Architecture design contest encourages digital tech usage
25 Apr 2019 | The Star

THE first open architecture design ideas competition and digital innovation lab — the Housing 4.0 competition — has been launched in Malaysia.

It is a collaboration between the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) and Gamuda Industrial Building System Sdn Bhd (Gamuda IBS).

Housing 4.0 hopes to see many inspiring and innovative proposals from Malaysian architects, designers, students and industry players to reinvent the concept of housing in Malaysia with thoughtfulness, creativity and ingenuity.

Winners will walk away with total cash prizes amounting to RM180,000.

The competition, which is a unique exchange and collaboration of design and technology, is an advocacy platform for the utilisation of digital technology in the construction and manufacturing industry while responding to the National Housing Policy 2019 that aims to build one million affordable homes in the next 10 years.

PAM president Ezumi Harzani said the concept of home and the way houses were being built were rapidly evolving.

“Factors such as population growth, shortage of affordable housing, sustainability design and a construction industry that is navigating the challenges of Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) are driving the business towards building homes that are affordable, well designed, eco-friendly, of high quality and healthy.

“In this rapidly changing world, where we are now talking about IR4.0, the Internet of Things and big data, there is a need to make sure architects are up to speed with technology as well as developing innovative designs for future Malaysian housing needs,” he said.

A key component of the competition is the innovation labs which will allow participants to discuss the next phase of growth for the construction sector in Malaysia, particularly on the use of digital design tools such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and how it will integrate with the Industrialised Building Systems (IBS) in a digital ecosystem.

Led by PAM’s Ang Chee Cheong and Gamuda IBS’ general manager Tan Ek Khai, the Housing 4.0 competition will also involve a tour of Malaysia’s first fully automated digital IBS plant in Sepang, which opened in 2016.

“Housing is always discussed in terms of quantity, rarely quality,” said Ang.

“The competition will provide architects with a platform to showcase their creativity and develop designs using the latest digital elements.

“With IR4.0 hitting the construction industry, architects can only thrive if best practices contribute to the housing conversation.

“Architects are traditionally the main drivers of housing and we welcome this great opportunity to work with premier industry partners to pilot innovation and creativity.

“With Gamuda IBS as a key digital technology collaborator with us, this is an exciting project addressing real national issues and social concerns. Together, we can tackle many pressing housing issues,” added Ang

At the launch, Ezumi said, “The technology revolution has upended the construction industry.

“As a result, the industry across the globe is starting to integrate innovations such as robotics, on-site drones and BIM into routine construction practices.

“There is a need for us to get up to speed to meet the demands of Malaysia’s future housing needs.

“By launching this competition, PAM and Gamuda IBS believe that we will be able to make a difference in building more homes that have both intrinsic and extrinsic value within a shorter span of time.”

“The competition aims to attract innovative designers and architects to use BIM technology – an online design tool in 3D – which will dictate what the robots in Gamuda IBS’ factories will produce,” said Tan.

“Houses built with such components can be sustainable with stringent quality standards.

“This will be done without compromising on creativity as all panels produced are individually formed by robots based on the architect’s BIM design.

“We believe this competition will lead Malaysia’s housing landscape in the era of IR4.0.

“IBS reduces the dependence on foreign and manual labour by 70% while building up a pool of innovative and skilled workforce that is ready for IR4.0.”

The Housing 4.0 competition deadline is July 15. For details, visit