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Focused Policy Coverage: China Drills New Meaning into Industrialized Construction

Yike Qin

By Yike Qin

Senior Manager, Government Relations, FII China

September 9, 2020

China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) and eight other national departments jointly announced a new policy on September 4th 2020, ushering in a new phase for the industrialized construction sector. While recognizing the accomplishments made since the formulation of prefabrication policies in 2016, the new policy was published in a context where operation efficiency, innovation and environmental protection are reinforced as essential concerns for the industry.

Building on existing prefabrication policies, the new policy aims to promote construction industrialization driven by information technology to optimize the process and define more specific action areas for advancement. There is a push for a consolidation of supply chains to ensure high-quality development, and efficiency requirements to lower material consumption and pollutant emissions. Accordingly, action plans were rolled out to define policy targets in nine fields:

-The policy pushes architects to focus on a more systematic design with an emphasis on determining factors in each stage of construction to better account for the life cycle of the process.

-Establishing new certification mechanisms for production lines, the policy advocates for standardization of building components and optimization of the manufacturing process where green building materials can be utilized.

-The policy emphasizes precision and efficiency for on-site construction, with significant portions of the text dedicated to integrated refurbishment and enhanced coordination among the different trades involved.

-The combination of information technology and industrialized construction was widely discussed in the policy, covering Building Information Modeling (BIM), the Internet of Things (IoT), big data applications, and smart building technologies.

-With respect to project management, Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) was cited as the mainstream model for industrialized construction, while professional consulting services are mandated for quality control of the whole process.

-The policy recognized the role of technology in bolstering an upgraded version of industrialized construction and therefore encouraged research and development as well as the conversion of technological advancement.

-According to the policy, cultivating a talent pool that matches the emerging workforce demand is a critical step for the success of the new industrialization drive.

-Competent departments will set up feedback channels to evaluate the opportunities and challenges facing industrialized construction.

-The policy concludes with a series of incentives to stimulate the transformation to a newer stage of industrialized construction, covering project approval facilitation, financial support, incentives for environmental standards, technology proliferation and other government endorsements.