China, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Indonesia among 97 local and international companies that have identified long-term trade opportunities through BuildXpo.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – BuildXpo Malaysia 2023, hosted by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia and organised by Qube Integrated Malaysia, concluded its three-day flagship exhibition in conjunction with International Construction Week 2023 on a high. Hosting close to 10,000 international and local trade visitors, close to 200 booths from local and international construction players across the supply chain and garnering close to RM500million in trade value, BuildXpo reaffirmed its role as Asia’s premier platform for sustainability and innovation in construction.
CIDB Malaysia CEO, Dato’ Sr. Mohd Zaid Zakaria, expressed satisfaction with International Construction Week 2023 and BuildXpo Malaysia 2023. “This year marked the 22nd edition of the International Construction Week and the inaugural year for BuildXpo. The quality of trade visitors and high-level discourse facilitated through this platform is a testament to the construction and building industry’s leadership and sought after capabilities. The vibrancy of the industry is evident thanks to the cutting-edge innovation and technology we have seen which is key in creating a competitive and promising future for the building industry,” he explained.
The trade value generated comprises of RM117.8 million in potential sales from 126 high-value business meetings facilitated through the International Sourcing Programme (INSP) organised in conjunction with BuildXpo. A total of 42 Malaysian companies (sellers) were matched with 19 foreign companies (buyers) from 7 countries, namely Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, and Germany. Business discussions revolved around sourcing of materials, technology and services such as heavy machinery, roofing, and solar lights. Also in great demand were Building Information Modelling (BIM) software, drones, smart building technology, and integrated engineering services.
Additionally, engagements through bilateral meetings with high level policymakers such as Zambia Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Charles Milupi, and representatives from the Zimbabwe Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities also contributed to the generation of potential sales at BuildXpo. The convergence across the construction and building supply chain gathered architects, engineers, and contractors from across the region who leveraged on the engagement and networking opportunities present during the exhibition and ICW open forums.
Curated Experiences Received Well By Businesses
Exhibitor GreenRE Sdn Bhd, Executive Director, Ashwin Thurairajah, shared, "As a certification body, we are ready to drive sustainability within the construction sector, in line with the green building agenda. We’re here today to raise awareness to property developers and the supply chain about how our rating system can be a compass for them to move towards sustainability."
Mutare City Council, Housing and Community Services, Assistant Director, Noel Israel Mushangwe, from Zimbabwe hopes to have the honour to attend the next BuildXpo again. "This exhibition enabled us to exchange knowledge and ideas, and network with contractors, government bodies, local authorities, and industry experts from various countries,” he said.
Speaking about his experience, Zambia National Council for Construction, Director of Finance and Administration, Kabondo Lucky Muntanga, felt BuildXpo was very beneficial. "It has been a wonderful experience. I had a chance to walk around the exhibition hall, connecting with experts within the sector, and found areas in which both parties can collaborate,” he explained.
Technology- And Sustainability-Driven
The exhibition floor featured interactive exhibits featuring high-tech extended reality tools, and simulators, immersive built structures and ground-breaking eco building materials. Recognisable exhibitors included PETRONAS, MRCB, Gamuda, YTL Cement, Malaysia Green Building Council (MGBC), the Small And Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA), MCC Overseas (M) Sdn Bhd, Cement Industries of Malaysia Berhad (CIMA), MARA and Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB).
The spectrum of innovative tools at BuildXpo embodied features dedicated to advancing TVET education, competency enrichment, and making construction inspection safer and more reliable. These included the Virtual Reality (VR) Goggles at the MARA pavilion which highlighted how TVET students at Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Sri Gading are empowered with an immersive experience mimicking real-world site visits. The VR Welding Simulator at the CIDB Tech pavilion simulated welding for training purposes, which allowed visitors to experience a smooth assimilation between the digital and real-world application. Embedded AI technology also enabled users to identify defects in a welding exercise for a comprehensive learning experience.
Next, the Drone Technology by Akademi Binaan Malaysia highlighted the potential of robotics in construction. Malaysia is the first in Southeast Asia to deploy the SkyGauge, a drone with remote ultrasonic technology used for inspection and non-destructive testing of tall structures, thus minimising worker risk. Examples of applications include testing for corrosion and metal thickness. Finally, visitors found the Smart Helmet at the PETRONAS pavilion, a data driven smart industrial grade safety helmet, very impressive. The wearable helmet-mounted computer is an Internet of Things (IoT) solution which enables connectivity, data capture and live wireless monitoring.
Sandbox For Aspiring Architects and Engineers
The 2023 Malaysian Structural Steel Association (MSSA) Open Ideas Competition themed, ‘Synergising Architectural Creativity and Engineering Precision’ held its final judging and award ceremony at BuildXpo. “The aim of the competition is about educating the students; winning is a bonus. The standard of the submissions is high, and the students are very imaginative and daring with their ideas. We look for ideas that challenge conventional notions. Most of the participating students are about to graduate, so we share professional advice to help them to be more prepared for the real world. We hope through the competition, engineering students will learn to appreciate the value of design and architecture students will appreciate the value of construction,” shared MSSA Open Ideas Competition 2023 Chief Judge, Tony Liew.
Out of the 19 submissions from seven universities, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) emerged as a double podium finisher, clinching first and third place, while Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) took second place. USM’s winning submission, titled, ‘TxT (Township multiply Township) impressed the judges by addressing space scarcity with a vertical design engineered to free-up the ground level for community activities. "The competition allowed us to collaborate with engineering students to fine-tune the architectural design we came-up with," said team leader Goh Zheng Rong.
BuildXpo Malaysia 2023, was managed by Qube Integrated Sdn Bhd (QUBE) and held from 15 to 17 November at MITEC, Kuala Lumpur.