Seeking Innovative Advanced Prefabricated Design Concepts for High-Rise Residential Buildings

Background / Description

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) involves shifting on-site construction works to off-site prefabrication in the factory as much as possible. The approach will bring about significant benefits including reduction in construction time, manpower and improved quality and safety at construction sites. DfMA covers a wide spectrum of prefabrication technologies, including Prefabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construction (PPVC), Mass Engineered Timber (MET), structural steel, precast concrete, and also modular MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) systems.

Concrete is the preferred material for residential developments. Although precast concrete technology has been widely used in local projects, there is still room for improvements. More innovative advanced precast concrete designs, with simple connections or joints that are effective, efficient and easy to assemble can be developed. Advanced precast concrete can be designed to allow bigger, more complex volumetric components which will help to decrease the number of components required. This would in turn lead to easier and faster construction.

While precast technology is widely used for the construction of HDB buildings, there is a need for an in-depth study on the feasibility of developing efficient, new building structural system and connecting joints design that is simple, efficient to produce and construct, and able to integrate with architectural and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) system, to increase productivity. However, this should not be at the expense of maintainability and joints developed should be watertight and withstand the water ingress from driving rain which is common in our tropical climate.

Technical Specifications


The desired outcome of the research is to develop an innovative precast design at system level which would include design, production and method of construction that would allow mechanization of assembly, and test building structural systems and jointing connection designs that are able to:

  • Improve construction productivity by at least 30% from current best practice or at least 50% from conventional practice (whichever is better), at cost parity with best-in-class in 2016;
  • Achieve at least 50% reduction of cycle time from current best practice, without increasing the workforce;
  • Achieve at least 30% reduction of construction period, without increasing the workforce;
  • Develop and test building structural system and joints connection design that could complement the existing precast building system so as to enhance construction productivity; and
  • Achieve good watertight joints i.e. no ingress of water and achieve good long term building performance with minimum maintenance cost throughout the service life of the building.


  • Principal Investigators (PIs) from all Singapore-based institutions of higher learning (IHLs), public sector agencies and not-for-profit research laboratories as well as companies and company-affiliated research laboratories/institutions, are eligible to apply.
  • The Lead PI who leads the Research must be based in Singapore. Collaboration with foreign organisations and experts in the capacity of Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), or as Collaborator is allowed.
  • Research work should be done in Singapore, and should not be carried out overseas unless expressly approved by the grantor.
  • The proposals must not have obtained similar funding from other government agencies. Proposals with similar scope, which are currently under evaluation by other funding initiatives, would not be considered until the results from the other funding initiatives are finalized.
  • Grant applicants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with industry and development agencies to develop innovative solutions that can address the call objectives and demonstrate strong potential for real-world application within Singapore.

Submission Instructions

Details of the CFP are attached herewith. Please download all files and read all instructions and guidelines for the Grant Call by clicking on the <<Proceed to Details>> button below.

All proposals must be submitted to both and by 19 Jul 2018, 2359 hrs. (Update: The deadline for submission has been extended 2 weeks from 19 July to 2 Aug 2018, 2359 hrs). Late submissions or submissions from individual applicants without endorsement from the Host Institution will not be entertained.

In case of conflicting information, the Grant Call website shall be taken as most updated source.

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration

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