IN today’s competitive environment, property developers have to offer quality homes that never go out of style. They have to strive to build the best home for both investors and buyers, one that fits their lifestyle, and makes them feel comfortable and safe.
Housing projects play a vital role in the development of the country’s economy. As construction is tied to property development, there is a need to have a proper monitoring system to ensure good quality workmanship.
Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), which overlooks the construction industry in Malaysia, has introduced a system called Quality Assessment System for Building Construction Works (QLASSIC).
QLASSIC is an independent method to assess and evaluate primarily the quality of workmanship of building projects based on Construction HamidIndustry Standard (CIS).
Its assessment covers structural, architectural, mechanical and external
works through inspection, field testing and sampling.
CIS’ primary objective is to provide a benchmark on the standards that can be applied by the industry to measure the quality of construction projects objectively.
CIDB chief executive Datuk Seri Dr Judin Abdul Karim said big property players are already in support of the QLASSIC assessment system.
They include Sime Darby Property Bhd, MK Land Holdings Bhd, Sunway Bhd, MKH Bhd, IOI Properties Group Bhd, I&P Group Sdn Bhd, Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd, IJM Land Bhd, Paramount Property Development Sdn Bhd, Naim Land Sdn Bhd, and Guocoland (Malaysia) Bhd.
Most of the developers will be signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to use QLASSIC in their housing projects, Judin told Business Times in an interview, here, recently.
According CIDB senior manager of business division, Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid, Sime Darby Property has made QLASSIC a mandatory procedure, while MK Land has developed its own group, called QLASSIC team, to inspect its development projects first hand to reach optimum score before the official QLASSIC assessment.
Singapore has a similar standard called Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS), developed by its Building and Construction Authority. It serves as a respected benchmark assessment system to measure workmanship quality in completed buildings in the city-stat and the region.
Malaysian property developers that have adopted Singapore’s CONQUAS are Bukit Kiara Properties Sdn Bhd, for its VERVE Suites’ Vibe Tower project.
The completed Vibe Tower has set yet another quality benchmark when it broke the CONQUAS score record in 2010. It obtained a score of 82.2, the highest ever point for a high-rise residential project in Malaysia. This achievement represents the company’s commitment to building quality homes.
CIDB is planning to evaluate 250 housing projects this year, using the QLASSIC method.
For the first nine months, the board has assessed 210 projects.
“This is a small number considering there are over 5,000 residential projects throughout the country. We want the public to demand for QLASSIC inspection from the developers and contractors. The current highest score for QLASSIC is between 75 per cent and 100 per cent,” said Ahmad Asri.
QLASSIC can be requested by property purchasers from property developers or contractors with a fee of RM500 per project, he added.
QLASSIC assessment is being carried out by competent assessors appointed by CIDB.
“These assessors have passed and fulfilled all requirements set by CIDB. Only assessors that pass the training will be registered with CIDB as qualified QLASSIC assessors. At all times, CIDB will ensure appointment of assessors whom will conduct assessments with the highest level of professionalism and integrity.
“These assessors will then award workmanship that complies with the standards. These marks are then summed up to give a total quality score (in percentage) for the building,” he said.
Judin, meanwhile, said the board is actively promoting QLASSIC and also Safety and Health Assessment System in Construction (SHASSIC), which assesses safety and health practices at work sites, to construction players.
“We are also promoting the Industrialised Building Systems as part of our effort to enhance the quality of construction as we believe that using pre-fabricated building components will ensure better quality of construction and also reduce the need for unskilled labour,” he said.
Judin said since its inception in 2007, QLASSIC’s take-up rate has been relatively low, at 3.5 per cent. Only 202 applications were received although there was a total of 5,823 projects in 2013.
Awareness was low as the focus of QLASSIC was only on industry players, he said.
“This year, we have changed our approach and are educating the public on QLASSIC via mass media. We want to create awareness among property purchasers on what to look out for in terms of quality when they buy a home. Many purchasers are more focused on the layout and design of the property and do not spend time examining quality of the finishes,” he said.
CIDB is hoping to make QLASSIC mandatory within the next two years. The board is also planning to promote it to other countries in the region, such as Vietnam and Cambodia.
“This way, developers can compare the workmanship level in different countries,” he said.
“The board is scheduled to sign a MoU with Kuala Lumpur City Hall by the end of the month to encourage all registered building projects to undergo a QLASSIC assessment. Property developers are expected to sign an MoU with CIDB on that day for this purpose,” he said.