue to work while waiting for swab test arrangements by BCA.

The Government had earlier announced that it would pay for the periodic swab tests for construction work permit holders and S-pass holders, up to August 2020. The Government will now continue to bear the costs of COVID-19 testing for the construction sector until 31 March 2021, to help ensure a safe restart of the construction sector.

FOREIGN WORKER LEVY REBATES In addition to the support measures outlined above, construction firms will also be eligible for Foreign Worker Levy rebates of SGD 90 per month for each work permit holder, from August 2020 to December 2021. BCA has been working and will continue to work closely with the industry and its partners such as SCAL, STAS and REDAS to streamline processes and information to help the construction sector restart safely.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON THE CONSTRUCTION SUPPORT PACKAGE Question: What are the items that may be claimed under the support for prolongation costs? Answer: Generally, this covers non-manpower operating expenses incurred due to delays arising from (i) the Circuit Breaker and Controlled Restart, and (ii) the loss of productivity in compliance with the COVID-Safe requirements. Details will be announced in a separate industry circular. Q: The co-sharing of prolongation costs only applies to public sector construction projects. Will the private sector construction projects be provided with similar support? A: BCA is working with the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) to encourage developers undertaking private sector projects to lend their support and offer similar support. Q: Will consultants be eligible to claim for prolongation costs due to the Circuit Breaker / Controlled Restart? A: No. However, we recognise that Consultants will incur additional costs as well, which is why the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) previously announced covers consultants. Q: Are clients, consultants, RTOs and REs eligible for the swab tests cost support?

A: The Government will fund the cost of swab tests for construction projects until 31 March 2021. The above-mentioned personnel are eligible for the swab tests cost support. Q: In order to qualify for the SMO wage support scheme, does the SMO need to be a new hire or can he/she be an existing staff? A: The supportable SMO can be a new hire or an existing staff, provided that he/she fulfils the qualifying criteria. Q: Why doesn’t the SMO wage support scheme cover the period from June to August 2020? Why does the SMO wage support scheme only commence in September 2020? A: The Government is already providing the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) to support manpower costs from June to August 2020. As such, the SMO wage support will commence thereafter. Q: On SMO wage support, is there a support cap on number of eligible employees within a company? A: There is a support cap of one SMO for each construction project as per COVID-Safe Worksite requirements. For example, a company with five project sites can receive suport for 5 SMOs. These SMOs must meet the qualifying criteria.




ALL RENOVATION PROJECTS TO RESUME DEPENDING ON AVAILABILITY OF WORKERS As at mid-June 2020, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) had approved applications to resume work on more than 19,000 suspended home renovation projects. Applications that were in order were processed within two days. From 15 June 2020, BCA has allowed new home renovation works as well as new and previously suspended renovation works for non-residential premises (e.g. industrial and commercial premises) to begin. Companies are expected to submit applications to BCA at https://go.gov.sg/bca-reno-construction-accounts if they employ Construction Work Permit and S Pass Holders, and if these workers were not listed in earlier approved applications to restart suspended residential renovation works. The resumption of renovation works will also be dependent on the companies’ ability to obtain manpower and supplies. Homeowners are advised to check with the companies on their manpower and supply availability. Companies performing renovation works must comply with BCA’s COVID-Safe Workforce and COVID-Safe Worker Accommodation and Transport criteria, as well as Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Safe Management Measures at workplaces. MOM’s advisory on Safe Management Measures is available at https://www. mom.gov.sg/covid-19/requirements-for-safe-management-measures.

Safe restart of construction projects Besides renovation work, BCA has approved more than 300 construction projects to resume work. BCA is working closely with construction firms on another 250 projects to help them meet the COVID-Safe Restart requirements, so that their projects can resume work safely. This is necessary to prevent another COVID-19 outbreak among construction workers, who account for the majority of COVID-19 cases in Singapore.

Partnering the industry for safe restart of construction works As the one-stop shopfront for all matters relating to construction restarts, BCA has been working in partnership with the relevant Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) to develop safe restart guidelines. The Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) has consulted its member firms extensively in putting together a comprehensive set of guidelines. SCAL has also developed a standard design template for new Construction Temporary Quarters to provide safe onsite accommodation for 06


their construction workers. The SCAL Academy has joined the BCA Academy in conducting training courses for Safe Management Officers (SMOs). Separately, the Micro Builders Association of Singapore (MBAS) has developed a set of COVID-Safe worksite practices for landed housing projects, which form the bulk of the projects that its members undertake. MBAS will also be guiding their members through the restart application process and COVID-Safe criteria, to enable them to resume work quickly but safely. In addition, BCA has been working with the TACs to address feedback, and facilitate information sharing with their members, the wider industry and the public. For example, webinars co-organised by BCA and the TACs, in June, reached out to over 11,000 participants from the construction industry.

Self-check tool One key outcome of these joint efforts is a self-check tool that has been launched to help companies assess their readiness for restart. The self-check tool (https://go.gov. sg/bca-project-readiness) enables a company to assess whether its project can meet the three COVID-Safe Restart Criteria: • COVID-Safe Worker Accommodation and Transport. • COVID-Safe Workforce. • COVID-Safe Worksite. Based on the self-assessment, companies which are ready for restart will receive an email with a link for them to apply for approval to resume works. Companies can email bca_construction_restart@bca.gov.sg if they require assistance with the self-check tool.

Getting ready for restart Upon receiving approval from BCA, construction workers residing in private residential properties and HDB premises can start work. Workers residing in dormitories (whether Purpose Built Dorms, Factory Converted Dorms, or Construction Temporary Quarters) will only be able to work after their dormitories have been cleared. All construction workers who are Work Permit or S Pass holders, will subsequently need to undergo regular COVID-19 testing after they start work. BCA will assist companies with scheduling these tests. For the latest updates from BCA, companies can visit BCA’s COVID-19 webpage (www1.bca.gov.sg/COVID-19) or subscribe to BCA’s channel on the Telegram app (t.me/ BCASingapore).



AT THE EUROPEAN RENTAL AWARDS Manitou Group, a leader in material handling, access platforms, and earthmoving, won the ‘Technical Committee Award’ at the European Rental Awards 2020’. This award recognises the group for its work in the rental market and its commitment to meeting the needs of this sector, while following the recommendations of ERA (European Rental Association). Organised every year by ERA and media company, KHL Group, the European Rental Awards honour the best equipment manufacturers for their products, services, and global approach towards equipment renters. During a ‘connected’ ceremony held virtually, due to COVID-19, the jury, represented by 19 major European rental companies, awarded prizes in six categories. Of the 20 man-

ufacturers selected, Manitou Group won the ‘ERA Technical Committee Award’ for its global approach to meeting the expectations of the major rental companies. The jury acknowledged Manitou Group’s partnership with ERA since its creation, and its focus on safety and environmental issues. Alain Becque, Vice President Global Fleet Sales Manitou Group, said, “We are very proud to receive this award. It represents great recognition from the major rental actors in Europe. We have always worked closely with our many rental customers to offer solutions that are fully in line with their expectations. Innovating while reducing their TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is always our objective. This award is not the end goal, it is just a source of additional motivation to always meet the needs of a sector with very strong potential”.




BENTLEY SYSTEMS’ ACCELERATION FUND LAUNCHES THE COHESIVE COMPANIES Bentley Systems Incorporated, a leading global provider of comprehensive software and digital twins services for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, recently announced that its Acceleration Fund has launched The Cohesive Companies, a wholly owned subsidiary, anchored by the acquisition of Atlanta-based Cohesive Solutions. The new business venture will include the services team from Bentley’s AssetWise business and the offerings of Bentley, Cohesive, and IBM’s Maximo to support the digital transformation of infrastructure owner-operators. The Cohesive Companies will act as a digital integrator to help infrastructure asset owners upgrade their enterprise environments to leverage digital twins - digital representations and simulations of a physical asset, synchronising digital context (current existing conditions), digital components (engineering content), and digital chronology (lifecycle change management). Infrastructure digital twins can empower asset operators with immersive visualisation and analytics visibility to predict and optimise performance. Cohesive Solutions is the largest North American reseller of IBM’s Maximo enterprise asset management (EAM) software. With a successful track record of delivering integrated EAM solutions for owner-operators in utilities, energy, and facilities sectors, Cohesive Solutions’ domain expertise and consulting capabilities can now be extended to advance EAM to infrastructure digital twins. As digital integrators for infrastructure asset performance, The Cohesive Companies’ unique charter is the convergence, through digital twin cloud services, of digital engineering models (ET), with IT and OT, for infrastructure and facilities assets. Asset performance digital twins can provide continuous operational insights, enhanced through machine learning, for reliability, efficiency, compliance, safety, resilience and decision support to adaptively sustain and advance fitness for purpose. Noah Eckhouse, SVP Bentley Systems, and CEO, The Cohesive Companies, said, “Infrastructure asset owners know their success in going digital is based on both technology as well as experienced and dedicated resources for change management. I am excited to fully meet the opportunity for asset performance digital twins with Bentley Acceleration Fund’s substantial commitment to this digital integrator venture. Building on Cohesive Solutions’ 25-year history while launching Cohesive Asset Performance with a large team of seasoned Bentley AssetWise consultants, The Cohesive Companies have hit the ground running, ready to drive change and deliver positive outcomes”. George Lowry, President, Cohesive Solutions, said, “The Bentley Acceleration Fund’s digital integrator initiative for advancing infrastructure - by combining world-class 08


software with best practices in consulting, in going digital for asset performance - completes the reach of our mission, from the start, at Cohesive Solutions. Our founders are delighted to now extend our scope, as a long-standing IBM Business Partner, to include advancing Maximo with Bentley’s digital twin cloud services”. Pierre de Wet, GM and VP, Cohesive Asset Performance, said, “The formation of The Cohesive Companies, as digital integrators, created an opportunity to bring my global team of AssetWise services professionals into the mix, with a specific focus on asset information, performance, reliability, and analytics. I am excited to join Noah and George to broaden our digital integrator capabilities and to offer a deeper range of services for AssetWise”. Terrence O’Hanlon, Founder and Chairman, Reliabilityweb.com and producer of MaximoWorld, said, “Cohesive Solutions builds upon a long history of success and expertise around IBM Maximo Enterprise Asset Management implementations, with a track record of improving asset performance. The combined solutions that will now be uniquely offered by The Cohesive Companies - adding AssetWise and digital twin cloud services to Maximo EAM expertise - hit it out of the park for owner-operators to realise critical organisational objectives”.

The Cohesive Companies A digital integrator investment of Bentley Systems’ Acceleration Fund, The Cohesive Companies provides consulting and cloud services to help infrastructure asset owner-operators advance their EAM (enterprise asset management) and ALIM (asset lifecycle information management) environments to infrastructure asset performance digital twins. Combining domain expertise in EAM and ALIM, The Cohesive Companies’ unique charter is the convergence, through digital twin cloud services, of digital engineering models (ET), with IT and OT, for infrastructure and facilities assets. The Cohesive Companies comprise Cohesive Solutions (the largest North American reseller of IBM’s Maximo EAM software) and Cohesive Asset Performance.

Bentley Systems’ Acceleration Fund Bentley Systems’ Acceleration Fund was founded in 2020 to invest in new and incremental participants in open ecosystems to advance infrastructure digital twins. The Bentley Systems Acceleration Fund is chartered to accelerate the creation and curation of digital twins, and to foster technologies and innovations so enabled, by nurturing new ventures, making minority investments, and acquiring and expanding digital integrators.



DIGITAL PROPERTY LIFECYCLE PLATFORM Lendlease has launched a digital property lifecycle platform, known as Podium, aimed at simplifying the interdependencies in the built world. The new platform includes innovative new products and services that will be used by Lendlease and will also be offered as-a-service to the broader industry to provide better clarity across the lifecycle of a project. With Google Cloud as its primary cloud partner, Podium capitalises on data available across the property and construction sector, allowing it to create a streamlined, digitised supply chain. This means smarter investments, bigger savings and improved risk management. Google Cloud’s data analytics capabilities will also support Podium’s ability to connect insights from past projects and across the lifecycle of a development - linking visions, plans and programmes to results, realities and efficiencies - to simplify interdependencies and improve decision-making.

Bill Ruh, CEO, Lendlease Digital said, “We are excited to spearhead the industry’s shift into the digital economy. The next phase of innovation in the built environment sector is centred around autonomous buildings, which is characterised by the use of artificial intelligence to automate building in a more holistic way. Digitisation is a key enabler of autonomous buildings and will therefore unlock both the economic and sustainable ambitions of the industry”. Tony Lombardo, CEO Asia, Lendlease added, “A consolidated digital platform such as Podium will provide insights and clarity unlike anything the property and construction industry has seen before. Digitisation is the transformation that will deliver the improvements in safety, productivity and efficiency that the industry has been trying to achieve, and I look forward to Podium contributing to the success of our Asia projects”.




THAMES WATER SELECTS BLACK & VEATCH FOR THREE FRAMEWORK ROLES Black & Veatch has been awarded three new frameworks for Thames Water, the UK’s largest water utility. The new roles span the lifecycle of Thames’ water and wastewater treatment and below ground infrastructure systems, from asset and system modelling studies and developing project briefs through to design and infrastructure engineering service delivery. At a minimum, the frameworks will run for the duration of AMP7, the current regulatory review period, from 2020 to 2025, and potentially extend through AMP8, from 2025 to 2030. Black & Veatch has secured roles as a Delivery Partner on both the Asset Management Framework and the Project Management and Assurance Framework, and as the engineering strategic partner to Galliford Try on Thames’ Lot 1 and 2 area-wide Design and Build Frameworks. “Black & Veatch has supported Thames since its inception in 1989, and we are delighted to be playing a significant part in the next chapter of the utility’s evolution”, commented Scott Aitken, Executive Managing Director of Black & Veatch Europe.

The broad scope of our Thames AMP7 work shows confidence in that ability. We will be delivering a potent blend of traditional engineering, scientific and technical services as well as leading-edge digital and data support through offerings like our Helix Digital Twin as part of our ECO-X cloud-based digital ecosystem”, said Mr Aitken. Thames Water is UK’s largest water and wastewater services provider. The utility serves 15 million customers in London, the Thames Valley and southeast England.

Black & Veatch Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure.

“A major part of AMP7 will be about optimising the performance and enhancing the resilience of Thames Water’s assets to meet changing customer and environmental demands. Our Black & Veatch professionals have already helped design, integrate and commission many of these assets and systems. That asset knowledge - alongside our digital water capabilities, tools and processes - allows our professionals to collaborate with Thames Water to meet the utility’s business, sustainability and customer service goals”, he added. The Asset Management Framework role will engage Black & Veatch’s engineers, scientists and technical professionals early in the infrastructure lifecycle, helping to define technical solutions and give early structure to the projects that will deliver those solutions. The Project Management and Assurance Framework support falls within the next phase of the capital programme, and is about drawing out value through developing, refining and testing those solutions, and turning them into ‘shovel-ready’ projects for handover to design-and-build teams. Black & Veatch will utilise its industry leading ECO-X cloud-based digital and data ecosystem on both frameworks to maximise value and efficiency opportunities for Thames Water. The Lot 1 and 2 framework roles cover engineering services to realise both newbuild and capital enhancement projects on the ground. “One of the things that sets us apart is the ability to add value at every point of the infrastructure lifecycle. 10


The AMP 7 frameworks extend Black & Veatch’s support across some of Thames Water's most iconic sites.



NEW STRUCTURES LEADER IN THAILAND Recognising the vibrant nature of the Thailand built environment market, Aurecon, an international engineering, design and advisory company, has appointed Dr Praween Chusilp as Practice Leader, Structures. Over the past decade, Aurecon has been partnering with Dr Praween Chusilp developers in Thailand to bring smart and innovative buildings to life, such as the Rosewood Bangkok Hotel and King Power Mahanakhon. Designed by internationally renowned architects in eye-catching typologies, these developments are equipped with value-added services and amenities, such as smart sensors and shared kitchens, that increasingly come as standard to attract domestic and foreign investors.

Dr Praween holds a Doctor of Engineering (Structural Engineering) degree from Nagoya University in Japan and served as a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University in Japan, from 2002 to 2004. He joins Aurecon from Meinhardt Thailand where he was Associate Director.

Aurecon in Thailand Aurecon has worked on a range of buildings and infrastructure projects in Thailand. Iconic projects the company has delivered in the country include, besides the Rosewood Bangkok Hotel and King Power Mahanakhon, also the MRTA Purple Line. Aurecon has also supported infrastructure development in the region, particularly road and rail systems, and renewable energy, combining the latest technologies with human-centred design to deliver future-ready developments.

“Thai developers have a strong global reputation for quality and innovative design that attracts discerning investors, which will serve them well in the long-term. Dr Praween brings an innovation mindset and a unique blend of local and international experience with complex designs and new technologies. In this regard, Dr Praween is a perfect fit for our team as he shares our desire to help our clients bring their boldest designs to life”, said Sakorn Kruemai, Managing Director of Aurecon in Thailand. Dr Praween has more than 16 years of experience in structural engineering and operations management, encompassing a broad spectrum of structures, including super tall buildings, precast buildings, factories and petrochemical plants. Specialising in earthquake engineering, Dr Praween has delivered a large number of projects in Asia, including one of the tallest buildings in Thailand and a large mixed-use development in Bangkok’s Central Business District, Dusit Central Park. In his role as Structures Practice Leader, Dr Praween will work closely with clients in Thailand to create smart engineering solutions and play a key role in collaborating with Aurecon’s global experts to bring best-in-class expertise to support the clients’ projects in Thailand. He will also be responsible for leading capability development within the practice, nurturing the next generation of structural engineers for Aurecon in Thailand. “I am excited to join Aurecon, as I share Aurecon’s passion for innovative design and thinking. I look forward to working with clients to make a positive and tangible impact on their businesses. As engineers, I believe our insights would be invaluable in helping them maximise value throughout their asset’s entire lifespan and address challenges in creating smart and sustainable buildings of the future”, said Dr Praween. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



CARBONCURE JOINS WORLD CEMENT ASSOCIATION The World Cement Association recently announced that Canadian cleantech company CarbonCure has joined its international community as an Associate Corporate Member. The firm’s technology delivers improved production efficiencies and reduced-carbon concrete. “It has been clear for some time that only by deploying new and innovative technologies will the cement and concrete industries be able to achieve their decarbonisation goals, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement”, said Ian Riley, CEO at WCA.

New technologies under development aim to reduce 100 kg of CO2 per cubic metre while creating new production cost efficiencies and eliminating plant water and solid wastes. CarbonCure’s technology is installed in nearly 250 concrete plants across North America and Southeast Asia, producing more than 4.2 million m3 of concrete for a wide range of construction projects, from airports and roads to high-rise towers.

“CarbonCure’s technology helps ready mix concrete producers become more efficient through innovative carbon usage technology. I believe WCA members around the world will find this interesting in their own sustainability efforts, so we are especially pleased to be welcoming them as a member”, he added.

“We are on a mission to reduce 500 megatonnes of CO2 emissions annually, and expanding our international network of partners and collaborators is central to helping us achieve that goal. The WCA’s worldwide membership and strong focus on climate change really resonated with us, so they are a great fit for our business and we really look forward to working with them in the future”, said Robert Niven, Founder and CEO of CarbonCure.

CarbonCure injects waste carbon dioxide (CO2) captured by industrial gas suppliers into concrete during mixing, enabling the production of stronger, more sustainable concrete. Every cubic metre of concrete made with this technology reduces an average of 17 kg of carbon emissions, meaning an average high-rise built with CarbonCure concrete would save approximately 680 t of CO₂ emissions.

WCA’s Associate Corporate Membership is designed for companies which support the cement industry, such as equipment manufacturers, construction materials producers, traders, shippers and technology providers. Through this membership, WCA invites companies to be part of its network and together improve industry standards worldwide.

Report on the GGBFS market released ‘Global Ground Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag (GGBFS) Market Growth 2020-2025’ comprises all the fundamental data with respect to the market and includes a broad examination of industry portions. While examining the global GGBFS market, the current flows and patterns, industry development drivers, market shares, sales volumes, informative diagrams, supply and demand, and numerous different aspects were taken into consideration. The report provides an insight into the general business along with the market measurements and assessment for the period 2020 to 2025. The report comprises essential and auxiliary information including commitments from leading players in the market. A basic view of the information and strategies is also given for business administrators. The report also focuses on calculable data, subjective data sets, and assessment of the general market situation and future possibilities. A bit of knowledge and drivers, difficulties and fortuity are highlighted for understanding the current patterns inside the global GGBFS market. Deep insights and statistical details are provided in terms of demand and supply, cost structure, barriers and challenges, product type, key market players, technology, regions, and applications.



The market is further segregated, based on the key vendors, industry vertical, product category, and different regions. In terms of value, the industry is expected to register a steady CAGR during the forecast period. The report includes the assessment of sales, price, revenue, and market share for each of the top manufacturers including ArcelorMittal, Jiangsu Shagang Group, Nippon Steel, POSCO, Hesteel Group, China Baowu Steel Group, Nucor Corporation, JFE Steel, Hyundai Steel, Tata Steel, Ansteel Group, Shougang Group, Gerdau, US Steel and NLMK Group. The report provides a comprehensive quantitative analysis of the industry for the period 2020-2025 to assist stakeholders to maximise on market opportunities. An exclusive analysis of the factors that drive and restrict the market growth is provided in the report. An extensive analysis of the key segments of the industry helps in understanding the trends across regions. The full report may be accessed via https://www. marketandresearch.biz/report/129411/globalground-granulated-blast-furnace-slag-ggbfs-marketgrowth-2020-2025.



ASPHALT RESEARCH PROJECT US-based Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has released the results from its New End Market Opportunities (NEMO) for Film Asphalt Project in partnership with the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT). Extensive testing showed that a new asphalt formulation using recycled polyethylene (rPE) film recovered from retail locations could achieve many of the same benefits of traditional polymer-modified asphalt formulations, including improved performance, decreased cost, and increased lifespan of asphalt. PLASTICS partnered with NCAT to conduct tests using federal and state transportation standards - a necessary step before large-scale implementation across the US. “PLASTICS is proud to have worked with NCAT, and all of our project partners, to produce the most comprehensive set of data on the effects of rPE in asphalt. We are making our research publicly available in an open-source

format. The entire plastics industry is working to demonstrate the application of recycled material”, said Tony Radoszewski, President and CEO, PLASTICS. Research shows that even in small amounts, rPE could improve properties such as stiffness and resistance, without cracking due to low temperature or fatigue. With the right blend of rPE and a reactive co-polymer additive, new asphalt formulations match styrene-butadiene-styrene block copolymer (SBS) at less cost. “As a leading institute for asphalt research, NCAT was well equipped to work with our plastics industry partners to develop new formulations that can use recycled plastics. This not only creates a new and important end market opportunity but lays important groundwork for further testing around improving the lifespan and performance of roadways using recycled feedstocks - creating an environmental win-win for the asphalt industry”, said Dr Fan Yin, Assistant Research Professor, NCAT.

NATURE OF BUSINESS Facilitators Network Singapore provides professional facilitation training and services for effective corporate retreats, strategic planning, group decisionmaking, board meetings, stakeholder focus group consultation and engagement. Discount Offer: Facilitators Network Singapore offers IES members a 20% discount off the published fees till 30 June 2021 for the following workshops which will be extremely relevant for Engineers and Managers: VFW: Virtual Facilitation Workshop™ Learn the secrets to better communicate with others through effective virtual meetings and conference calls. FiT: SPOTlight on Facilitation in Training Workshop™ Transform your Training & Teaching to a highly participatory learner-centric retentive experience. M3: SIMDUSTRY® Managing 3 The first board simulation worldwide to perfectly integrate the 3 crucial success factors of management in one simulation: • People Management • Financial Management • Strategic Management

You become managers of competing companies striving for developing the most successful & reputable firm and learn management techniques in the process. The discount also applies for in-company customised workshops for members’ companies.

FACILITATORS NETWORK SINGAPORE PTE LTD 62 Ubi Road 1, #07-26, Oxley BizHub 2, Singapore 408734 Tel: +65 6444 5642 Mobile: +65 9833 3515 / 9383 4228 Email: admin@fns.sg Website: www.fns.sg





DIGITAL EDGE Singapore’s vision for the future requires digitallyskilled mechanical engineers to transform its key industry sectors. At the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), this future has already begun – with the integration of mixed reality into its applied learning approach to mould the next generation of mechanical engineers. A degree for the disruptive age Mechanical engineering has been an important enabler of Singapore’s growth for more than five decades. But in an age of technological disruptions, yesterday’s competence is not enough to fuel tomorrow’s competitiveness. Recognising this shift, SIT introduced the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechanical Engineering, a joint degree programme with the University of Glasgow (UofG), in 2019. The three-year programme is designed to not just equip students with a strong foundation



in mechanical engineering, but train them in digital skills that are in demand across today’s industries. This focus on digital gives students a distinct advantage to meet the demand for professional competencies in disruptive digital technologies in industry sectors including industrial automation, robotics, smart manufacturing, maritime and healthcare.


All undergraduates of the programme will acquire digital fluency in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), data analytics and digital designs through project-based multidisciplinary learning integrated with industrial immersion. In addition, they can choose from two specialisation tracks – Design or Mechatronics. The design specialisation focuses on concepts of digital manufacturing and design; while the mechatronics specialisation has an emphasis on IIoT employed in automation, robotics, unmanned systems and co-bot design. Global perspectives suited for local context In-depth understanding of challenges unique to Singapore and appreciation of global trends – these traits are highly sought-after by today’s employers. With the rapidly evolving business landscape, it is a challenge for any student to meet such expectations. But with SIT’s collaborative applied learning approach, it is all possible. By co-developing and co-teaching the curricula with UofG, a reputed global leader in engineering education, SIT puts its students in touch with the latest advancements and issues related to mechanical engineering around the world. In addition, the joint degree programme requires students to complete an Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP) in Glasgow, UK. The threeweek experience encompasses a group project and industrial site visits, giving students valuable exposure to industry best practices beyond Singapore’s borders. Applied learning at its best Anchored upon SIT’s unique pedagogy of applied learning, the degree programme includes the university’s signature Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP). Over an eight-month period, Mechanical Engineering students will be immersed in projects with companies based on their specialisation, apply theoretical knowledge in workplace settings and create solutions for real world engineering challenges. Undergraduates will benefit immensely from SIT’s solid collaborations with the industry – a pivotal component of the IWSP’s success. Beyond the opportunity to develop deep specialist skills, students can also expand their professional network and gain opportunities to move on to full-time employment after their graduation. Mixed reality gets real A distinctive feature of the degree programme is the use of mixed reality software, specifically holograms, to facilitate inductive learning in design engineering.

Mechanical Engineering undergraduates will gain hands-on experience in using the Microsoft HoloLens to translate their 2D CAD designs into holographic parts of assembly testing. They can efficiently explore design options and iterations with this highly interactive and transformative technology without the need for multiple prototyping. According to students, this immersive media has allowed them to “better map out concepts” and “practise assembling of parts without the need for physical prototypes”. Work-learn continuum For SIT, learning begins, not ceases, at graduation. This is especially true for a field like mechanical engineering that is continually shaped by new technologies. To prime students to innovate in the face of disruptive changes, SIT inculcates the mindset of lifelong learning in its students throughout their course. The emphasis on a work-learn continuum has produced students who constantly learn, unlearn and relearn. With SIT’s Mechanical Engineering degree, students will not just emerge as workers in engineering but work-ready drivers of change capable of creating positive impact for our society. This sponsored feature on engineering education was brought to you by SIT. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020




COVID-19 TRANSMISSION The initiative complements clinical testing. The National Environment Agency (NEA) has initiated a pilot surveillance programme to screen wastewater samples for SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus for COVID-19. The amount of viral material in wastewater from a community could reveal the level of COVID-19 spread in the community, and trigger the necessary response plans and mitigation actions, such as individual testing and isolation. Supported by National Water Agency PUB and Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), the novel approach has complemented the Inter-Agency Task Force’s efforts in assessing the situation and reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in the workers’ dormitories. Led by the Ministry of Manpower and comprising the Ministry of Health, the Singapore Armed Forces and the Home Team, the Inter-Agency Task Force has been set up to support foreign workers and dormitory operators in managing COVID-19.

Gleaning information from wastewater Wastewater surveillance is a promising method for assessing the COVID-19 situation, as infected individuals, including those with mild or no symptoms, could shed the virus in their stool. Since February 2020, scientists from NEA’s Environmental Health Institute (EHI), with scientific inputs from Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) and the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and the National University of Singapore, have developed a methodology for wastewater sampling and testing for COVID-19. With support from PUB and HTX, the team has been sampling wastewater from the Water Reclamation Plants (WRP) and workers’ dormitories. In the laboratory, a sensitive molecular assay is used to screen the samples and quantify the genetic material of the virus. Results from the testing of the wastewater from the WRPs showed that the level of COVID-19 viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) was not detected when there were 160 COVID-19 cases reported nation-wide as at 9 March 2020. However, the RNA levels became detectable in late March 2020, which correlated with the increase in cases detected in foreign workers’ dormitories. This demonstrated the usefulness of wastewater surveillance as a monitoring tool for SARS-CoV-2. 16


“Several reports overseas have shown that wastewater testing at treatment plants could be useful for early detection of COVID-19 transmission in the community. However, at low level transmission, wastewater surveillance at the treatment plant appears to be less sensitive than clinical surveillance of cases in Singapore. This is likely due to our intensive clinical testing regime. Monitoring is ongoing to determine the trending of the concentration of viral material at the WRPs, and the relationship between the viral material concentration and prevalence of COVID-19 in Singapore”, explained Assoc Prof Ng Lee Ching, Director of NEA’s Environmental Health Institute. Detection of viral material or RNA in the wastewater does not suggest the presence of viable or infectious virus. Without a host, the virus will not be able to propagate over time in wastewater. As an added preventive measure, wastewater from locations with COVID-19 cases, such as hospitals, isolation facilities and dormitories, are disinfected with chlorine at the premises before discharge into the public sewers. Disinfectants like chlorine can effectively inactivate the viruses.

Wastewater testing to support dedicated efforts at workers’ dormitories Testing of wastewater to assess the situation of COVID-19 in a community or geographical population catchment is not new. However, NEA’s EHI has brought the science of wastewater testing further by using it to support the Inter-Agency Task Force’s dedicated efforts in monitoring and management of COVID-19 transmission among workers in dormitories. The pilot programme involves monitoring wastewater in the manholes outside 20 large dormitories to provide an additional indicator that complements the clinical tests to assess the COVID-19 situation and guide the progressive clearance of the dormitories. In the pilot programme, for dormitories with no detected COVID-19 cases, a zero reading for SARS-CoV-2 material in the wastewater provided the added assurance that they remain free from infection and the workers can therefore be allowed to leave the dormitories for work. On the other hand, viral material was detected in the wastewater of some dormitories, and this prompted more swab tests for workers in these dormitories, leading to more detections and isolation of cases, including asymptomatic ones. This facilitated a more targeted swabbing strategy and contributed to the mitigation of further transmission of the virus.


Autosampler equipment is used to collect wastewater samples from manholes outside workers’ dormitories.

The trial results at the dormitories also show that the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 material in wastewater is related to the prevalence of COVID-19 in the dormitories. The team has thus far demonstrated the utility of wastewater testing as a warning system for the presence of the COVID-19 cases, and that the trending of SARS-CoV-2 concentration over time can determine if infection control measures taken have been effective. Wastewater samples can also capture information on a cross-section of the community, which allows for the monitoring of large groups. If positive signals are detected from wastewater at a particular site, clinical testing for COVID-19 can be carried out for the affected community, allowing screening for COVID-19 to be performed in a more targeted manner. Although the approach has been useful in detecting COVID-19 cases, more research is needed to understand the sensitivity of the method in detecting early or a small number of cases. Despite its potential, the use of wastewater surveillance to detect COVID-19 spread is still in its early stages. NEA is working to ramp up its capacity to expand sampling to more wastewater nodes, which would improve the ability to pick up transmission.

In the laboratory, a sensitive molecular assay is used to screen the samples and quantify the genetic material of the virus.

All images by National Environment Agency THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020




BEGINS COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS The large-scale, dual-mode desalination plant is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore. Singapore’s fourth desalination plant, the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant (KMEDP), has commenced commercial operations with effect from 29 June 2020. KMEDP is operated by Marina East Water Pte Ltd (Marina East Water), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd (Keppel Infrastructure).

KMEDP’s location in Marina East gives it the ability to treat either seawater or freshwater drawn from the Marina Reservoir, depending on the prevailing weather conditions. This will strengthen Singapore’s water supply

Under the Design, Build, Own and Operate (DBOO) arrangement with PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, Marina East Water will undertake plant operations for a 25-year concession period from 2020 to 2045. KMEDP - Singapore’s first large-scale, dual-mode desalination plant - is capable of producing 137,000 m3 (about 30 million gallons) of fresh drinking water per day. KMEDP is the second water plant developed and operated by Keppel under the DBOO arrangement, the first being the Keppel Seghers Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant.

The innovative design of the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant integrates the plant with surrounding greenery, making it an iconic and beautiful piece of architecture that the public can enjoy. This is made possible by locating the treatment facility underground. 18



resilience in the face of increasingly dry weather conditions caused by climate change. In dry weather, KMEDP will draw water from the sea to produce desalinated water. When it rains, the plant will utilise rainwater collected in the reservoir to produce potable water, which requires less energy and fewer steps in the treatment process, compared to desalination. Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive, PUB, said, “Seawater desalination is one of Singapore’s ‘four national taps’. Unlike the other three taps - imports, rainfall and recycled water - it is a practically limitless source. The ocean is almost infinite. It is also weather-resistant and always available, rain or shine, as a source of life-giving water. The availability of desalination makes Singapore’s water supply immensely resilient. And the KMEDP coming online further strengthens Singapore’s water security”. “The plant’s completion is also eagerly awaited because it is such a special facility - a dual-purpose desalination plant in the middle of our city, integrated with parkland, accessible to the public, and a beautiful piece of architecture. I am certain it will become as iconic and as loved as the nearby Marina Barrage”, he added. Dr Ong Tiong Guan, CEO of Keppel Infrastructure, said, “We are pleased to have commenced operations for the iconic KMEDP. As a provider of solutions for sustainable urbanisation, Keppel is proud to support PUB in securing Singapore’s water supply. KMEDP will also contribute to the group’s recurring income stream, bolstering our ability to create long-term value for stakeholders”. “Completing the final lap of testing and commissioning during the COVID-19 pandemic brought about some inevitable challenges, due to the reduced manpower. The commencement of operations is testament to Keppel’s Can-Do spirit and resilience, as we worked closely with PUB and our contractors to overcome these challenges and deliver a successful project”, he added. The plant is set against the stunning backdrop of Singapore’s Central Business District skyline, along the cyclist-friendly Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network that bridges the recreational spaces of East Coast Park and Gardens by the Bay East. It also incorporates environment-friendly elements within its landscaping such as rainwater harvesting ponds and stormwater management systems, to retain rainwater for reuse in irrigation and the facility’s water features. In October 2019, KMEDP became the first industrial plant in Singapore to be awarded the ABC Waters Certification (Gold) by PUB in recognition of its outstanding design features and exceptional Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) standards. PUB’s ABC Waters Certification Scheme, launched in 2010, recognises developers who incorporate ABC Waters design features in their developments. The Gold category is the highest obtainable accolade, awarded to projects with outstanding designs and elements such as community space, water features,

greenery, and sustainable water management systems integrated within them. The plant was recognised for its sleek, modern design that breaks away from those of conventional water treatment plants and is the first industrial plant to achieve such seamless integration with the surrounding greenery. It innovatively achieves multiple land uses by locating treatment facilities underground, which can be seen via a private viewing gallery. This frees up nearly 20,000 m2 of open green rooftop space for community activity and recreation. This green roof also reduces the urban heat island effect.

Development works for water supply scheme in Ghana Biwater has commenced the Development Works for the Tamale Water Supply Scheme, a key step towards increasing the delivery of drinking water to the people in the Northern Region of Ghana. In 2019, Biwater signed a USD 272 million contract with the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) which represents the Ministry of Sanitation and Water, and the Government of the Republic of Ghana, to construct and expand the water supply infrastructure in Tamale. The project’s Development Works will include geotechnical and topographical surveys, environmental and social impact assessments, and detailed designs for the water treatment plant process structures. John Terry, Biwater’s Contract Manager for Africa, said, “Biwater is on-track to deliver this important phase of the project, and we are pleased to be working with the Ghana Water Company Limited to provide increased potable water supplies for the residents of the Northern Region”. The scope of works for this scheme includes the design, construction and commissioning of a new 135,000 m3/per day water treatment plant at Yapei, with pumps and transmission pipelines, reservoirs, pumping stations, new District Revenue Offices, staff accommodation, dedicated power lines, and the implementation of a water asset management programme. In addition to this, at the request of GWCL, Biwater is currently scoping the works required to provide potable water to Damongo and its environs, together with the communities along the route of the treated water pipeline. This will expand the water distribution network from the Yapei water treatment plant, thereby allowing GWCL to serve new consumers with a supply of potable water.





BLAST TESTING AND CONSULTANCY FIRM The acquisition will contribute towards greater protection and security of buildings and infrastructure. Surbana Jurong, a global multidisciplinary urban, infrastructure and managed services consultancy has acquired Prostruct Consulting, a leading urban and infrastructure protection firm specialising in security, blast consultancy and testing. This move augments Surbana Jurong’s portfolio of built environment services, which includes solutions to protect buildings and infrastructure against blast and other effects of explosions and weapons.

enables Prostruct to leverage the group’s global presence and multidisciplinary services across the urban and infrastructure development value chain, and extend our reach beyond the Singapore market. Since the acquisition, Prostruct has secured new projects jointly with other disciplines and member companies within the Surbana Jurong Group”.

Iconic buildings and infrastructure that attract high crowd density or provide essential services are common targets for terrorist attacks. This underscores the need to incorporate protective security features into the design and development of the built environment. With Prostruct’s specialisation in designing blast-resistant structural systems, Surbana Jurong Group can couple it with its existing architectural and civil and structural engineering expertise, and deliver building designs with integrated security measures. The process, dubbed Security by Design, ensures that security measures are effectively incorporated into the building without compromising the design of the building or requiring expensive retrofitting during the later stages of the development life cycle. The newly acquired specialist capability is timely for the group as the Singapore government has enacted an Infrastructure Protection Act that requires designated buildings to integrate security measures, such as strengthening against blast effects, into their designs before they are built or renovated. These designs must be assessed by certified security and blast consultants. Prostruct Consulting has provided blast consultancy for a wide range of projects including industrial, commercial, healthcare, recreation, transportation and defence facilities in the public and private sectors. It is a commercial blast testing service provider accredited by Singapore Accreditation Council, and has conducted blast tests to assess the blast resistance of building structures such as door systems and protective structures.

A blast-resistant roller shutter.

Mr Wong Heang Fine, Group Chief Executive Officer of Surbana Jurong said, “Prostruct’s expertise in blast consultancy complements the group’s civil and structural engineering capability and security services, allowing us to safeguard urban and infrastructure projects globally. The combined strengths reinforce Surbana Jurong’s commitment to build safe, secure and sustainable spaces for communities to live, work and play in”. Dr Ang Choon Keat, Founder and Managing Director of Prostruct Consulting, said, “Joining Surbana Jurong 20


Blast-resistant roller shutter specimen after the detonation test.


INNOVATIONS BY PROSTRUCT CONSULTING Blast-resistant roller shutters The blast-resistant roller shutter is designed such that the panels of the shutter do not detach and are able to withstand the enormous blast pressure and heat from an explosion. Using such shutters prevents fragments from panels flying and causing more injury during an explosion. The shutters are easy to operate and can be retrofitted to existing buildings without excessive structural works.

Fibre Reinforced Polymer material to strengthen structures Prostruct has partnered Nanyang Technological University and JTC to develop a type of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) material that is ready-to-stick and can be easily applied onto building structures to reinforce and protect them. This innovation is especially useful for the repair and rehabilitation of ageing infrastructure and buildings. Blast tests conducted by Prostruct have demonstrated that the FRP material is suitable for strengthening any structure against blasts. Besides halving the time and effort needed for installation, prefabricating this FRP material in the factory ensures consistency in quality as conditions can be better controlled.

A brick wall without FRP is shattered after a blast test.

Blast tests on brick walls protected with FRP material showed that the structures can withstand blasts.

Crash bollards Crash bollards protect the perimeters of buildings as they can withstand high impact from heavy vehicles. Crash tests and simulations of the performance of a crash bollard system have proven the resistance of the bollards against vehicles crashing into them. All images by Prostruct Consulting.

Installation of FRP material to protect a wall.

Crash bollards can resist the impact of vehicles. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ACI 318 CONCRETE BUILDING CODE by Andrew W Taylor and Shana T Kelley, KPFF Consulting Engineers, USA Traditionally, structural building codes have been viewed as pertaining only to the regulation of structural engineering practice, without particular regard for the impacts of building design and construction on the environment. With the recent increase in attention to the sustainability of manufactured building materials, building construction, and building demolition, the writers of building codes and standards have started to examine all aspects of the building design process, looking for ways to reduce environmental impacts, particularly the emission of carbon dioxide. One may naturally ask how structural building codes, which deal primarily with regulations for the proper application of engineering principles to achieve adequate strength, stiffness, and serviceability of buildings, can be expected to address environmental concerns. Upon closer examination of structural building codes, however, it can be understood that structural codes can be written in such a way that they support and promote sustainable building practices. This article explores the ways in which structural engineering regulations can be modified to reduce the environmental impacts of concrete buildings. The focus of this article is the American Concrete Institute’s ‘ACI 318: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete’, but the ideas explored here can be applied to any building code that regulates the structural design of concrete buildings. INTRODUCTION Before the last decade, structural engineers were seldom involved in consideration of the environmental impacts of the structures they designed. In recent years, however, this has changed. Many of the reasons that the environment is adversely affected by the creation of a new building are related to the production, transportation, and assembly of structural materials and components. It stands to reason, then, that the structural engineer should be an active participant in the movement towards creating building projects that are less detrimental to the environment. Until very recently, structural building codes - the regulations that ensure the strength, stiffness, and serviceability of a structure - have had little or nothing to say about environmental concerns. Structural codes have been almost exclusively concerned with public safety, while the environmental impacts of building construction have been the subject of other codes, guidelines and sustainability rating systems. Major structural design codes have, however, started to address environmental aspects of construction. An important example is the fib Model Code for Concrete Structures 2010 [1]. In section 3.4 ‘Performance Requirements for Sustainability’ of the fib model code, the general principles of design for sustainability are outlined, and performance categories related to environmental impact and to impact on society are listed. Section 3.4 presents a brief, innovative framework for consideration of sustainability in structural design. This effort will be 22


expanded in the next edition of the 2020 fib model code (MC2020). The current proposed outline of MC2020 includes Section 3 ‘Sustainability Perspective’, Section 28 ‘Evaluation of Environmental Performance’, and Section 30 ‘Sustainability Evaluation’. MC2020 will adopt a holistic plan for building life cycle performance, including initial design for sustainability, through-life management and care, assessment of environmental performance, and eventual dismantlement and reuse. Sustainability considerations were first introduced in the 2014 edition of the American Concrete Institute building code, ACI 318-14 [2]. Although these provisions essentially consist of a statement expressing the desirability of considering sustainability in structural design, this represented a modest start on the path towards creating more comprehensive sustainability provisions. The same provisions on sustainability appear in ACI 318-19 [3], but these were supplemented by new rules permitting the use of alternative cementitious materials and recycled aggregates. Looking forward, plans are underway to create an ACI 318 subcommittee charged with writing expanded sustainability provisions for the 2025 edition of the ACI 318 code. In this article, we describe why sustainability should be considered in the design of reinforced concrete structures, we outline the initiatives that the American Concrete Institute (ACI) has undertaken to address the challenges of sustainable structural design, and we provide information on recent plans to expand sustainability provisions in future editions of the ACI 318 code.


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION The effects of concrete construction on the environment have been well documented, particularly the production of carbon dioxide (CO2) during the manufacture of hydraulic Portland cement. Other sources of CO2 associated with concrete construction include the mining and transportation of coarse and fine aggregates, and the production, transportation, and placement of the concrete itself. The creation of CO2 is particularly concerning because anthropogenic CO2 is a major contributor to the accumulation of greenhouse gases, which lead to global warming. Figure 1 illustrates that over the last six decades there has been a 28% increase in atmospheric CO2. Because this trend shows no signs of abating, it is imperative to identify methods to reduce the production of atmospheric CO2.

Figure 1: Atmospheric CO2 Concentration 1959 to 2016 (Le QuĂŠrĂŠ et al, 2016 [4]).

Estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources in the United States rank cement manufacturing among the top producers of industrial greenhouse gases. Figure 2 shows nine industries with the highest output of greenhouse gases in the United States. Oil and gas production, followed by chemical manufacturing are the two highest producers, while cement manufacturing is the eighth. Looking at these same statistics for US greenhouse gas emissions in a different way, the total US greenhouse gas production in 2002 was 7,065 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MMTCO2E), as shown in Figure 3. Of this total, industrial sources were responsible for 29%, or 2,047 MMTCO2E. The portion of these industrial sources that was the result of cement production was 4%, or 82 MMTCO2E. Thus, about 1.2% (82/7065) of the greenhouse gases produced by the US in 2002 was caused by the manufacturing of cement.

Figure 2: United States Industrial Sectors With Highest Greenhouse Gas Emissions (ACI 130R-19, 2019 [5] based on data from U.S. EPA, 2008 [6]).

Figure 3: 2002 United States Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008 [6]). THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



Overall, the global production of greenhouse gases from the manufacturing of cement is even higher than in the US. In a recent report, ACI Committee 130 (Sustainability in Concrete Construction) stated “A 2016 study of the global carbon budget estimated that cement production accounts for 5.6 percent of anthropogenic CO2 released globally” [5]. Thus, about one-twentieth of all greenhouse gases released annually into the atmosphere are caused by the production of cement alone. The proportion would be even higher if the greenhouse gases associated with mining and transportation of materials were included in the total.

SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES AT THE AMERICAN CONCRETE INSTITUTE In recent years, ACI has sought to address the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a range of initiatives and publications. These include more than 40 standards and guides containing information on sustainability in concrete construction; over 60 journal articles related to sustainability; 200 practice-oriented papers and articles on sustainable design and construction methods; more than 100 online learning tools; and sponsorship or co-sponsorship of over 25 events that have supported the advancement of sustainability in concrete design and construction. ACI formed Innovation Task Group 10 (ITG-10) which, in 2019, published two important reports that provide guidance on the characteristics and implementation of alternative cements (i.e. alternatives to Portland cement) - Report on Alternative Cements [7], and Practitioner’s Guide for Alternative Cements [8]. These reports present practical approaches to incorporating alternative cements in concrete mixtures, as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by production of Portland cement. It should be noted that a recent addition to the ACI 318-19 building code [3], Section, provides increased flexibility to engineers and contractors for incorporation of alternative cements in concrete construction. Technical committee AC! 130 - Sustainability of Concrete is very active in pursuing solutions for reducing the environmental impact of concrete. The committee has over 100 voting and associate members, and maintains the following eight subcommittees: • Materials • Production/Transportation/Construction • Structures in Service • Rating Systems/Sustainability Tools • Design/Specifications/Codes/Regulations • Education • Climate Change Impacts on the Sustainability of Concrete • Liaison Subcommittee This year, Committee 130 published ‘Report on the Role of Materials in Sustainable Concrete Construction’ [5] which provides comprehensive background on sustainability topics, and describes available practices for design, production, and construction that reduce the environmental impacts of concrete. 24


WHAT DIFFERENCE CAN STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS MAKE? With the recent increase in attention to the sustainability of manufactured building materials, building construction, and building demolition, the writers of building codes and standards have started to examine all aspects of the building design process, looking for ways to reduce environmental impacts, particularly the emission of CO2. One may naturally ask how structural building codes, which deal primarily with regulations for the proper application of engineering principles to achieve adequate strength, stiffness, and serviceability of buildings, can be expected to address environmental concerns. Upon closer examination of structural building codes, however, it can be understood that structural codes can be written in such a way that they support and promote sustainable building practices. Among the actions that structural engineers and structural building code writers can take to improve the sustainability of concrete construction are the following.

Alternative cements Structural engineers can specify concrete mixtures that incorporate cementitious materials other than Portland cement. The recent report by ACI Committee 130 provides an excellent overview of the science and applications of alternative cementitious materials [5].

Recycled aggregate Engineers can make use of recycled coarse aggregates whenever feasible. Caution must be exercised in correctly matching the type of recycled aggregate to the performance requirements of the concrete, but recycled aggregates are found increasingly in both structural and non-structural applications. The ACI 318-19 building code [3] contains new provisions that encourage the use of recycled aggregates.

Time period to achieve specified strength Engineers can consider specifying a time period longer than 28 days (say 42 or 56 days) to achieve the specified concrete strength. This can enable the use of reduced amounts of Portland cement, or alternative cementitious materials that gain strength at a slower rate than Portland cement. In some applications a 28 day period, or even a period as short as 7 days, is specified for the concrete to reach a target strength. Such requirements are often necessary to achieve construction efficiencies, but they may result in the use of more cementitious material than is required for structural strength. In other applications, allowing a longer period of time to reach the target strength would have little or no impact on the construction schedule, and would permit a reduction in the quantity of cement used.

Minimise concrete volume An obvious way to reduce the usage of Portland cement on a project is to reduce the total volume of concrete required. Designing structural members with the minimum


possible volume of concrete will result in the minimum weight of cement used, with corresponding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In some construction markets, where the cost of labour is high relative to the cost of materials, it may be most economical to design oversized structural members that take advantage of labour efficiencies while sacrificing materials efficiency. When environmental considerations take precedence, however, it may become necessary to sacrifice certain labour efficiencies as a way to achieve minimal consumption of materials.

Table – Specifications for cementitious materials Cementitious material


Portland cement


Blended hydraulic cements

ASTM C595, excluding Type IS (≥70)and Type IT (S≥70)

Expansive hydraulic cement


Hydraulic cement

ASTM C1157

Fly ash and natural pozzolan


Participate in codes and standards development

Slag cement


The structural engineer can play an active role in the drafting of structural design standards that promote sustainable design and construction with concrete. Engineers should play a leading role in the development of codes and standards because engineers have the practical experience that enables them to identify design processes and materials that will lead to more sustainable applications of concrete construction. Engineers can, in fact, develop not only new design approaches and materials specifications, but also suggest new areas of research that can reduce the environmental impacts of concrete.

Silica fume

ASTM C1240

EXISTING SUSTAINABILITY PROVISIONS IN ACI 318-14 As was mentioned previously, the first provisions related to sustainability appeared in the 2014 edition of the ACI 318 building code [2]. Section 4.9 of ACI 318-14 simply states that engineers may take sustainability considerations into account when designing concrete structures. Section 4.9 goes on to stipulate that considerations related to safety must take precedence over considerations of sustainability. While this provision represents a modest start to the inclusion of sustainability provisions in the ACI 318 code, it created a placeholder that would lead to further development of sustainability provisions in future editions of the code.

NEW SUSTAINABILITY PROVISIONS IN ACI 318-19 In addition to the general principles of Section 4.9, the 2019 edition of the ACI Code [3] (published in June 2019) contains additional sections that provide engineers with tools for sustainable design.

Cementitious materials defined by ASTM Section lists specific cementitious materials that are permitted in concrete construction. These are defined by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Table lists the names of permitted cementitious materials, and the corresponding ASTM standard that defines each material.

Alternative cements Section allows, within limits, the use of alternative cementitious materials, i.e. materials not listed

Figure 4: Table reproduced from ACI 318-19.

in Table These alternative materials are permitted only if approved by both the licensed engineer and the building official. Furthermore, “Approval shall be based on test data documenting that the proposed concrete mixture made with the alternative cement meets the performance requirements for the application including structural, fire, and durability”. In other words, an alternative cementitious material may be used if sufficient test data is available to demonstrate adequate structural and non-structural performance, and if this performance meets with the satisfaction of both the structural engineer and the building official.

Recycled aggregates In addition, in Chapter 2, the commentary language related to the definition of the term ‘aggregate’ has been revised to include a discussion of recycled aggregate “The use of recycled aggregate is addressed in the Code in 2019. The definition of recycled materials in ASTM C33 [the US material standard for concrete aggregates] is very broad and is likely to include materials that would not be expected to meet the intent of the provisions of this Code for use in structural concrete. Use of recycled aggregates including crushed hydraulic-cement concrete in structural concrete requires additional precautions. See”.

Section states the following: “(c) Crushed hydraulic-cement concrete or recycled aggregates shall be permitted if approved by the licensed design professional and the building official based on documentation that demonstrates compliance with (1) and (2). (1) Concrete incorporating the specific aggregate proposed for the Work [the project] has been demonstrated to provide the mechanical properties and durability required in structural design. (2) A testing program to verify aggregate consistency and a quality control program to achieve consistency of properties of the concrete are conducted throughout the duration of the project”. These provisions - Sections,, and - create a framework within which the THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



engineer can assess and incorporate alternative cements and recycled aggregates into the design of concrete structures.

THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY IN ACI 318-25 Looking forward, a new technical subcommittee of the ACI 318-25 building code has been created specifically to draft expanded provisions related to sustainable concrete design and construction - Subcommittee N, Sustainability. This is the first ACI 318 building code technical subcommittee dedicated exclusively to writing provisions to support and promote sustainable design and construction practices. In addition to the sustainability provisions already in ACI 318-19, the 2025 edition of the ACI 318 code may address the following topics:

Alternative cements Additional provisions related to the use of alternative cements may be written. The objective of these provisions would be to facilitate the use of alternative cements as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacture of Portland cement.

Minimise concrete volume Provisions encouraging the design of optimised, compact, concrete elements may be developed. These provisions would promote minimisation of the total volume of concrete used for a project, possibly with the consequence of slightly reduced construction efficiency in some cases. For example, a series of members that might normally be constructed with the same dimensions might be re-designed to consist of a series of members with a range of structurally optimised sizes.

Voluntary reporting of EPD or GWP Guidelines for voluntary reporting of the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) or Global Warming Potential (GWP) of concrete mixtures may be included. Knowledge of the EPD and GWP permits designers and contractors to select concrete mixtures with reduced environmental impacts.

Time period to achieve specified strength Provisions that encourage consideration of a period of time longer than 28 days to establish the acceptability of in situ concrete strength (e.g. 42 or 56 days) may be included. By permitting concrete a longer time to reach the required design strength, it is sometimes possible to reduce the cement content of the concrete mixture.

Recycled aggregates More detailed provisions may be developed to support the use of recycled and non-traditional aggregates.

The influence of durability requirements on cement content A review will be conducted of existing requirements for 26


the durability of concrete subject to various adverse exposures. Some exposure categories require a minimum concrete strength, which may raise the cement content of the concrete above what is necessary for structural strength. It may be possible to allow alternative means of protecting concrete from adverse environments without resorting to increasing the cement content.

CONCLUSIONS In this article, we have presented a brief summary of the impacts of concrete construction, particularly cement production, on greenhouse gas emissions. We have also summarised the current state of sustainability provisions in the American Concrete Institute building codes ACI 318-14 and ACI 318-19. In the 2025 edition of the ACI 318 code, there will be additional provisions related to sustainability, with the objective of making it easier for designers to implement sustainable engineering practices and for building officials to approve projects that incorporate sustainable features. A technical subcommittee of the ACI 318 code committee has been formed specifically to address these issues - Subcommittee N, Sustainability. Over the next six years, this subcommittee will be working with researchers, practitioners, and other ACI 318 technical subcommittees to develop code provisions that will enable sustainable practices in the design and construction of concrete structures. REFERENCES [1] Fédération Internationale du Béton (fib), Model Code for Concrete Structures 2010, Lausanne, Switzerland (2013). [2] American Concrete Institute (ACI), Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI 318-14) and Commentary (ACI 318R-14), Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA (2014). [3] American Concrete Institute (ACI), Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI 318-19) and Commentary (ACI 318R-19), Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA (2019). [4] Le Quéré, Corinne, et al, ‘Global Carbon Budget 2016’, Earth System Science Data, Vol 8, pp 605-649 (2016). [5] ACI Committee 130, Report on the Role of Materials in Sustainable Concrete Construction, ACI 130R-19, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA (2019). [6] US Environmental Protection Agency, 2008, ‘Greenhouse Report’, Washington DC, USA. https://archive.epa.gov/sectors/ web/pdf/greenhouse-report.pdf (accessed June 30, 2019). [7] ACI Innovation Task Group ITG-10, Report on Alternative Cements, ACI ITG-10.1R-18, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA (2018). [8] ACI Innovation Task Group ITG-10, Practitioner’s Guide for Alternative Cements, ACI ITG-10R-18, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA (2018). (This article is based on a Keynote Paper authored by Andrew W Taylor and Shana T Kelley, KPFF Consulting Engineers, USA, and presented at the 44th Conference on ‘Our World in Concrete & Structures’ held in Singapore, from 29 to 30 August 2019. The conference was organised by CI-Premier Pte Ltd).


URBAN CONCRETE - REQUISITES AND REMEDIES by Shivram B Bagade, Regional Business Development Manager, BASF South East Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore The current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to a recent United Nations report, with roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year. We are witnessing rapid urbanisation and there will be major relocation of populations to urban areas in the near future. Urbanisation brings with it a lot of challenges, with a thrust on basic needs such as food supply, transport, utilities, shelter and infrastructure. With shelter and infrastructure being among the basic requirements, construction industry professionals need to be innovative in meeting this increasing demand, and in this process, concrete plays an important role. The concrete industry, by and large, is still ‘hand-crafted’ and depends heavily on manual work and on-site construction, which leads to large amount of material wastage and workforce inefficiency. Hence, we must look at newer, energy-efficient, environment-friendly materials and technologies that minimise skill inputs and deliver faster results at affordable prices. The swift shift in the dynamics of concrete, in recent years, has posed a lot of challenges for concrete technologists and concrete professionals across the globe. In the process of making modern concrete, one needs to pay greater attention not only to aspects such as the mix design but also to its performance with respect to handling, pumping, placing, finishing and curing. Durability and sustainability are the buzz words in the world of modern concrete. Durability is at the forefront in the making of modern concrete. Hence, it is essential to have better know-how on concrete-making materials, such that one can extract the best potential from these ingredients. For obvious reasons, concrete has been different in the past and is in the present, and will be in the future. Emerging trends in construction and construction practices, such as the use of alternative aggregates, demand a holistic approach by various stakeholders in the construction industry for successfully specifying and making urban concrete. Poor rheology, stickiness, workability retention, pumpability and placement of modern concrete are some of major pain points which need immediate attention. Advancements in concrete technology due to newly developed materials, such as chemical admixtures, have assisted in improving the properties of concrete and address most of the above-mentioned pain points. This article will set out to explain the requisites for making urban concrete and the remedies for overcoming challenges in this effort. INTRODUCTION Infrastructural development, urbanisation and demographic changes are some of megatrends globally and they will bring with them enormous challenges in the immediate future. Whilst an estimated population of 11.2 billion by 2100 on Planet Earth is seen as a challenge by most of us, on the other hand, this can also be considered as an opportunity for many sectors such as agriculture, construction, electronics, finance, and so on. Seventy percent of the world’s population is expected to

stay in cities. This will create a demand for more smart megacities. Currently, America and Asia have the most megacities and it is interesting to note that by 2100, Asia and Africa will have the most megacities, as we estimate 80% of world’s population will be based in Asia and Africa. The future megacities are expected to be much larger and smarter than the current megacities. Infrastructure is one of the important elements of the economy, for a community or country to function competitively and to improve the standard of living of THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



its people. It comprises the basic framework; facilities; water, sewerage, transport, power and communications networks; and buildings. There are enormous renovation needs in developed countries. However, in emerging markets, infrastructure and urbanisation are essential for reaching the essential goals. Another reason for a surge in infrastructure spending that encourages urbanisation is the intention of political leaders to boost economic prospects in as many regions as possible and underpin growth through job creation. It is time now for construction professionals to align themselves with emerging technologies and make use of advancements in building materials, construction equipment and construction methods, to address the needs of affordable housing; well-functioning infrastructure for water, traffic, energy, sanitation and waste treatment; environmental protection; smart and green cities; efficient modes of transport; and so on. The construction industry is the pivotal element in infrastructure development. Due to the high demand for infrastructure, the industry needs more resources such as manpower, materials and machinery, and on the other hand, the construction industry is facing a scarcity of resources. Resource efficiency is and will be a challenge for the construction fraternity. The construction sector is playing an essential role as a solution provider that will address these challenges. Construction is the second largest industry, next only to agriculture, in most of the developing countries. The construction industry in developing countries has been a labour-intensive industry, although changes in favour of modernisation and automation are now discernible in certain fields. Ready-mixed concrete is one such field. Cement is an intermediate product in construction, as it requires further processing to get the end product - that is concrete. As per the latest statistics, 1 m3 of concrete is consumed per person per annum. In construction, concrete plays a vital role and in concrete, admixtures play a vital role. Concrete is the second most-used material in the world, next to water. In civil construction, which could be as old as human civilisation, over the years, concrete has emerged as a versatile construction material. Today, with modern infrastructure demanding good construction practices, it is rather difficult to imagine any infrastructure development that does not use or require concrete.

CHALLENGES FOR THE READY-MIX INDUSTRY Modern infrastructural concrete is very different and demanding compared to the concrete produced and placed in the past. Cast-in-situ concrete is almost replaced by ready-mix concrete. Despite several technological advancements in the field of ready-mix, the ready-mix business is still a diverse and demanding sector with its own requirements and challenges. Ready-mix operations are always local, with key factors such as financial resources and transportation playing a central role in decision making. 28


In essence, we can classify the challenges into three categories: • Operational challenges • Supply Chain challenges • Technical Challenges Strength, durability and placeability are at the forefront of the challenges faced by ready-mix concrete producers, along with the need for concrete that is aesthetically pleasing, more sustainable and safer to use. Hence, there is need for technologically advanced concrete admixtures for the ready-mix industry, that meet industry codes and meet or exceed the demands of challenging construction applications and adverse placement conditions. Project delays can be extremely costly, which is why we complement our product offerings with one-on-one customer support. Through our technical and site support services, we work to anticipate and overcome challenges before they occur, by selecting the appropriate custom-based product solution for increased production efficiency and speed of construction. One of the wishes in the wish list of ready-mix producers is to have the right admixture partner who has a broadbased range of product solutions which can provide added value, to increase the service life of concrete, speed of construction and environmental efficiency, as well as liquid colouring products for aesthetically pleasing architectural concrete.

INNOVATIVE ADMIXTURE TECHNOLGIES Today, in the field of concrete technology, there is a revolutionary shift, resulting in the ability to achieve any property of concrete (green or grey), without much difficulty. This has been aided by developments in the field of construction chemicals, especially admixtures. More than 35 years ago, Mr V M Malhotra had said, “There have been very few major developments in concrete technology in recent years. The concept of air entrainment in the 1940s was one; it revolutionised concrete technology in North America. It is believed that the development of superplasticisers is another major breakthrough which will have a significant effect on the production and use of concrete, in years to come”. The prediction on superplasticisers has proven to be correct. Ready-mix concrete is characterised by a great number and variety of different mix designs, utilising different types of fillers, cements and binders, as well as complying with the increasing trend towards more performance- and durability-based concrete specifications. At the same time, ready-mix producers must maintain their profitability in the face of rising material, labour and equipment costs. As a result, producers are optimising their production and logistics costs. Innovative admixture systems, from Master Builders Solutions of BASF, support these goals by providing the capability of delivering high quality concrete at any time to the job site. This new concept facilitates the production of concrete with both


Process Step

Admixture Solutions for:


1. Higher Usage of Manufactured Sand 2. More Sustainable Concrete Mixtures


3. Faster Mixing Times 4. Production of Ultra High Strength


5. Improved Slump Retention


6. Reduction of Concrete Stickiness 7. Easier & Faster Placement of Concrete


8. Faster Early Strength Development

Hardened Properties

9. Reduction in Shrinkage and Cracking 10. Replacement of Steel Reinforcing

Table 1: Urban concrete challenges addressed using innovative admixture.

concrete applications where long transportation times are typically encountered, under severe conditions like hot weather or difficult aggregate or cement conditions. We decided to apply SP-SRP in a 30 MPa strength class concrete, where the designed slump upon delivery to site is 10 cm - 14 cm. In this case, SP-SRP enables the RMC station to adjust initial slump at the batching station to the designed slump at delivery. The perfectly flat performance of SP-SRP ensures that, no matter when the concrete arrives at the site (as long as it is within 2 hours), the specification is matched. Retarded naphthalene-based superplasticisers, however, cannot be treated that way. Due to the severe slump loss, the batching plant would have to adjust to a slump higher than the specification requires, with consequences for the mix proportion. Furthermore, due to the slope of the slump loss curve, the actual slump delivered on site is dependent on the actual transportation time, which makes it challenging to hit a tight specification like in the example given, and re-tempering at the jobsite eventually has to occur.

Precast applications SuperPlasticiser-High Early Strength (SP-HES) molecules are rapidly adsorbed on the surface of the cement grains and act through electrostatic and steric repulsion to powerfully disperse the individual particles of cement. The molecular structure of PolyCarboxylate Ether (PCE) polymers is essential for the early development of strength. With conventional PCE superplasticisers, the molecules cover the entire surface of the cement grain and build a barrier against contact with water. Therefore, the hydration process takes place slowly. The unique, proprietary molecular structure of SP-HES exposes a larger surface area of the cement grains to react with water. Therefore, it is possible to obtain earlier development of the heat of hydration, faster development of the hydration products and, as a consequence, higher strengths at a very early age. This advantage can even be utilised at low temperatures. Figure 1: Building blocks used in PolyCarboxylate Ether (PCE) superplasticiser technology.

extended workability and a low water/cement ratio. Cost savings in production may be realised through mix design optimisations for cement types and aggregate composition. As a result, these technologies enable ready-mix producers to optimise inventory, facilitate logistics and reduce investments in tanks and dispenser equipment and thus also decrease maintenance costs.

ADVANCEMENTS IN CONCRETE ADMIXTURES Extended workability retention As shown in Figure 1c), SuperPlasticiser-Super Retaining Polymer (SP-SRP) contains a large amount of building block A, responsible for workability retention. Hence, the composition should qualify this admixture for ready-mix

The unique mechanism of this new polymer technology allows it to be adsorbed into the cement without inhibiting the hydration of the cement. Thanks to this technology, SP-HES exhibits 10% - 20% higher early strength development than traditional technology while providing good slump retention. The composition of SP-HES indicates that the performance would be useful in precast applications, where workability retention requirement is often only for less than 1 hour, due to the batching plant being in the proximity of the precast yard. In fact, SP-HES provides sufficient slump retention in the actual application under hot climate conditions. Applying SP-HES in a high slump concrete, leads to a slump loss not greater than 4 cm after 1 hour, even at 35ยบ C ambient temperature. The slump retention of conventional PCE admixture, on the contrary, is only for approximately 20 minutes. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



With the slump life extended, one would anticipate early strength to be inferior in the case of SP-HES. However, SP-HES shows not only equal early strength compared with conventional PCE, but after 28 days at standard curing conditions, the strength exceeds the benchmark by 12%. It is noteworthy that, due to the chemical nature of the mechanism of the new admixtures, its effect is quite dependent on the cement composition. Apparently, even though the early strength development can differ significantly, it is always improved, and differences are levelled out at later ages, where a strength increase of up to 15% can be expected, compared to the conventional PCE admixture. The mechanism behind the difference in strength development, which is dependent upon the cement composition, is currently under investigation and remains unclear at this point of time.

Concrete rheology enhancement In the case of urban concrete, given the expected service life of structures, authorities and consultants specify a stringent durability requirement. In the process of making urban concrete, one needs to pay greater attention not only to aspects such as the mix design but also to its performance with respect to handling, pumping, placing, finishing and curing. Durability and sustainability are the buzz words in modern concrete world. Durability is at the forefront in the making of urban concrete. To achieve the desired durability requirements, concrete technologists must make use of higher amounts of supplementary cementitious materials, ingredients like micro silica become essential, and lower water content in concrete mixes is mandatory. Such concretes with lower water and higher powder create enormous challenges in batching and mixing of concrete. Longer mixing times reduce the operational efficiency and the concrete stickiness will be a major issue during pumping, placing and finishing of concrete. The concrete technologist has limited options to reduce the stickiness of mixes given the lower water-binder ratio and higher binder contents which are essential to achieve the desired durability parameters. This creates a demand for a solution to minimise the stickiness and hence concrete rheology is one of the important parameters when it comes to making urban concrete. Aided by advancements in polymer science and innovation, scientists have developed a new generation of polymers, that is characterised by the ability to significantly improve the rheological properties of concrete. Urban concrete mixes often demonstrate a higher viscosity due to their low water contents. Although having a high level of workability, the concrete often appears harsh, sticky and therefore difficult to pump and process. This is especially true for engineering concrete with low water/cement ratios optimised 30


towards having a low environmental impact. To overcome these challenges, BASF has developed MasterEase, a new admixture range developed for low-viscosity concrete, With the new technology, plastic viscosity can be reduced by up to 30%, which results in a substantial reduction of pumping pressure required to pump the concrete at the construction site. Placing and finishing of the concrete is much easier, faster and hence more economical than using standard concrete. The ease is experienced in terms of mixing, pumping, placing, levelling and finishing of concrete. Concrete producers and users benefit in many ways from the new technology, which is flexible and adaptable, to produce concrete with improved workability retention. It can adapted to challenging situations such as those with temperature variations. Moreover, the high level of rheology and workability retention minimises jobsite addition of water. This is a real added value for the contractors in terms of concrete durability. The concrete is easy to place, trowel and pump. Utilising this concrete saves time and cost in every single construction project. It improves the utilisation of the transportation fleet and equipment and reduces the wear of mixers, pumps and pipelines. In addition, the possibility to reduce mixing water even further without impacting the concrete rheology, opens new possibilities for improvement in concrete mix designs. Less water in concrete mixes implies higher performance and better durability. The new technology is particularly suitable for concrete mixes which are optimised for advanced engineering properties and sustainability. High strength concrete with low water/cement ratios, as well as mixes with higher levels of secondary cementitious materials, reduce the CO2 footprint and are easier to produce and place. This helps engineers and investors to improve sustainability ratings of their projects.

Concrete strength enhancement Given the fluctuations in concrete-making materials and the concreting practices, achieving the desired concrete strength today is a new challenge. Inferior concrete workability at the time of placing encourages the workforce to add water, which in turn reduces the concrete strength. Inconsistency in concrete-making ingredients and variations in the materials, from batch to batch, is a major pain point for concrete professionals. Switching from natural/river sand to alternative ingredients such as crushed rock fines/manufactured sand can impact concrete strength, if appropriate changes in concrete mix design are not adopted. Urban concrete and its durability requirements will demand higher replacement by supplementary cementitious materials. Not only due to the higher proportion of supplementary cementitious materials but also to accommodate the inconsistency of these materials, concrete professionals need a whole new approach to mix design, to achieve the desired strength of concrete. Hence a robust solution to address the concrete strength issues is the need of the hour.


With the advancements in chemistry and concrete admixture science, BASF Mater Builder solutions have developed a revolutionary technology that redefines concrete strength and durability. It allows concrete producers to expand concrete performance while reducing the environmental impact. Master X-Seed STE is an innovative, strength-enhancing admixture solution for the construction industry, which significantly improves both early and late-age strength development in concrete. The new solution, Master X-Seed STE, also helps to make production of concrete more efficient. The concept originated from BASF’s X-Seed, a unique seeding technology used to promote cement hydration and speed up concrete hardening. Master X-Seed STE further enhances concrete’s strength development and performance characteristics. Specially formulated for the Asia Pacific concrete market, Master X-Seed STE admixture utilises calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) nanoparticles, along with other technologies (admixture solutions), to facilitate and improve strength development at all ages of the concrete. Master X-Seed STE enables the increased use of supplementary cementitious materials, thus helping to reduce the carbon footprint associated with concrete production. Master X-Seed STE admixture allows concrete producers to expand the performance space of a given concrete mixture and optimise the cementitious content, by permitting a strength safety factor up to 15%. This allows earlier stripping of forms to improve production efficiency. It is recommended for use in ready-mix and precast concrete and Self-Consolidating Concrete (SCC).

CONCLUDING REMARKS While we build more and more urban cities to accommodate the needs of future urbanisation, the importance of concrete as a building material is clear. In fact, the innovative use of concrete can only become even more important. For infrastructure businesses to increase their commercial viability and their relevance, contractors and builders in the market need to look beyond the traditional boundaries defined by existing construction practices, market segments and structures built. A holistic approach from all the stakeholders in the construction industry to address these urban construction and concrete-related challenges is the need of the hour. New and rapid developments in nano chemistry can certainly aid in the progress of concrete technology. This, in turn, can help in the construction processes by making them more efficient, faster and economical. The admixtures described in the article have the potential to minimise the cost related to wastage and energy. More importantly, these factors contribute towards achieving construction practices with lower carbon footprints. Cost and time savings remain the twin objectives of project owners, developers, contractors and ready-mix

companies. Today, the construction industry awaits a breakthrough solution that addresses the escalating need for speed and sustainable development. Modern architecture, large-scale and high-rise constructions demand building materials that provide durability and energy efficiency. The growth of infrastructure is unstoppable. The innovative admixture technologies will be the driving force for the development and growth of infrastructure. The Master Builder solutions from BASF meet most of challenges and requirements of concrete in infrastructure development. REFERENCES [1] Recommendation for Self-Compacting Concrete - Japan Society of Civil Engineers, Tokyo, Japan, August 1999. [2] Women in construction - Editor K N Vaid, National Institute of Construction Management and Research, Walchand Centre, Tardeo, Mumbai 400 034, Cement Statistics 1999, Cement Manufacturing Association, New Delhi 1999. [3]. Dewar J D and Anderson R: Manual of Ready-Mixed Concrete, Blackie Academic and Professional, UK, 1992. [4]. Ready Mixed Concrete - its key role in European construction. European Ready Mixed Concrete Organization, PO Box 19, Egham, Surrey TW20 BUT, UK, 1997. [5]. Gaynor R D: Ready Mixed Concrete, ASTM STP-169, American Society for Testing and Materials, USA. [6]. Takeyama M: ‘Present technology of ready mixed concrete and future prospects’, Magazine of Concrete Research, September 1996, Vol 48, no 176, pp 199-209. [7]. Verma C L, Jain S K and Rehsi S S: ‘Techno-economic feasibility study for the production of ready-mixed concrete in India’, The Indian Concrete Journal, October 1978, Vol 54, No 10, pp 257-259. [8]. Development of readymix concrete to be transported without agitation, unpublished report, project TG-204,.Cement Research Institute of India, June 1979. [9]. Jain A K: ‘Ready-Mixed Concrete growth prospects in India’, 27th Conference on OUR WORLD IN CONCRETE & STRUCTURES, 29 - 30 August 2002, Singapore. [10]. Alimchandani C R: ‘The Indian Experience of Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC)’, 32nd Conference on OUR WORLD IN CONCRETE & STRUCTURES, 28 - 29 August 2007,Singapore. [11].Corradi M, Khurana R Y, Magarotto R: ‘Controlling Performance in Ready Mix Concrete’, Concrete International Vol 26, No 8, 2004, 123-128. [12].Ramachandran V S: Concrete Admixture Handbook. (This article is based on a Technical Paper authored by Shivram B Bagade, Regional Business Development Manager, BASF South East Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore, and presented at the 44th Conference on ‘Our World in Concrete & Structures’ held in Singapore, from 29 to 30 August 2019. The conference was organised by CI-Premier Pte Ltd). THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020




3D-PRINTED CONCRETE BASES Three leaders in their respective industry sectors to collaborate. GE Renewable Energy, COBOD and LafargeHolcim recently announced that they will partner to co-develop wind turbines with optimised 3D printed concrete bases, reaching record heights up to 200 m. The three partners will undertake a multi-year collaboration to develop this innovative solution which will increase renewable energy production while lowering the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and optimising construction costs. The partners will produce ultimately a wind turbine prototype with a printed pedestal, and a production-ready printer and materials range to scale up production. The first prototype, a 10 m high tower pedestal, was successfully printed in October 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. By exploring ways to economically develop taller towers that capture stronger winds, the three partners aim to generate more renewable energy per turbine. Building on the industry-leading expertise of each partner, this collaboration aims to accelerate the access and use of renewable energy worldwide. GE Renewable Energy will provide expertise related to the design, manufacture and commercialisation of wind turbines, COBOD will focus on the robotics automation and 3D printing, and LafargeHolcim will design the tailor-made concrete material, its processing and application. “Concrete 3D printing is a very promising technology for us, as its incredible design flexibility expands the realm of construction possibilities. Being both a user and promoter of clean energy, we are delighted to be

putting our material and design expertise to work in this groundbreaking project, enabling cost efficient construction of tall wind turbine towers and accelerating access to renewable energy”, said Edelio Bermejo, Head of R&D for LafargeHolcim. Henrik Lund-Nielsen, Founder of COBOD International A/S, said, “We are extremely proud to be working with world-class companies like GE Renewable Energy and LafargeHolcim. With our groundbreaking 3D printing technology, combined with the competence and resources of our partners, we are convinced that this disruptive move within the wind turbines industry will help drive lower costs and faster execution times, to benefit customers and lower the CO2 footprint from the production of energy”. “3D printing is in GE’s DNA and we believe that Large Format Additive Manufacturing will bring disruptive potential to the wind industry. Concrete printing has advanced significantly over the last five years and we believe is getting closer to have real application in the industrial world. We are committed to taking full advantage of this technology both from the design flexibility it allows as well as for the logistic simplification it enables on such massive components”, said Matteo Bellucci, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Leader for GE Renewable Energy. Traditionally built in steel or precast concrete, wind turbine towers have typically been limited to a height of

Printing a variable height base directly on-site with 3D-printed concrete technology will enable the construction of towers even 150 m to 200 m tall. 32



under 100 m, as the width of the base cannot exceed the 4.5 m diameter that can be transported by road, without excessive additional costs. Printing a variable height base directly on-site with 3D-printed concrete technology will enable the construction of towers even 150 m to 200 m tall. Typically, a 5 MW turbine at 80 m generates, yearly, 15.1 GWh. In comparison, the same turbine at 160 m would generate 20.2 GWh, or more than 33% extra power.

LafargeHolcim LafargeHolcim is a global leader in building materials and solutions and is active in four business segments Cement, Aggregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions & Products. Its ambition is to lead the industry in reducing carbon emissions and shifting towards low-carbon construction. With a strong R&D organisation in the industry, the company seeks to constantly introduce and promote high-quality and sustainable building materials and solutions to its customers worldwide - whether individual homebuilders or developers of major infrastructure projects. LafargeHolcim employs over 70,000 employees in over 70 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.

day during Bautec, a German construction exhibition. The PERI Group, a leading provider of manual concrete casting formwork equipment is a minority shareholder of COBOD.

GE Renewable Energy GE Renewable Energy is a USD 15 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90% of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. The company has nearly 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries.

COBOD International COBOD International A/S is a leading global 3D construction printing company, supplying 3D construction printing technology to customers in Asia, The Middle East, Europe and the US. COBOD intends to disrupt the construction industry and any industry where concrete structures are being applied. COBOD has made headlines multiple times the last couple of years from the 3D printing of the first fully permitted building in Europe in 2017, to the delivery of the largest construction printer in the world measuring 27 m in length and 10 m in height and to the live 3D printing of one small house per




POSITIONING AFTER COVID-19 by Jasper Wong, Head of Construction and Infrastructure, Sector Solutions Group, UOB Although the Construction & Infrastructure (C&I) sector has been badly affected by COVID-19, the eventual containment of COVID-19 could help stabilise the sector from 2021 onwards.

SECTOR IMPACT FROM COVID-19 Sharp decline in global economic outlook The global economy faces a sharp economic downturn as COVID-19 has resulted in widespread lockdowns and a sharp deceleration in economic activities. As a result, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded its forecasts for the global economic outlook, reflecting disruptions across the world economy. The forecast economic growth rates for 2020 indicate that countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia are expected to face recessionary pressures. Within UOB’s focus markets, with the exception of Indonesia and China, all the other countries are expected to suffer a full year recession of -1.7% to -6.7%. McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) believes that economic activity could be back on track by early 2021 - if the virus is contained and the right economic policies are enacted. In addition, governments are stepping up plans to deal with the economic shock from COVID-19, with the announcement of various financial packages for both households and corporates.

Asia Advanced Asia Singapore Hong Kong SAR Emerging and Developing Asia China ASEAN-5 Indonesia Thailand Malaysia

2019 4.6 1.2 0.7 -1.2 5.5 6.1 4.8 5.0 2.4 4.3

Real GDP Projections 2020 0.0 -4.5 -3.5 -4.8 1.0 1.2 -0.6 0.5 -6.7 -1.7

2021 7.6 3.8 3.0 3.9 8.5 9.2 7.8 8.2 6.1 9.0

Table 1: IMF GDP forecast. Source: IMF.

Construction sector growth has been cut significantly The construction industry represents 13% of global GDP and, given its cyclical nature, is normally more volatile than the overall economy growth. As a result of the movement controls, lockdown and travel restrictions imposed across many major economies, there has been a significant impact on the sector. The immediate impact of the restriction on movements has been to halt or slow the progress of project completions or commencements. 34


In addition to the sharp fall in demand, a supply shock is also expected to further dampen economic activities and the outlook for the sector. We understand there was a disruption in the delivery of key construction/building materials in early 2020 due to the lockdown in China but this has gradually normalised since March 2020. Construction sector growth forecast, y-o-y % China





Hong Kong















Table 2: Downward revision in 2020 construction sector forecast postCOVID-19. Source: Fitch Solutions, UOB Analysis.

Within UOB’s six key markets, Fitch has downgraded the construction sector’s 2020 growth forecasts significantly. Despite the reduction, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong are still projected to deliver growth in the sector notwithstanding the downside risks. As for Singapore and Malaysia, the sector is expected to register a decline of -0.2% to -10.3%, with Singapore tipped to be the worst hit. Singapore: Following the measures taken to handle the outbreak, construction work has been badly affected by the lockdown on labour and delays in the supply of key materials due to supply chain constraints. The Ministry of Trade and Industry reported that the construction sector shrank by 4.3% y-o-y in 2020 Q1, weighed down by a decline in private sector construction activities. The value of private sector contracts awarded in 2020 is expected to fall, resulting in a negative economic outlook. Fitch Solutions expects Singapore’s construction sector to contract by 10.3% y-o-y in 2020, making it the worst hit market in the Asia Pacific region. On April 20, the Ministry of Manpower issued a mandate for foreign workers in the construction industry to stay in their dormitories, bringing the sector to a standstill as the industry is dependent on migrant workers. Also, the building sector is expected to exhibit a sharper contraction in growth, compared to the infrastructure sector. The construction of Tuas Port, new MRT lines and Changi Airport Terminal 5 could be delayed if the situation does not improve as a result of labour shortages. Malaysia: Most large contractors have applied to resume work during the Movement Control Order (MCO), with


some restrictions: (i) work hours at site limited to 8:00 am to 5:30 pm and 5 days a week; (ii) health checks at site entrance; (iii) provision of worker transportation; (iv) social distancing; (v) minimal workers at site or limited to 50% of usual requirement; (vi) encouragement to work from home for white-collar workers; and (vii) identifying a supervisor who is responsible for ensuring compliance to these requirements. While this is positive news, progress is likely to return to normalcy at a gradual pace, as the government remains concerned about the continued spread of COVID-19, which has led to an extension in the MCO to 9th June. The construction sector is not spared, with expectations of -0.2% in construction activities and the decline is largely due to the MCO constraining project implementation. The progress of Mass Rapid Transit 2 (MRT2) has not stopped, despite some restrictions imposed as safety measures. According to local media sources in Malaysia, domestic contracts awarded to listed contractors totalled RM2.9bn in 1Q20, down 40% y-o-y, reflecting weak construction prospects during this period. The government has identified a number of small (non-infrastructure) projects worth RM2bn, such as improving roads, upgrading schools in Sabah and Sarawak, and improving tourism facilities, that will benefit G1- to G4-class contractors (mostly small/medium-sized contractors). RM4bn out of the total RM250bn of stimulus measures was allocated to boost construction activities, particularly for the small to medium-sized contractors. This is needed as a continued slowdown in the property sector has reduced new building jobs significantly. After the fall of the previous government in Feb 2020, political uncertainties could weigh on business and investor sentiment. There is unlikely to be construction-related stimulus measures after the COVID-19 outbreak, as the sector employs people with a different skillset, who are not necessarily at the risk of job losses. Post MCO, the recovery in the construction sector is likely to be slow, due to the disruption of the building materials supply chain. The sharp fall in the oil price will reduce the government’s revenue, which typically accounts for about one third of total revenue. The Malaysian government may review its infrastructure spending to mitigate the impact of the federal deficit, as it focuses most of the resources towards curbing COVID-19. Thailand: The Cabinet has approved a cut in the 2021 fiscal investment of 50% to mobilise funding to ease the financial burden of the pandemic in 2020. There are concerns with delays in bidding for new projects. At the moment, there is one notable mega project - Orange Line (Taling Chan-Thailand Cultural Centre) worth Bt90b that is scheduled for bidding (TOR in May-June and bidding in December 2020). The construction of the Pink Line MRT train route (Kaerai-Min Buri) is halfway towards completion and should be ready to be opened for public use on schedule in October 2021 despite the pandemic. Several major construction projects have resumed in the Pattaya area as the COVID-19 situation improves. The Thai construc-

tion industry, however, has been criticised for being slow in adopting new technology to improve efficiency and create new opportunities amidst the slowdown. An area of concern is building contractors, as prospects for the property market are deteriorating due to (i) weakened economic outlook, (ii) city lockdown and (iii) delay in new launches. Indonesia: The country has the second largest construction industry in the region. Facing steel shortages and higher costs, existing imported inventory could potentially last for six months. In a worst-case scenario, assuming SOE contractors absorb half of the steel cost increase for civil works, the potential downside risks to earnings could range from 7-45% in FY20F. As of 3 April, construction work on the USD8bn Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway was restarted. Construction of Phase 2A of the MRT railroad project Thamrin to Monas has been postponed for three months; pushing the completion from December 31, 2024 to March 30, 2025. Approvals from the proposed omnibus bill will likely jump-start investment in the near term. Projects related to the relocation of the capital could face near-term funding challenges as the government focuses spending on alleviating the adverse impact from COVID-19 on the economy. Hong Kong: Government data shows the coronavirus is slowing down the construction of new homes, falling 77% in 1Q20 from the previous quarter. For the first time ever, no construction was started on new projects in the first two months of this year, thus forcing developers to scale back project launches due to the shortage of workers and building materials. Lawmakers are considering scrapping costly infrastructure projects as the city faces a budget deficit. On April 8, the Hong Kong government announced a HK$137.5bn package of relief measures to combat COVID-19. China: Fitch Solutions reduced China’s construction sector forecast growth to 1.8% in real terms y-o-y, down from the previous forecast of 5.2%. The building sector will be badly affected. The central government plans to frontload infrastructure projects, introduce fiscal stimulus, with spill over effects in 2021 instead. China is now braced for a demand-side pummelling, as its export markets shut their borders and lock down their people. As of March 25, the resumption rate of large and medium-sized enterprises was 96.6%. Exports account for about 20% of China’s GDP, thus slumping exports could lead to a loss of 18 million jobs in Q2. Transportation services in the city are gradually returning to normal as the situation improves, however, experts warn of a risk of second wave infection. The impact of COVID-19 should mostly be in Q1, which is a typically slow quarter and historically accounts for 20% of full year revenue. Nomura has forecast infrastructure investment growth to turn positive in April, rising from -8% y-o-y in March, supported by resuming construction activities and likely faster issue of local government special bonds (LGSBs). THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



The ramped up spending will spur infrastructure investment, which points to a recovery in the construction sector from April onwards.

Lockdowns and social distancing to limit construction work Many countries around the world are on full or partial lockdown to contain the coronavirus and ‘flatten the curve’. Different measures for social distancing - such as working from home and cancelling large gatherings - can help limit the spread of the virus. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, as measures taken will have to meet each country’s requirements and healthcare infrastructure. Whilst movement control is needed to contain the spread of COVID-19, the restriction has impacted the physical completion or progress of construction in both current and new jobs. In Singapore, the problem has been exacerbated by the spread of COVID-19 within the foreign workers’ dormitories. The regional lockdown status is highlighted in Table 3.

Malaysia has extended MCO further. However, doors are open for almost all sectors beginning 4th May under a ‘conditional MCO’ despite the extension of the MCO until 9th June. This move will ease the pressure on cash flow due to work stoppages since 18 Mar and help hasten the recovery in 2Q20.

Infrastructure spending could be raised to support selected countries In the past, there have been instances of higher or accelerated infrastructure spending to boost economic recovery after an economic downturn. This is not surprising given the multiplier effect on economic growth that results from an injection of infrastructure spending. Even when the economy is at or near full employment, investment in infrastructure could improve productivity of companies and workers and thus the country’s growth rate. This is provided there is significant room for improvement in the country’s transportation and other key infrastructure.

Indonesia is most vulnerable. In the region, Singapore has the highest growth in new cases, while Indonesia has the lowest testing (per million population). Low testing, late lockdowns and less effective implementation make Indonesia potentially the most vulnerable country in the region, in our view.

As an indication, Beijing’s stimulus program in 2008, coupled with a wave of cheap banking loans drove China’s economic growth with massive government capital spending led by infrastructure investment. There are indications that China will turn to its past lessons to offset the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. Whilst we expect China to ramp up infrastructure spending, the scale and focus for the current infrastructure spending will be different from 2008, where the current spending is expected to be lower and also focused on ‘new infrastructure’, which refers to infrastructure for high-tech and sustainable purposes. This includes big data centres, 5G infrastructure, charging stations for new energy vehicles (NEVs) and other areas to boost China’s push towards higher technology and sustainability.

Thailand plans to extend the state of emergency. On 27 April, Thailand’s Prime Minister announced that the state of emergency is set to be extended by another month, but will consider easing some restrictions on businesses and public activities.

Other ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore had also engaged in infrastructure spending during slow growth periods to boost their respective economies in the past. While a large part of infrastructure development will be financed from governments’

COVID-19: Regional lockdown/movement control status China

Hong Kong



Start date

23 Jan

07 Feb

Indonesia Singapore 10 Apr

07 Apr

18 Mar

25 Mar

End date

08 Apr

07 May

22 May

01 Jun

09 Jun

30 Apr

Table 3: COVID-19: Regional lockdown/movement control status. Source: UOB SSG analysis, various media sources.

Selected key markets

Exposure to China

Fiscal space

Monetary policy space

Market risk sensitivity

Commodity price risk































Hong Kong






Legend: Vulnerable


Table 4: Selected Asian Markets: Vulnerability-Strength Matrix. Source: Fitch Solutions, UOB SSG. 36



balance sheets, the role and involvement of the private sector have been encouraged. Interestingly, the Philippines’ Finance Secretary, Carlos Dominguez III highlighted that the ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure project should be one of five ‘priority actions’ to stimulate the economy. Infrastructure is the ‘best driver of economic growth’ and should be restarted once restrictions in the country are lifted, he added. The vulnerability-strength matrix chart in Table 4 highlights countries that could be vulnerable to various factors including market risk sensitivity, commodity price risk and other factors. Subject to country budgets, we believe that increased infrastructure spending post the containment of COVID-19 could be considered to boost growth.


• The COVID-19 Temporary Measures (Bill) was announced. In the case of construction and supply contracts entered into or renewed automatically before 25 March 2020, a contractor who is unable to perform an obligation will be relieved from liability for non-performance after 1 February 2020 and before the end of the relief period under the new law, provided the contractor can show that such failure was caused to a material extent by COVID-19.

Hong Kong

• Extended deadline for project completion of government work and/or relax the payment schedules, as well as extend the Building Covenant (BC) period for development projects by up to 6 months in land leases. • Each eligible contractor to be offered a subsidy of HK$20,000; each eligible company receive through the Construction Industry Council a training subsidy of HK$50,000; each eligible registered construction worker will be provided a subsidy of HK$7,500. • Public and private sectors would be provided a subsidy of 50% of project costs for projects deploying 5G technologies, subject to a cap of HK$500,000 for each project.


• Industry policies focusing on large infrastructure investment projects and supply chains. Several ministries coordinated to effectively expand domestic demand by stimulating infrastructure investment. • A number of key projects related to the energy, transportation and IT (5G) industries have been launched and financed by special local government bonds.


• The Indonesian government introduced a series of stimulus packages to support the economy. However, infrastructure was not featured and the government diverted 25% of its budgeted expenditure away from infrastructure towards its COVID-19 response, which could further impact the sector’s outlook. • Government total fiscal stimulus amounted to IDR33.4tn. All things considered, the estimated government stimulus as a proportion of GDP is estimated at 2.7%.


• RM4bn out of the total RM250bn of stimulus measures was allocated to boost construction activities. • BNM has allocated RM3.3bn of financing facilities to help sustain SME’s business operations, safeguard jobs and encourage domestic investments. • Automatic loan repayment deferment of six months for non-arrear household and SME loans. • In addition, the government will also provide a RM50bn guarantee scheme with a guarantee of up to 80% of the loan amount for the purpose of financing working capital requirements.


• The latest stimulus package (third one) was 1.9tn baht allocated to support the healthcare system and create jobs, as well as upgrade infrastructure nationwide. • Bank of Thailand will extend 500bn baht soft loans with a 2% annual interest rate to SMEs, with a credit line not more than 500m baht each. Also, the central bank will provide 400m baht to provide corporate bonds to keep liquidity flowing. • Commercial banks and specialised financial institutions will also give SMEs with a credit line not more than 100m baht each a six-month debt moratorium on both principal and interest.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT TO HELP CUSHION THE BLOW FROM COVID-19 Most countries have announced fiscal and financial support for the affected sectors, loan support for SMEs, wage subsidy schemes, cash handouts, food transfers, higher healthcare spending and tax reliefs. Table 5 highlights some of the key government measures to shore up the economies of UOB’s six core markets. UOB Key Markets

Fiscal & Central Bank Measures announced to mitigate the impact from COVID-19 (As of 26 Mar 2020)


• Plans for more targeted tax and fee cuts to help the micro, small and medium-sized businesses; increase in local government special bond quota • PBoC cut the 1Y Medium-term lending facility rate to 3.15%, the 1Y Loan Prime Rate (LPR) lowered to 4.05% in Feb, unchanged in Mar. • RMB300bn targeted relending fund to provide low interest loans

Hong Kong

• HKD120bn (US$15.4bn) stimulus package • Another HK$30bn Anti-Epidemic Fund and a HK$10bn relief package were announced prior to the budget


• Government’s total fiscal stimulus (1 and 2) amounted to IDR33.4tn • Bank Indonesia (BI) cut benchmark rate by 25bps to 4.75% in Feb


• Announced a supplementary budget package worth MYR10bn to bring its stimulus package for COVID-19 up to MYR250bn (or 18% of GDP) • Automatic loan repayment deferment of six months for non-arrear household and SME loans • BNM cut OPR to 2.50% (-50bps YTD), a 10 year-low


• The government announced three rounds of support measures totaling S$59.9bn (or 12% of GDP) to help businesses, workers and households through the COVID-19 outbreak • $800mn has been earmarked to support the frontline agencies to fight COVID-19


• Bank of Thailand cut its 1-D repurchase rate by 25bp to a record low of 0.75% in Mar 2020 • Cabinet had approved a stimulus package of THB400bn (US$12.7bn) • Up to 80% of Fiscal 2020 budget will be ready for disbursement over next 6 months starting Feb 2020

Table 5: Regional fiscal and Central Bank support to mitigate impact from COVID-19. Source: UOB Global Economics & Market Research (UOB GEMR).

Table 6: UOB Focus Countries’ measures to support the economy. Source: Various media sources, UOB SSG. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



LOOKING BEYOND COVID-19 Digitalisation and the adoption of technology to improve efficiency. Moving forward, we believe COVID-19 will likely accelerate the trend towards the digitalisation of worksites and even promote the adoption of technology on construction sites to prevent similar events impacting operations again, although these emerging trends could be largely confined to large-scale contractors and projects. A review of supply chain to secure diverse sourcing. Due to project delays as a result of supply chain disruptions, countries will find alternative suppliers for global construction materials, instead of relying mainly on China for building materials and labour. Contractors would likely see an increase in price for supplies coming from less risky locations. Consequently, contractors should anticipate future delivery interruptions and build up their inventory, stockpiling critical building materials. A new normal in workplace safety post-COVID-19. The virus has put a spotlight on the importance of workplace safety, and contractors responded by implementing protocols such as staggered shifts, temperature checks and disinfection of worksites. As medical experts believe that the virus might come in waves for months and even years to come, contractors have to adjust to the new normal and include more health and safety measures before the workers are comfortable returning to work. As a result, construction schedules will no longer be the same as they used to be, with projects expected to take longer due to fewer workers at the worksite. With that being said, contractors will need to build in buffer time for material supply delays and labour shortages to create an adjusted schedule. Cost goes hand-in-hand with labour and materials, and these problems can impact the budget significantly. Therefore, contractors should reduce risk by carefully reviewing their project to identify factors that might impact the budget, should there be any delays in project schedule. The emphasis on worker safety will likely accelerate the move to offsite construction methods, thus, reducing the amount of time that the workers need to spend on the field. Factory production in a controlled environment can save labour costs and increase the speed of project schedules, while complying with social distancing. New growth areas to watch out for. The coronavirus will most likely reshape the type of projects in the future. Healthcare and manufacturing projects could see more activity, whereas hospitality, retail and entertainment projects are likely to be in less demand. Buildings plays an important part in containing the virus as people remain indoors. This could see a win-win situation for governments as they could encourage green buildings and also meet the carbon reduction targets. In terms of the legal aspects, contractors should review their contracts to see if a force majeure exists, to avoid repercussions if a project gets shut down.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTION & INFRASTRUCTURE Across the key focus markets, construction activities are likely to see delays due to restrictions on movement, supply chain bottlenecks and social distancing measures. 38


Revenue recognition is expected to be delayed for contracts in hand due to slower progress in construction activities. As expected, large contractors, particularly those working in government-related or key infrastructure projects are likely to remain more resilient as compared to smaller sub-contractors for private projects. No systemic risk is seen at this early stage but closer monitoring is needed, particularly for SMEs facing a possible cash flow crunch. The supply of building materials from China is gradually normalising as activities pick up. Construction and Infrastructure (C&I) companies may benefit from government measures such as wage supplement schemes, moratorium on bank repayment and various stimulus packages. We also see potential for planned infrastructure projects to be accelerated to help the industry. Medium- to long-term prospects for the C&I sector in Singapore are expected to be underpinned by continued government spending to improve infrastructure. These include the land transport system (rail), Tuas Port and the fifth terminal at Changi International Airport. Disclaimer The information provided in the article is for information purposes only. (This article is based on the report ‘UOB Industry Insights | Construction and Infrastructure - Positioning after COVID-19’, produced by Industry Insights Construction and Infrastructure Group Wholesale Banking | Sector Solutions Group, UOB. More information can be obtained from BusinessInsightsAnalytics@ UOBgroup.com)

Importance of email A new research report by Mail Manager, the leading email management software for project-based businesses developed by Arup, has revealed the lack of capabilities in retrieving information relating to a project across the AEC industries. The research asked senior job roles in AEC firms across the US, UK, APAC and South Africa about their views on technology trends, how they manage project information, what information they need to retrieve, where it resides, and what they need to find in a legal dispute. The key findings reveal email is still the letter of today when it comes to projects. Jacob Wardrop, Director at Mail Manager, says, “Clearly, the results show the critical importance of email in today’s projects. It is vital that businesses have the ability to easily find and retrieve information, regardless of whether the project is 10 years old, the person who was having the communication has left the business, or who was cc’d on the email. Additionally, information visibility and access is absolutely vital in this current climate, with most project teams dispersed, working remotely”.


DIGITAL TWINS ASSISTING MASS RAPID TRANSIT CORPORATION OF MALAYSIA Leveraging the experience gained earlier to ensure improved outcomes in the current project. Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp), developer of Malaysia’s largest transit project, successfully opened its Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line in the Greater Klang Valley Region of Kuala Lumpur in 2017. Keen to leverage the wealth of experience that MRT Corp gained on that project, the team focused its efforts on improving time and cost certainty through the adoption of multidiscipline BIM workflows on the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line, its second of three lines. Moreover, having identified a number of challenges in construction management and handover of digital as-built information to operations, MRT Corp decided to advance its BIM workflows through the adoption of digital twins using Bentley solutions. By going digital, MRT Corp can create and visualise its digital assets, as well as check their status, perform analyses, and leverage insight gained to predict and optimise the organisation’s performance. MRT Corp’s Asset Information Management (AIM) system maintains a list of documents, asset tags, and equipment, along with the maintenance class and frequency, manufacturer’s name, and contact details. To manage its data, MRT Corp created a custom classification system - the KVMRT Classification System - using AssetWise in its cloudbased connected data environment (CDE). By establishing a Master Asset Register (MAR), the system can be used to capture all the pertinent information related to assets and equipment, which will be used by the operations and maintenance teams throughout the operational life of the railway. The quality of data is greatly improved through its validation against MRT Corp’s standards to identify inaccurate, incomplete, or duplicate data and prevent it from entering the system. The project team uses the system to drill down through the asset hierarchy and find an asset in the register when the asset name or number is not known. The system makes it easier for teams to interact with asset information and get responses to the queries about a system or subsystem.

Asset data contributed to the digital twin during design, procurement, and commissioning remains available at every phase of the lifecycle, thereby easing discovery and access to information. Maintaining comprehensive information on the assets throughout project delivery minimises the amount of human interaction needed during asset handover to operations. Adopting this approach using Bentley applications is enabling MRT Corp to achieve compliance with the United Kingdom government’s Level 2 BIM maturity, a standard mandated for this project. Using iModels, the team at MRT Corp can visualise and locate an asset in the 3D model and gain a better understanding of connected or related assets and equipment. Moreover, increased insight gained through this approach is enabling the team to improve decisions that are expected to contribute to a reduction in the whole-life cost of the railway.

MRT Corp’s Asset Information Management (AIM) system maintains a list of documents, asset tags, and equipment, along with the maintenance class and frequency, manufacturer’s name, and contact details. Image: Mass Rapid Transport Corporation.

The AIM system shows asset location and information within a station on the SSP Line. Image: Mass Rapid Transport Corporation. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020




FOR ITALIAN RAILWAY STATION Redevelopment of the structure, originally built in 1915, presented challenges. Matera Central Railway Station offers a full range of services for the city of Matera in Southern Italy. It is situated along the Bari-Matera line and is managed by the Ferrovie Appulo Lucane (FAL) company. The station was originally built at ground level before being transformed into an underground station. It was inaugurated in 1915 as the southern terminus of the Bari to Altamura line. In 1928, another stretch, running between Matera and Miglionico, was opened and was in service from 1932 until 1972. After Matera was selected as ‘2019 European Capital of Culture’, a redevelopment project for its central station was presented in 2018, by Stefano Boeri (responsible for architectural design) along with SCE Project (structural works design) and ESA Engineering (plant systems design).

The constant presence of the Mapei Mobile Laboratory during the various phases to manufacture and pour the concrete enabled the team to optimise work schedules and to exploit the potential of the Mapei admixtures. Going into detail, around 1,000 m3 of C40/45 Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC) with 700 mm slump flow containing DYNAMON SR 914 acrylic super-plasticiser was used as a foundation bed to position the crossties and tracks inside the existing tunnel - an area which would have been difficult to reach using other systems.

The stated goal of the project was to turn it into a ‘station’ in the true sense of the word, rather than to just carry on using it as an infrastructure hub.

The concrete was pumped through approximately 600 m of fixed hoses. Sections of the hoses were gradually detached in order to reduce their overall length, as the pumped concrete worked its way closer to the fixed pumping station.

The scope of the project was the ‘redevelopment of the station’s buildings and structures by regenerating their aesthetic and functional qualities and upgrading the technological systems and railway services’.

The surface of the concrete was then thoroughly cleaned to remove any residual material that had remained after pumping. The steel spacers and gravel clusters were removed from the surface of the concrete.

The new Matera Central Station, with its new main building, was inaugurated on 13 November 2019 and, just like the old station, it is right next to the old part of the city.

MAPEGROUT 430 fine-grained, fibre-reinforced, normal-setting thixotropic levelling mortar was used to level off the surface of the concrete substrates.

The exterior finish of the new building, with its reception and hospitality services, ticket office and waiting rooms, is in local stone and is inspired by the classic underground caves typical of Matera.

The second pours of concrete for the tunnel between the floor slab and the walls were sealed with IDROSTOP B25, a special 20 mm x 25 mm hydro-expanding jointing tape made from a mixture of natural sodium bentonite and polymers.

To overcome the problem of traditional underground stations which tend to be illuminated by artificial lighting and can often be quite cramped and unpleasant to be in, the new station has an opening of around 440 m2 in the roof of the tunnel. The result of this feature is that passengers arriving at or departing from the station now have the distinct sensation of being in an underground station but, thanks to the direct connection that has been created between the inside and the outside of the station, the underground tracks now receive natural light and ventilation.

Super admixtures and constant support During both the regeneration phase and the waterproofing works in the underground tunnel, and then during construction of the entire station complex, Mapei worked in collaboration with the La Calcestruzzidue Srl 40

concrete plant in Matera to develop the correct mix design for the concrete, by providing all the technical support required.


The second pours on the walls and the gaps around the pipework passing through the concrete were sealed by applying MAPEPROOF SWELL, a one-component, hydro-expansive paste used to form flexible, waterproof seals. In certain cases, such as when water started to seep through some structural elements, the flow was blocked off with LAMPOSILEX ultra-fast setting and curing hydraulic binder. Once the surfaces had been properly repaired, they were cleaned down and a coat of PRIMER 3296 acrylic primer in water dispersion was applied, following roller application of MAPELASTIC FOUNDATION, a two-component, flexible cementitious mortar which is especially suitable for waterproofing concrete surfaces subject to both positive and negative water pressure.


Designed by the architect Stefano Boeri, the station is covered by a shimmering metal roof, measuring 45 m x 35 m, that turns the outdoor space into a covered square. Image (top): Guoyin Jiang. Image (below): Mapei. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



The tunnel’s roof slab has a large opening built into it. Image: Paolo Rosselli.




Project Matera Central Railway Station, Matera, Italy Year of original construction 1915 Completion of redevelopment 2019 Client Ferrovie Appulo Lucane (FAL) Srl Operations Manager Vito Filippetti (FAL Srl) Architectural design Stefano Boeri Architetti Structural design SCE Project, Milan Plant systems design ESA Engineering, Milan Works direction Visa Engineering Srl - Vincenzo Gigli Concrete manufacturer La Calcestruzzidue Srl Main contractor Cobar SpA

Period of the intervention 2018-2019


Contribution by Mapei Supply of admixtures for concrete and waterproofing products Mapei distributor Cobar SpA Mapei products used Admixtures for concrete - DYNAMON SR 914 Levelling concrete - MAPEGROUT 430 Substrate pre-treatment - PRIMER 3296 Waterproofing - IDROSTOP B25, LAMPOSILEX, MAPEPROOF SWELL, MAPELASTIC FOUNDATION Website for further information www.mapei.com

This editorial feature is based on an article from Realtà MAPEI INTERNATIONAL Issue 80.


Mapei's Mobile Laboratory was on the building site all the time while the concrete was being manufactured and cast. Images: Mapei. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



AN ARCHITECTURAL SYMBOL OF HOSPITALITY Timed to be ready for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Katara Towers, a new luxury hotel complex is taking shape on Qatar’s coast. Rising from the southernmost point of the 38 km² planned city of Lusail, Qatar, to just over 200 m high, the completed silhouette of Katara Towers will be a distinctive landmark for the nation. The crescent-like design of this future ‘hospitality icon of Qatar’ translates the country’s national identity into an architectural landmark. Symbolically intertwined with Qatar’s heritage, the iconic architectural design integrates the traditional scimitar swords from the national seal into a striking pair of symmetrically arched towers rising 36 storeys from the podium level to a height of 211 m. The vision for Katara Towers is to set new standards that go beyond the borders of the hospitality industry and provide an architectural landmark that is instantly recognised and understood right across the globe.

Katara Towers is a luxury hotel complex being developed in the harbour area of the planned city of Lusail. It will have apartments, offices, leisure facilities and restaurants, in addition to hotel accommodation.

The crossed swords on Qatar’s seal are being architecturally translated into a pair of arched towers, curving 36 storeys above the podium level to a height of 211 m. 44



The towers, scheduled for completion in May 2021, will boast two luxury hotels, plus apartments, leisure facilities, office space, shops and restaurants.

Rapid cycles with Doka climbing systems The building is structurally divided into five areas and has a total of eight core walls. The central component of the project is the striking pair of symmetrically arched Towers 2&4. They cover an area of 2,315 m², rise 36 storeys into the sky, and the clear height of the slabs ranges from 4.45 m to 9.15 m. The four core walls 1&2 and 7&8 of the towers are rising upwards with the use of Doka automatic climbing formwork SKE50. For the crane-lifted core walls 3&4 and 5&6, the climbing formwork 150F and a shaft platform are being used to support the large-area formwork Top 50. According to the construction contractors, Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting Company, Doka has developed a reputation in Qatar for being able to provide formwork solutions that aid the delivery of the overall project. In this project, the SKE50 hydraulic climbing system and the delivery of the core walls have contributed to the project progressing faster than anticipated. The more complex storeys 1 to 15 were completed in a 14-day cycle, while storeys 15 to 36 were completed in eight days.

Complex slab surfaces completed quickly and cost-effectively The biggest challenge arising from the structural design was to install the formwork on the protruding slabs while adhering to the construction schedule. Doka’s table lifting system TLS was used to accelerate the slab cycle, moving the Dokaflex tables in the two high-rise towers two storeys upwards. Due to the inclined façade of the building, the table lifting system had to be modified.

A versatile approach was needed to manage the different slab configurations in each storey and the use of table lifting systems. To achieve the required flexibility in the table configuration, the 10,000 m2 of Dokaflex tables were delivered in customised sizes. Staxo 40 load-bearing towers were used to reach the 6.10 m high mezzanine level on the ground floor. D3 load-bearing towers supported the 22 m high Tower 3 Hall Area with 4.80 m deep transfer beams.

PROJECT DATA Project Katara Towers Location Lusail City, Qatar Type of structure High-rise building, hotel complex Height 211 m Number of storeys 36 Client Katara Hospitality Construction contractor Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting Company Architect Dar Al-Handasah Start of construction 09/2018 Scheduled completion 05/2021 Contribution by Doka Products & Systems used Self-climbing formwork SKE50 Climbing formwork 150F Large-area formwork Top 50, Dokaflex table Load-bearing towers d2, d3 and Staxo 40 Table lifting system TLS Universal support block Safety Net Fan Services provided Engineering Formwork Instructor Ready-to-use service Training

Doka’s SKE50 self-climbing system and the climbing formwork 150F were used to erect the core walls.

All images by Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting Company THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



LIEBHERR’S FIRST TELESCOPIC WHEEL LOADER The new Liebherr L 509 Tele telescopic wheel loader is a multifunctional machine which combines the lift height and reach of a regular telescopic loader with the productive material handling capacity of a classic wheel loader - the benefits of two machine types in a single product. Developed on the basis of the Speeder L 509 stereoloader, this new telescopic wheel loader retains the proven stereo steering and can reach a top speed of 38 km/h as standard, thanks to the powerful hydrostatic travel drive. It also complies with the emission stage V/ Tier 4f specifications.

The L 509 Tele has one of the most sizeable operator's cabs in its machine class. In addition to its generous space, the impressive, well laid out work station offers high visibility. A special feature is the height-adjustable 9-inch touch display which clearly shows all information. Liebherr has also modified some aspects of the standard stereoloader cab. For example it has a sunroof window so that the operator can clearly see the work tools and material being handled even when the telescopic lift arm is extended.

The L 509 Tele has an extendable telescopic lift arm which can lift to a height of 4.8 m with a fork attachment. Thanks to the integrated z-bar kinematics, the telescopic lift arm enables the operator to load containers and lorries at great heights or stack loading material. When working with a fork attachment, no manual readjustment is necessary, because the Liebherr engineers have optimised the parallel movement during fork operation.

The functions of the telescopic lift arm can be easily and intuitively operated using the Liebherr control lever integrated into the operator’s seat as standard. The mini-joystick on the control lever is used for retracting and extending the lift arm as well as controlling hydraulic work tools.

Increased versatility

Liebherr has equipped the L 509 Tele with an overload warning system as standard. This consists of a load torque limit and a load torque indicator on the display to continuously inform the machine operator about the bearing load situation and the stability of the telescopic wheel loader. In the critical area before the stability limit is reached, the overload warning system ensures that the movements of the working hydraulics are slowed down to a standstill.

The new telescopic lift arm offers advantages in terms of lifting height and reach. The Liebherr stereo steering system, the proven combination of articulated steering and the steered rear axle, ensures manoeuvrability. The combination of these technical solutions makes the new L 509 Tele invaluable in many applications including landscaping, municipal, snow clearing or recycling services. This flexible, versatile machine is user friendly so that even less-experienced machine operators can safely operate it on all types of construction sites. The L 509 Tele has a newly designed hydraulic quick coupler to switch between work tools. It ensures high wear and holding forces and, thanks to its compact design, offers a good view of the attachment being used. The connection dimensions are the same as the L 506 Compact - L 509 Stereo wheel loaders so that operators can use existing working tools for these machines on the L 509 Tele. This ensures year-round efficiency with attachments such as earth-moving and light material buckets, fork attachments, buckets with hydraulic clamp or snowploughs. 46

Comfortable operator's cab


Intelligent overload warning system

With its telescopic lift arm, the L 509 Tele can easily load larger lorries or containers.



COLD RECYCLER FROM WIRTGEN With the new generation of cold recyclers, Wirtgen has developed a modern machine for cold in-place recycling. The tracked recyclers also deliver impressive results during full-depth recycling and high-performance milling.

Full-depth recycling in a single pass The asphalt surface is removed, depending on the level of damage, by a recycling train operating across the entire width of the pavement in a single pass, mixed with binding agents on site, and then paved again immediately. The W 380 CRi can recycle the road surface to a depth of 300 mm, so it is also suitable for fulldepth recycling (FDR).

Road rehabilitation beyond available working widths The W 380 CRi can also restore road surfaces beyond the available working widths of 3,200 mm, 3,500 mm and 3,800 mm. In this case, the recycler picks up the material that was pre-milled on the side by a cold milling machine and adds it to the mixing process. Thanks to a mixing capacity of 800 t/h in combination with rear loading onto a road paver with the appropriate stockpiling and paving screed, even very wide road surfaces can be rehabilitated in a single pass.

The Wirtgen tracked recycler W 380 CRi is an all-rounder for road rehabilitation, as it can perform cold in-place and full-depth recycling plus high-performance milling.

Performance as a milling machine The W 380 CRi can also be used as high-performance milling machine. Thanks to its high engine power of 1,054 PS (EU Stage 5/US Tier 4f) and conveyor capacity, the W 380 CRi can manage removal work to a milling depth of 350 mm. This enables large-scale rehabilitation work to be carried out quickly, such as on motorways, runways at airports, or the removal of complete asphalt packages, as well as the homogenisation and granulation of damaged asphalt layers.

Using the adjustable material guide system on the front of the machine, the W 380 CRi can also pick up deposited milling granulate and add it to the mixing process. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2020



THE NEW MIXOKRET M 740 STAGE V COMPRESSED-AIR SCREED CONVEYOR The new Mixokret M 740 Stage V seems to be quite similar to its predecessor on the outside, because the biggest changes were made under the hood which continues to open centrally. Here, a robust 3-cylinder turbo engine from Deutz now operates with an output of 36.4 KW, which is about 10% more powerful than its predecessor. The compressor from Rotocomp delivers an air capacity of up to 4.35 m³/min. Thanks to the sophisticated exhaust gas after-treatment with a diesel particle filter, the machine meets all requirements of the ‘Stage V’ emission standard without the use of urea - also known as AdBlue. This ensures that the machine can be operated in the EU and Switzerland in the future. Furthermore, laying screed in (partially) closed working areas such as underground car parks is also possible, thanks to the ‘TRGS 554’ conformity of the new Mixokret. In order to be able to adapt as flexibly as possible to the conditions on the construction site, the new Mixokret machine performance management allows the selection of five different delivery speeds. For example, fuel savings of up to 15% can be achieved by pumping in ECO Mode, with shorter hose lengths. For longer delivery distances, increasing the delivery speed to POWER mode ensures that the maximum delivery rate is realised.

harm the keypad. The two pressure gauges allow the mixing unit and delivery pressure to be read at any time. Actuation of the emergency stop immediately stops the conveying operation and all moving components. The Auto-Power-Off function promises the prevention of an empty battery the next day. The standard function automatically disconnects all consumers from the battery, even if the main switch is not switched off at the end of work. This ensures smooth continuation of operation the following day and prevents unnecessary downtime due to discharged batteries. From now on, user-specific settings are made centrally via the operating elements of the display unit which is located in the control cabinet under the hood and is well protected. A practical feature here is that settings made by the user, such as the switch-off pressure or the mixing time setting, are automatically saved. In this way, all settings are retained even after the machine is restarted the next day. A further innovation is the batch counter, which can be compared with the odometer in the on-board computer of a car. If it is activated, it counts the batches until it is reset. This number can be used, for example, to roughly estimate the amount of material processed.

There are also innovations on the drive of the mixing mechanism of the new Mixokret which is now driven hydraulically. This means that the user can also run the mixing shaft in reverse at the push of a button to release a stuck mixture and it simplifies the cleaning of the mixing vessel. In addition, this drive offers safe overload protection for all mixing mechanism components, should a stone block the mixing mechanism, for example.


The machine is operated via a clearly arranged control panel, which can still be found in its usual place. The central control element is now a robust keypad with intuitive user guidance, with which the machine can be operated even more easily and safely. The keypad is also resistant to all usual weather conditions, oils and chemicals. The appropriate use of a high-pressure cleaner cannot

The new Mixokret machine is able to adapt flexibly to the conditions on construction sites.


IES Railway Systems Handbook –––– Outside Back Cover

CMP Consultants Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––––––– Page 09 Facilitators Network Singapore Pte Ltd ––––––– Page 13

Pedro Investigations & –––––––––––––––––––– Page 11 Security Services Pte Ltd

IES Chartered Engineer –––––––––––– Inside Front Cover

Singapore Institute of Technology –––––––– Page 14 & 15

IES Membership –––––––––––––––––– Inside Back Cover

Singapore University of Social Sciences ––––––– Page 01


Profile for The Singapore Engineer

The Singapore Engineer July 2020