IBEW 2024: A problem is a chance to learn something new

The 6th edition of the International Built Environment Week (IBEW) returns with the theme ‘Solving for Tomorrow, Today’. Held at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 4-6 Sep, IBEW 2024 will explore various topics including modern methods of construction, sustainability, collaborative contracting and lean construction. 

IBEW 2024
IBEW a platform for the global community to converge and share knowledge, exchange experiences and explore business opportunities (Image: IBEW)

As engineers, a problem is always seen as a challenge waiting to be solved. Drawing on this for the theme for IBEW 2024, engineers are always thinking of how to make things better, to approach this challenge more elegantly. In the built environment, engineers have been responsible for making abstract ideas and design a reality. Without engineers, skyscrapers and bridges will remain nothing but a drawing on a piece of paper.

Placing engineers at the forefront and centre of the conference, IBEW is pleased to welcome Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck, CEO and MD of Goldbeck GmbH, one of Germany’s leading construction and engineering firms as the opening keynote speaker. An engineer himself, Goldbeck was instrumental in developing Goldbeck into a firm that has “solved the problems of modularisation and standardisation” in modern methods of construction.

The system Goldbeck has developed, involves standardising the structural components of buildings while allowing for a high degree of customisation in the visible aspects, is nothing short of amazing. This approach has allowed the company to streamline the construction process and reduces costs.

Their modular construction methods enable Goldbeck to rapidly complete projects, even large ones like the Tesla factory in Berlin, at a fraction of the time needed in traditional construction. The Tesla factory’s core shell was completed in just six months, proving that a “pick and plug-in” model of modularisation can pay off.

Carrying on the theme of finding solutions that can be applied today, IBEW shall also explore technological developments in Construction Automation through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Construction Robots and 3D printing.

All three holds great promise in solving the challenges faced by the industry. In this session, Asst Prof Immanuel Koh of SUTD, shall share the work he has put in to develop a generative AI software for architects, one that is being trained on various building codes and designs, in the hope that one day, architects can design buildings faster through prompts.

Anand Nantarajan, Global Sales & Portfolio manager, General Industries, Robotics Division of ABB will share his thoughts on how robots have helped automate the processes in various industries and how our industry can potentially benefit.

IBEW 2024
Under the theme “Solving for Tomorrow, Today”, industry experts will lead the conference in discussing topics like AI and sustainability (Image: IBEW)

Moreover, engineers today play a critical role in the push for sustainability in the built environment. As more companies and building owners are required to publish detailed carbon accounting, engineers can make an outsized impact on projects, from greenfield to retrofitting projects.

Taking the stage over two days of IBEW 2024, sessions on carbon accounting and decarbonisation will bring, to the audience, guest speakers from a wide spectrum of sectors, including developers, financiers, certification bodies and solution providers.

Jocelyn Campbell, regional commercial director, Asia Pacific from CarbonCure shall provide insights into the use of greener building materials such as green concrete while Jasper Wong, managing director, head of Real Estate, United Overseas Bank will provide his perspective on green financing and how the financial industry can catalyse innovation in engineering for a greener future.

Yet, overcoming engineering challenges is possibly easier than overcoming the structural challenges behind mindsets towards innovation. Thus, Plenary 5 ‘Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in the Built Environment’, moderated by Luke Wu, head of Innovation at Kajima Development, will feature leading minds from top companies, such as Hajime Onojima, executive officer of Obayashi Corporation and Dr Thomas Hyde, chief transformation & innovation Officer of Beca. Hear for yourself how these brilliant leaders led transformative change within their organisations and make innovation, a part of their companies’ DNA.

IBEW 2024 is also proud of its partnership in co-creating educational pathways for engineers alongside industry associations. As part of the conference program, the Society for Project Managers (SPM) as well as the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) will be conducting their own workshops and seminars within IBEW Conference.

For IES, two tracks will be created, a Mechanical & Engineering track and a Civil & Structural track. Masterclasses on Day 3 of IBEW include ‘Decarbonization for ASEAN Data Centres’, ‘Demystifying Digital Twins’ and ‘Masterclass on CORENET X BIM Approvals’ are available for engineers who want a deep dive into these topics.