BuildXpo Malaysia 2023 closes on high note

BuildXpo Malaysia 2023, hosted by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia and organised by Qube Integrated Malaysia, has concluded its three-day exhibition in conjunction with International Construction Week (ICW) 2023. The event was held on 15-17 November at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur.

According to the organiser, BuildXpo drew close to 10,000 international and local trade visitors, with nearly 200 booths from local and international construction players across the supply chain, and achieved almost RM500 million in trade value.

“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,” said Dato’ Sr. Mohd Zaid Zakaria, CEO of CIDB Malaysia.

The trade value generated comprises RM117.8 million in potential sales from 126 business meetings that took place during 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 seven countries, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and Germany.

The business discussions at the INSP revolved around sourcing of materials, technologies and services, such as heavy machinery, roofing and solar lights. Also in high demand were building information modelling (BIM) software solutions, drones, smart building technologies and integrated engineering services.

The organiser added that the 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.

Technology- and sustainability-driven

The exhibition floor featured a wide range of innovations, showcasing high-tech extended reality tools, simulators, immersive built structures and eco building materials. Among the exhibitors were 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), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), and Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB).

Some of these innovations 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; and the VR welding simulator at the CIDB Tech pavilion that simulated welding for training purposes, allowing 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.

The drone technology by Akademi Binaan Malaysia demonstrated the potential of robotics in construction. Malaysia is said to be 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.

In addition, visitors were able to view the smart helmet at the Petronas pavilion, a data-driven, smart industrial-grade safety helmet. This wearable helmet-mounted computer is an Internet of Things (IoT) solution which enables connectivity, data capture and live wireless monitoring.

MSSA competition

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,” said the chief judge, Tony Liew.

“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.”

Out of the 19 submissions from seven universities, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) emerged as a double podium finisher, clinching the first and third place, while Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) took the 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.

BuildXpo Malaysia, in conjunction with ICW, is scheduled to return from 20 to 24 October 2024 at MITEC.

*More photos of BuildXpo 2023 can be viewed below.