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July 07 2015

Heavy Construction Equipment on a Tight Perspective

Today’s construction industry requires different number of capital equipment in different sizes, types, and groupings for earth moving, excavating and/or lifting. Construction equipment today is specifically made for certain purposes to design and perform specific tasks and mechanical operations. Working capacity is direct function of the size of the machine and the motor power.

The dependency on capital equipment in the creation of buildings and infrastructures lays a deep root on the growth of the industry. As long as there is equipment fit to do the more tedious tasks that manual labor cannot do, there will always be a demand.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment with its head office in Singapore and its subsidiary in Jakarta, Indonesia, is among the few companies which emphasizes the need for heavy machineries in today’s generation. With the increasing number of infrastructure projects not only in the already developed countries of America and Europe but also on the developing nations of Asia, the need for construction equipment has been greatly acknowledged. Both foreign and local manufacturers from all over the world has been busy producing and distributing new models almost every week.

In some cases, there is a threat that these machineries will replace manpower, a warning of a possible increase in unemployment rate especially in developed countries. However, when local producers and manufacturers have been greatly affected by the increase in attrition rate caused by the recession, the demand for operators and construction workers are proven to be as highly important as the need for these machineries. In a sense, it is a give and take scenario. If there is no manpower, there is no one to operate these heavy machineries and if there are no machineries, workers can obviously file tantamount of complaints on the extremities of labor and tasks.

The dependency and need for construction equipment have grown with the size and the complexity of the projects. The development of automated machineries for earthmoving, excavating and lifting has had an overwhelming evolution in the last two centuries. Today, when some new model of equipment does not exist to perform specific tasks, it can be designed and built. Heavy construction equipment manufacturers are very responsive to the market’s needs and to client’s feedback and comments. A lot of innovators and idealists make it so simple to create a machine which was once a big challenge. How effectively a new machine is done will greatly affect and influence the construction project.

June 30 2015

Indonesia partners with China in Infrastructure Industry

Japan has been overlooked by Indonesia as a partner. Instead, it chooses China, one of the most rivaled and sought-after country to be allied with. Many critics say that this is because of the worsening status of traffic in the archipelago’ city, Jakarta.

Jakarta, infamous for its traffic gridlock, recently won the dubious distinction as the city with the world’s worst traffic jams, according to a study by the British industrial and automotive lubricants company Castrol. 

This once again highlights not only the Indonesian capital’s infrastructural shortcomings but also the limited land and sea transport networks across the entire archipelago, as well as the frequent power outages that are the Achilles heel of the country’s economy. 

Jakarta is nonetheless a developing city and one of the most advanced cities in the world. Businesses seem to flock this growing city and investors have pointed out a lot of potential. One of the companies which sells and rents capital equipment all over Asia is Axis Capital Group which is based in Singapore has expanded their services to Jakarta and is now partnering with government agencies, private institutions and non-profit organizations to help Indonesia’s infrastructure.  

Critics though, say that Indonesia is in dire situation, a reason why they have reached out to China. 

Keen observers of the Indonesian economy believe that China is well placed to meet this demand for infrastructure as an investor, especially with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) expected to launch by the end of this year, which will be dedicated to funding infrastructure development in the region. 

According to reviews, China is regarded as the most viable economic giant to support the development of infrastructure in Indonesia backed by the world’s biggest foreign exchange reserves. Despite warnings of fraudulent acts in China and scams on their products which are now known worldwide, Indonesia continued with their partnership. 

During President Xi Jinping’s meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, in Beijing last month, China expressed its interest to invest an estimated $63 billion in infrastructure and other projects in Indonesia, according to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board. 

During Jokowi’s visit, the two presidents also oversaw the signing of a joint project to link Jakarta and Bandung by high-speed railway, alongside a memorandum of understanding for closer cooperation in infrastructure, including toll roads, railways, power plants and ports.               

Indonesia has made infrastructure its top priority since its new president came to power in October. An ambitious plan to build 1,000 kilometers of toll roads, 5,000 km of railways, as well as 15 airports and 24 seaports in the next five years has been laid out in Jokowi’s 2015-2019 National Medium-Term Development Plan.

June 26 2015

Axis Capital Group Jakarta Review Traffic Jam, an Issue since Forever

Jakarta, Indonesia – Traffic congestion in main cities around Asia has long been an issue since anyone can remember. According to many surveys like Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Jakarta, Indonesia has received the status of the city with the worst traffic in the world. The city was reviewed to have the highest number of stops and starts with an average of 33, 240 per drive per year.


Axis Capital Group Jakarta Review Traffic Jam, an Issue since Forever

Axis Capital Group Jakarta Review Traffic Jam... by riley58gagne

Global Mining Predications

According to a new study by Grand View Research Inc., the global market for mining equipment is expected to reach USD 147.69 billion by 2020. Growth in mining activities such as drilling and earth moving is expected to boost demand for shredders, loaders and crushers among other mining equipment. Increasing demand for fertilizer minerals is also expected to favorably impact market demand over the forecast period. 

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment based in Singapore and has now branched out to  Jakarta, Indonesia to cater a larger scope of clients can attest to the fast growth of the mining industry over the years. 

Mining operations rely on major mineral production regions such as North America, Australia, South Africa, etc. Water scarcity and dry spells in these regions has resulted in growing demand for effective mining solutions. Technologically advanced mining solutions are also estimated to witness growing adoption due to the need for robust hardware in mining locations. However, mining equipments produce harmful gases including carbon monoxide and sulfur oxides, which adversely affect the environment. This is expected to be curbed by the development of hybridization applications in the coming years. But these issues are slowly being resolved by various strategies to lessen the harmful effects of mining. 

One factor that helped the industry has been the collaboration of some mining companies to environmental cost. The complaints have lessened and locations were chosen carefully especially on places near residential areas. Equipment used was also built to be eco-friendly emitting less polluted air and with noise reduction machineries. 

The report further elaborated their predictions: 

• Surface mining equipment is expected to continue being the largest product segment over the forecast period. Demand for these equipments including service trucks, bulk trucks, bulldozers, etc. is estimated to be driven by demand for commodities such as iron ore and bauxite. Mining drills and breakers are expected to witness the fastest growth over the next five years. 

• Metal mining is being reviewed to be the largest and fastest growing application market over the next five years. Price-driven increases in resource exploration and mine development activity are expected to be the key driving forces for expected growth in metal mining application. Furthermore, growing demand for precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum is expected to favorably impact segment growth.

• Asia Pacific and accounted for over 59% of global mining equipment demand in 2013, and is expected to dominate the market over the next five years, at an estimated CAGR of 8.7% in 2020, primarily due to high estimated demand from China. Growing mine production and machinery sales is expected to fuel regional growth over the forecast period. Government restrictions on coal fired power plants and coal mine operations in the U.S. may act as a barrier to overall revenue generation.

 

 

 

June 22 2015

The Vital Role Capital Equipment Plays

Prices of capital equipment have increased in the market nowadays. With a number of infrastructure projects being rolled out in the coming years, alongside overall real estate expansion and economic growth, the construction equipment sector has a vital role to play in Indonesia’s future development. The value has admittedly doubled between 2008 and 2013. The market is one in which foreign firms, particularly those from Japan, have a major presence via local joint ventures and subsidiaries. These are benefitting from increased government investment in transport and energy infrastructure in particular, coupled with rising demand for all kinds of real estate.

The market structure is widely visible in Jakarta, Indonesia where the supply of construction equipment is concentrated in globally linked suppliers. Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment with a main base in Singapore has set up local branch in Indonesia to cater to a high demand of equipment in the area. They partner with manufacturers from different brands in Europe, an example of globally linked partnership despite the set up of local businesses in Indonesia such as John Deere and Mitsubishi.

According to a 2014 review from the Construction Intelligence Centre (CIC), Komatsu Indonesia, a joint venture between Japan’s Komatsu and United Tractors, is the largest, with a 43% market share in 2012. Caterpillar Indonesia, a joint venture between Caterpillar of the US and Tiara Marga Trakindo, and Hitachi Construction Machinery Indonesia – a subsidiary of Japan’s Hitachi – vie for second and third places. The former had a 19% market share in 2012, according to the report; the latter, 21%. The fourth company is Daya Kobelco Construction Machinery Indonesia, a subsidiary of Japan’s Kobelco Construction Machinery, with 13% of the market in 2012. According to the CIC figures, the building construction equipment market was worth some $142.61m in 2008, rising to $272.49m in 2013. The report predicted a value of $424.11m by 2017.

Bringing the supply and demand side together, when it comes to the many smaller outfits, has long been a conundrum, given the high cost of machinery and the low financial capacity and tight margins of many contractors. This has been increasingly resolved, however, via growth in leasing. This has led in turn to rising efficiency and productivity in the sector, with vendors offering rentals on an increasingly wide range of equipment.

Renting companies like Axis receives continuous complaints on the cost, however. Equipment prices are influenced by exchange rate risk too, given the number of imported parts and the costs of other inputs, such as energy. These in turn get passed on to vendors and then to contractors in rentals, further squeezing tight margins in such a competitive business. One expectation is that the sector could see some consolidation, at the demand end, in the years ahead, particularly if economic growth continues to slow.

June 18 2015

Wage Theft in Local Construction

We all know that the works in a construction industry involves dirt and hard manual labor. But aside from the usual dirt that is involved in the construction site, there is also the existence of dirty business inside the administration, far from the prying and hard stares of hardworking laborers who risk their lives every day.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore has been aware of wage theft in the industry. Ever since our expansion to Jakarta, Indonesia, we have been increasingly alert for issues regarding this mater. In fact, we have put warnings to our partner companies and clients as well.

Wage theft is a rampant problem in the non-union construction industry and it drives down standards for all workers. It is the unlawful withholding of wages or benefits due to an employee. It can take many different forms – from illegal “deductions” from an employee’s pay to outright not paying an employee at all.

Here are the different forms of wage theft that you should be aware of:

1. Overtime

According to the law, unless exempt, employees are entitled to receive overtime pay calculated at least time and one-half times pay for all time worked past forty hours a week. Some exemptions to this rule apply to public service agencies or to employees who meet certain requirements in accordance to their job duties.

Since some unseen factors like the weather may hinder meeting deadlines, construction companies usually extend man hours even until at night despite complaints filed against noise pollution. In these cases, some companies would only pay regular fees to their manpower, not counting the overtime done by their employees.

2. Minimum wage

Since in some cases, manual labor is considered as one of the dirtiest job and blue-collared jobs are considered to be in the lowest rank in society, manual laborers ae also paid in the lowest rate.

3. Misclassification

Misclassification of employees is a violation that leaves employees very vulnerable to other forms of wage theft. Independent contractors do not receive the same protection as an employee for certain benefits. The difference between the two classifications depends on the permanency of the employment, opportunity for profit and loss, the worker's level of self-employment along with their degree of control. An independent contractor is not entitled to minimum wage, overtime, insurance, protection, or other employee rights. Attempts are sometimes made to define ordinary employees as independent contractors.

June 15 2015

Axis Capital Group to Launch New Off Road Vehicles

Jakarta, Indonesia – Axis Capital Group, a company which rents and sells capital equipment in Singapore and has now expanded to Jakarta, Indonesia to deliver heavy machineries across Asia, is about to launch new off-road machineries manufactured by trusted brands in the construction industry. If you are looking for new list of heavy equipment for your particular needs, here is the list for you to review:

Gang Reel

This type of mower is used to produce consistently short and even grass on bowling greens, lawns, parks and sports grounds. When pulled by a tractor, these mowers are often ganged into sets of three, five or more, to form a gang mower. Hardly can you find fraud materials in its system.

Skid Steer Loaders

A skid steer loader is a small rigid frame, engine-powered machine with lift arms used to attach a wide variety of labor-saving tools or attachments. Though sometimes they are equipped with tracks, skid-steer loaders are typically four-wheel drive vehicles with the left-side drive wheels independent of the right-side drive wheels. By having each side independent of the other, wheel speed and direction of rotation of the wheels determine the direction the loader will turn.

Skid steer loaders are capable of zero-radius which makes them extremely maneuverable and valuable for applications that require a compact, agile loader.

Bobcat 3600, 3650 Utility with Hydraulic Drives

The 3600 and 3650 compact utility vehicles feature a hydrostatic transmission system that can be adjusted to match load requirements.

Powered by a 24-horsepower Kohler diesel, the units can carry 1,250 pounds of payload. Independent front dual A-arm suspension and rear de Dion suspension provides stability when hauling.

Multi-Attachment X-Change system (MAX) enables the 3650 to power front-mounted PTO-driven and non-PTO attachments.

Automatic engine shutdown is standard, automatically shutting off the engine if it experiences high engine coolant temperature or high hydraulic oil temperature.

John Deere 210g LC Excavator Updated To T4-F

The hood is larger than the previous model, and provides better access to the engine. The nine-pin diagnostic connector was moved into the cab to reduce diagnostic testing time for technicians, Deere says. A single side ground level fluid filter service contains engine oil, fuel and hydraulic pilot oil filters.

Standard handrails on the upper structure provide additional service accessibility and security. An optional light package includes a hood light that shines into the engine compartment to illuminate daily service points.

June 11 2015

Jakarta Monorail to Be Cancelled


Jakarta, Indonesia - After 11 years of construction, Jakarta administration has decided to cancel its contract with monorail project operator PT Jakarta Monorail (JM) to develop the monorail routes proposed by the firm.

Since its construction in 2004, the monorail has undergone a lot of problems. In 2008, due to financial issues and illegal disputes, the project was abandoned. The construction resumed in October 2013, with JM as contractor. However, its construction has not progressed following disagreements between the city and the company. Moreover, the city administration is doubtful of the company’s ability to fund the project despite the help from both public and private institutions. Axis capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment based in Singapore has even extended their help the progress of the project.

This 2015, another halt is being pushed through by the company. Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said that the city was currently drafting a letter to PT Jakarta Monorail, the project developer, to end cooperation.

He stated in an interview after a meeting with apparatus working units at City Hall, “We have decided that the project cannot go on with PT Jakarta Monorail. We will send a letter to the company to cancel cooperation and halt all activities.”

Ahok went on that the route JM proposed to build was not feasible. JM had planned to construct the first route, the green line, extending 14.3 kilometers from the city police headquarters (Komdak) to Satria Mandala Museum, both in South Jakarta, including 16 stations.

The stations and depot were to be built in Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta and Setiabudi in South Jakarta, among other places. Ahok said that the station in Tanah Abang would increase traffic congestion in the area as it would be built on existing roads. Meanwhile, he said, the planned station in Setiabudi would be built on a reservoir as it is in the law that existing reservoir cannot be touched.

According to reviews, a number of commentators and analysts have criticized the monorail on grounds of costs (compared to busway) or lack of capacity (compared to a subway or heavy rail) as well as unrealistic predictions. Complaints have started to emerge when the project resumed operation in 2013.

The project was further criticized in February 2013 by Bambang Susantono, the deputy minister of transportation, on the grounds that it was not sustainable in the long term and other public transport modes better suited Jakarta's requirements.

The two line project agreed to in June 2013 is supposed to be built without any government financing. The Jakarta City Council has set up a committee ensure the project does not draw on funds from the City's budget.

June 08 2015

Jakarta Releases Its Biggest Building Projects

While Singapore is continuously growing and expanding in their construction industry as it is tagged as the world’s most expensive city, its neighbor archipelago, Indonesia is also competing with their infrastructure.

Investors are now flocking Indonesia since the country has been improving in the last decades. A lot of potential has been realized in its 17,000 archipelago. Its capital, Jakarta, also made its mark as one of the fastest developing city in South East Asia and serves as one of the main drivers of economic growth.  Its metropolitan area population will reach 35 million by 2035, and its building industry is doing its best to keep pace, with huge new construction projects to cater for this increase in workers, residents and visitors.

Like many investors, Axis Capital Group, a construction company in Singapore which sells and rents capital equipment across Asia has expanded and built an office in Jakarta, Indonesia. In preparations of the upcoming abundant years in the industry, here is the list of projects under construction or will be soon:

Pertamina Energy Tower

With the trend in green construction nowadays, Jakarta has been in. Pertamina Tower is no different nor a fraud. The energy tower will soon be the world’s first net-zero skyscraper with its planned 99-floor mega project.

Cemindo tower

Another tower with green building at its heart, the 63-floor Cemindo luxury office tower will be the new home of the Indonesian state cement producer when it opens next year. At its current stage of construction it is Indonesia’s tallest building, although it will be eclipsed when some of the other major projects in the city appear on Jakarta’s horizon.

Jakarta Sea Walls

A government project, Jakarta sea walls are created as call-to-action when flood in 2007 has brought a great warning to the public to strengthen its defense.  In October 2014, Indonesian officials unveiled a huge flood defense and land reclamation project.  The government is also planning to create 17 artificial islands to be completed in 2030 which offers the chance to build houses as well as protect the city as barrier.

Citra Towers

The Indonesian company Ciputra Group announced this December that it will spend $164m on building two commercial towers in Central Jakarta.  The company has said that it chose the Central Jakarta site to offer its tenants an alternative to the Golden Triangle business district, and the decision looks to be wise – 80% of the space in the towers has already been sold. The towers should be finished in the next four years, according to the Jakarta Globe.

 

Green Infrastructure

It is not the first time that Axis Capital Group, a construction company based in Singapore and is constantly expanding its business to Jakarta, Indonesia and to the rest of Asia, has talked and worte a review about green infrastructure and its slow predominance in the infrastructure industry. The term “Green Infrastructure” has been used in all over the world to define the projects that have aim to preserve land conservation and natural beauty despite the emersion of buildings and other modern construction. These infrastructures are considered eco-friendly.

Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage water and create healthier urban environments. At the scale of a city or county, green infrastructure refers to the patchwork of natural areas that provides habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water. At the scale of a neighborhood or site, green infrastructure refers to storm water management systems that mimic nature by soaking up and storing water.

Many buildings use the trend of green infrastructure to create beauty and gain more attention. Glasses and plants do create a very attractive sight and always bringing in potential clients, investors and bystanders. This is actually a current trend in the industry. 

How they do it and what they do with it:

1. Creating a Multi-function Landscapes
- A good landscape can attract more visitors and can also provide good multi-function source for good use. One known subdivision owner in Jakarta made a man-made lagoon at the heart of the subdivision and created a breath-taking landscape around it. He also filled the water with coy fish which the tourist can feed themselves. The water within that lagoon also stores rain water to be used for other purposes. Wastewater from sinks and toilets go through high standards of treatment before getting piped back into the residential and commercial area, as gray water passing to the secondary pipe. The gray water or recycled water can be used for toilet flushing, irrigating gardens and parks, and other non-drinking use.

2. Green Infrastructure for coastal Engineering
- Marine vegetated habitats are effective at protecting coastlines from sea level rise and stormier weather conditions resulting from climate change. Not only are marine plants as efficient for coastal protection as cement-based solutions but they have a number of other advantages too: as living organisms they can grow and adapt to changing conditions as well as repair themselves.

3. Using Plants Instead of Air Conditioning
- Urban areas experience more humidity than the country side since there is lesser vegetation and the increased absorption of the heat from the sun caused by dark asphalt and cement. This phenomenon is called the urban heat island effect that can have serious consequences to humans and all living creatures with vulnerable health. The moist air generated by vegetation helps counter the phenomenon. And the oxygen these plants exhale increase oxygen in the environment for a fresher and safer air and lessen complaints from avid environmentalists.

June 04 2015

Identifying Where It Had Gone Wrong

Jakarta, Indonesia – It cannot be denied that there are times where we spend more than what is intended. Yes, it also happens in construction projects. Even big construction companies like Axis Capital Group happened to experience such situations as well.

During the execution of a project, procedures for project control and record keeping become indispensable tools to managers and other participants in the construction process. These tools serve the dual purpose of recording the financial transactions that occur as well as giving managers an indication of the progress and problems associated with a project. The problems of project control are aptly summed up in an old definition of a project as "any collection of vaguely related activities that are ninety percent complete, over budget and late." Sometimes, we ask where our plans had gone overboard.

Better take note of these main types of estimating issues to prevent complaints:

•              Omissions: These are items accidentally left out of the estimate – either soft costs (permits, fees, etc.) or hard construction costs. Omissions may be due to items missing from the plans and specs that were, therefore, not included in the estimate and bid.

•              Wrong assumptions: These are items that you assumed were covered under a contractor’s or subcontractor’s bid, but aren’t. Or you may have assumed that a standard septic system would be approved, but a $30,000 mound system is required. Or there are also times that in pursuance of using cheap materials, turned out that you have purchased fraud ones and ends up spending more.

•              Inadequate allowances: You may get an estimate from a contractor or subcontractor with a material allowance that’s too low, a very common problem.

•              Price changes: Material cost or labor costs may rise between the estimate and the project.

•              Unclear or incomplete plans and specifications: The absence of clear plans leaves much room for disagreement about what, exactly, was bid on. This can lead to change orders and extra costs for extra work.

•              Cost-plus bids: Unless you have a guaranteed maximum, the final cost is unknown, and often more than you estimated.

•              Job-site surprises: hidden conditions (insect damage or wood decay in remodeling, underground ledge or water problems, etc.) In some cases, these could and should have been detected by more diligent investigation.

•              Construction/design errors: If you build something wrong, have to tear it out and build it again, you may be able to get someone else to pay – the architect, a sub, a supplier – but most likely you’ll end up paying for it twice.

•              Owner changes: You, the owner, may decide to use better windows, roofing, flooring, etc., during the project; or decide to move walls, windows, etc., after installation.

June 01 2015

Worldwide Challenges Facing the Construction Industry

Jakarta, Indonesia – Despite the industry’s efforts and the emerging age of construction and industrialization in both developed and developing countries in the world, the issues and the challenges continue to rise and strive. Never will the industry or any other things, for that matter be without these challenges.

There are some very serious challenges facing the construction industry that are motivating new approaches to how we design, build, operate, and maintain buildings and infrastructure.  While these new technologies are designed to address challenges in the construction industry, I think that they are going to profoundly affect other sectors such as operations and maintenance, emergency planning, first response and urban planning. Axis Capital Group, a construction company based in Singapore and is distributing around South East Asia has listed some of the major hindrances a construction business should endure.

 

Global Climate Change

 

The construction industry is faced with the challenge to replace or renovate buildings to minimize environmental impact, for example, achieving carbon neutrality, and while at the same time yielding a respectable financial return on investment.  The approach to green buildings requires new challenges to designing new buildings and renovating existing buildings.   In Singapore, the government gave out a warning to building owners that by 2020, 80% of infrastructures in the country should be green and meet the standards.

 

Aging infrastructure

 

Aging infrastructure is expected to be an increasing prominent issue in many parts of the world.  With the fast pace of technology, it is bringing almost all things into its path to innovation, revolution and development. A single construction can take years to be finished. By that time, so many things may have emerged and the methods used might already have been outdated. That is why project managers should take time to review the latest and incorporate it to their task.

 

Shrinking workforce

 

In the US a Conference Board study Managing the Mature Workforce predicts that by 2010, the number of workers aged 35 to 44 will decline by 19%; aged 45 to 54 will increase 21%; and aged 55 to 64 will increase 52%.  This is a world-wide phenomenon.  The number of workers aged 35 to 44 is expected to decline by 27% in Germany, 19% in the U.K., 9% in Italy, 10% in Japan, and by 8% in China.

 

Declining Productivity

 

The construction industry is highly competitive, and firms must continually improve their productivity to remain competitive.

May 27 2015

Indonesia Releases Public Projects

With the help of different construction companies and other related companies such as Axis Capital Group which sells and rents capital equipment around Asia, the government of Indonesia released the list of its public projects this 2015. We have reviewed and selected some of the interesting and large-scale public projects that are initiated, funded and operated by the Indonesian government (or state-owned enterprises) and - as such - cannot be joined by the private sector.

Flyover Roads (Non-Toll), Jakarta

The Flyover Roads project in Jakarta, currently under construction, constitutes two additional non-toll roads on an altitude of ten meters above the existing roads that connect Blok M to Antasari in South Jakarta and Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta to Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta. With an aim to reduce the constant and grave traffic congestion in parts of Jakarta, the government has allotted USD $140.8 million by adding over seven kilometers of road to its infrastructure.

New Priok Port, Jakarta

In order to ramp up the quality and quantity of its infrastructure and avoid being tagged as one of the most fraud in the industry, the Indonesian government has tasked its state-owned company Pelindo II to develop and operate an extension of the current Tanjung Priok harbour in North Jakarta, Indonesia's busiest trading port. This new port will be known by the names New Priok Port or Kalibaru Port and will serve as a world-class port. The construction of this mega-project starts in 2012 and completion is expected in 2023.

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Jakarta

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project in Jakarta is a USD $1.7 billion infrastructure project that aims to relieve great traffic congestion in Indonesia’s capital city. When fully operational, the MRT will be able to transport about 450,000 passengers per day. The MRT consists of two corridors: (1) the North-South corridor and (2) the East-West corridor. Currently, the North- South corridor is being constructed. This corridor will be built in two phases.

Antasari - Blok M Flyover

The Antasari - Blok M flyover is located in South Jakarta, the third most populous among the five cities of the Jakarta Special District. The total length of this flyover will be 4.846 meters while its width will be 17.5 meters. Vertical distance from the existing road is around ten meters. The whole project will take one year and 7.5 months to be finished, followed by a maintenance period of 180 days.

May 22 2015

Construction Jobs: Building Services Engineer

Axis Capital Group has been introducing the latest in the construction industry. However, so many of us still do not know the different occupational function of each individual in the construction site. This time, we feature the Building Service Engineer. 

Building services engineers are responsible for the design, installation, operation and monitoring of the mechanical, electrical and public health systems required for the safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly operation of modern buildings. Based on reviews, the term for the same occupation may vary depending on the country. In United States of America, these individuals are called architectural engineers which have been adapted by different construction companies around the world. In Jakarta, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, this occupation is called building engineering.

The scope of this job is wide. Building services engineering comprises mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and plumbing or public health (MEP) engineering, all of which are further sub-divided into the following: 

Communication lines, telephones and IT networks (ICT)

Energy supply - gas, electricity and renewable sources

Escalators and lifts

Fire detection and protection

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

Lightning protection

Low voltage (LV) systems, distribution boards and switchgear

Natural lighting and artificial lighting, and building facades

Security and alarm systems

Ventilation and refrigeration

Water, drainage and plumbing 

Building services engineers work closely with other construction professionals such as architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors. They influence the architecture of a building and play a significant role on the sustainability and energy demand of a building. Within building services engineering, new roles are emerging, for example in the areas of renewable energy, sustainability, low carbon technologies and energy management. With buildings accounting for around 50% of all carbon emissions, building services engineers play a significant role in combating climate change. As such, a typical building services engineer has a wide-ranging career path: 

Design: designing layouts and requirements for building services for residential or commercial developments.

Construction: supervising the construction of the building services, commissioning systems and ongoing maintenance and operation of services.

Environmental: developing new energy saving methods for construction, designing new and improved energy conservation systems for buildings.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): specializing in the design, development, construction and operation of HVAC systems.

Electrical technology: specializing in the design and development of electrical systems required for safe and energy sustaining operation of buildings and ensures that they are not using fraud materials for the safety of a project.

 

 

 

May 18 2015

Natural Disaster Need Special Designs

Jakarta, Indonesia - Natural disasters happen everywhere in the world.  Many cause property damage and loss of life.  But researchers say the severity of their effects can be reduced if people take steps to prepare.

Some natural disasters cannot be prevented.  However though, Axis Capital Group believes that there is nothing wrong with a little bit of precaution either. Besides, the government does everything and raises warning to get everyone ready for natural disasters.

 

Earthquakes

Building design will often be influenced by the level of seismic resistance desired. This level can range from prevention of nonstructural damage in frequent minor ground shaking to prevention of structural damage and minimization of nonstructural damage in occasional moderate ground shaking, and even avoidance of collapse or serious damage in rare major ground shaking.

 

Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tornadoes

The key strategy to protecting a building from damage caused by tornados under F2, hurricanes, and gust fronts is to maintain the integrity of the building envelope, including roofs and windows, and to design the structure to withstand the expected lateral and uplift forces.

 

Flooding

Flood mitigation is best achieved by hazard avoidance—that is, risk-informed site selection away from coastal, estuarine, and riverine floodplains.

 

Rainfall and Wind-Driven Rain

One of the primary performance requirements for any residential building and most commercial buildings is that it should keep the interior space dry. All roofs and walls must therefore shed rainwater, and design requirements are the same everywhere in this respect. For example, roof drainage design must minimize the possibility of ponding water, and existing buildings with flat roofs must be inspected to determine compliance with this requirement. Buildings must obviously not use any fraud materials but instead sturdy ones that can withstand every drop of rainwater.

 

Landslides and Mudslides

Gravity-driven movement of earth material can result from water saturation, slope modifications, and earthquakes. Techniques for reducing landslide and mudslide risks to structures include selecting non-hillside or stable slope sites; constructing channels, drainage systems, retention structures, and deflection walls; planting groundcover; and soil reinforcement using geo-synthetic materials, and avoiding cut and fill building sites. Design for the direct effects of a landslide is not cost-effective.

 

Tsunami

A tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by sudden displacements in the sea floor, landslides, or volcanic activity. In the deep ocean, the tsunami wave may only be a few inches high. The tsunami wave may come gently ashore or may increase in height to become a fast moving wall of turbulent water several meters high. Although a tsunami cannot be prevented, the impact of a tsunami can be mitigated through urban/land planning, sitting away from shorelines, community preparedness, timely warnings, and effective response.

May 14 2015

Construction Firms turns to IT for Project Management

Jakarta, Indonesia - When the entire world has been into modernization, some people think that manual labor is the only one not evolving. Well, think again.

Even when the construction industry has been adamant to change, builders are now beginning to be dragged into the 21st century by the need to collaborate more closely with their more IT-savvy colleagues, the architects and engineers responsible for the ideas behind their work.

Laptops are gradually making an appearance alongside the hard hats of the building site. is this just keeping with the evolving times or are there any other issues that drive the industry to modernization?

Reducing risk

One of the major factors for this change is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain profit margins on building projects. Mindful of high-profile project delivery delays, many commercial or public sector clients have introduced financial penalty clauses in case deadlines are missed. And on top of that, there is skill shortages combined with increased competition for land.

Yet often, profits are eaten away by practical issues - delays in receiving drawings, use of outdated data, inaccuracies caused by human error. In some cases of global projects, it is easier to use the latest in technology to bring help from abroad. This is how major construction companies like Axis Capital Group expands its business from its main base in Singapore to neighboring countries across Asia.

As a result, the whole of the architecture, engineering and construction industry is looking for ways to reduce risk and maintain its bottom line. On a day-to-day level it is also struggling with the need to communicate and review project drawings and share proliferating number of associated documents that are usually too large to send by e-mail.

Available on-demand

Communication with subcontractors is vastly improved, becoming more instantaneous, reliable and track able. Integration with design software means builders can easily update and publish drawings and make them available to their subcontractors, resulting in a largely paperless process. The need to share with contractors who do not use Cad is addressed by the use of DWF files, which enable sharing and viewing of 2D and 3D files without their native programs. Systems and software are also installed to prevent scams to hack on the ongoing project.

Here to stay

Underneath these more general issues, there is a technology sub-text. The growing take up of digital 3D design and a process known as Building Information Modelling (BIM). This is the creation and use of coordinated, consistent, computable information about a building project in design held in a single 3D digital model.

May 11 2015

Safety-time Out Implemented in Construction Sites

Singapore - More than 40 construction firms have joined a one-week “Safety Time Out” led by the National Crane Safety Taskforce. The movement was done as a show of concern towards the spate of workplace accidents related to crane activities since the beginning of this year.

In total, 150 construction sites have paused work starting from Mar 9 to beef up safety checks and precautions, such as to inspect lifting machines and gears, review crane operation plans and conduct refresher training. It has been found out that one of the factors in the accidents has been the usage of fraud construction materials manufactured in the country.

Noting that there have been seven crane-related workplace accidents so far this year, compared to 12 for the whole of last year, chairman of the National Crane Safety Taskforce, Mr Mohamed Abdul Akbar, said: “It is crucial that the industry take immediate action to address the issue."

The Singapore Crane Association (SCA) and Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) initiated the timeout supported by hundreds of construction companies around the archipelago and the South Eastern region. Axis Capital Group, a construction company based in Singapore and has expanded to Jakarta, Indonesia also extended help and support.

SCA's chairman, Mr. Alan Chan, said its members are “alarmed and concerned” with the spate of accidents, and added that it is rallying industry players to conduct a safety time-out for both mobile and tower cranes.

SCAL's president, Dr Ho Nyok Yong, said his association strongly supports the move to ensure the safety of workers involved in various work-at-height operations, such as crane operations.

Mr. Mohamed Abdul Akbar added that as long as safety was a prime consideration, operations would run smoothly.

"The Crane Safety Taskforce has recently released a checklist for safety. But what has been practiced at the construction site is that each individual company uses that as a base, but they work on improving it further according to their needs. But my advice to everybody is, if you think safety, everything will go fine.

Many have commended for dedicating a few hours to this special cause as the industry has been given special importance that sends the message deeper into the public and the construction workers.

However, despite the good will these construction companies have initiated, there are still a lot of construction firms, project managers and commercial and residential owners that have argued and complaints with the cause. They reason out, safety all boils down to good planning. Accidents sometimes happen when workers start “trying out their luck” and overload the cranes to meet deadlines. To overcome this, firms can engage in better planning before execution, such as telling workers exactly what and how much to hoist, instead of leaving them to improvise on their own.

May 04 2015

Singapore Named as the Most Expensive Place in the World

Singapore – Singapore has retained its position as the world's most expensive city, according to a research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The top five most expensive cities in the world remain unchanged from a year earlier and include, in descending order, Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney.

The EIU's survey comprises 133 cities worldwide and uses New York as a base. It compares and reviews the cost of more than 160 services and products including food, clothing and utility bills. Singapore was found to be 11% more expensive than New York for basic groceries.

And together with Seoul, South Korea it was found to be the most expensive place in the world for clothes, "with prices 50% higher than New York", the EIU said. "Most significantly, Singapore's complex Certificate of Entitlement system makes car prices excessive, with Singaporean transport costs almost three times higher than in New York."

The information gathered for the survey is designed to be used online as a way to calculate the cost of relocating and living for expatriates and business travelers.

London, in 11th place, is now as pricy as Tokyo, which was the world’s most expensive city until it was unseated by Singapore last year, while New York ranked as the most expensive American city in 22nd spot.

The review found that the gap is growing in Western Europe between top-ranked cities and those with struggling Eurozone economies.

Moreover, not only are the prices costly in the cities of Singapore. Construction cost also continues to rocket as the prices soar. Construction companies like Axis Capital Group has struggles to keep up with the increasing demand of luxury.

Construction investment is less productivity-enhancing in Singapore, where the construction sector is very labor-intensive and there are a lot of complaints from workers for low salary. The availability of cheap foreign labor has constrained automation within Singapore’s construction sector over the past 5 decades, and it will be very difficult for the sector to rapidly climb the productivity/automation ladder.

Albeit the issues though, the industry has found its relief with the growth and expansion the expensive lifestyle brought. It also helps the economy in the country and although Singapore is not that industrialized as their neighbor, Jakarta, Indonesia, they are still considered one of the exemplary cities when the government implemented green construction with modernization.

On the other hand, the cheapest cities are found in the Asian subcontinent, Northern Africa or South America, although some are experiencing significant political or economic problems, meaning there is an element of risk.

 

 

April 29 2015

Construction Around the world: Vietnam

http://www.talkvietnam.com/files/2012/09/deputy-minister-of-construction-nguyen-thanh-nghi-agreed-that-vietnam-has-used-japanese-oda-effectively-but-it-is-still-limited-in-maintaining-and-managing-540755-xay-dung.jpg

Jakarta, Indonesia – With the fast pace of technology and industrialization sector in Asia, each country’s construction industry has also developed through time. Vietnam is not an exception. Axis Capital Group, a construction company based in Singapore and is delivering high-quality heavy equipment created an overview for the latest in Vietnam’s construction industry. 

According to Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), the Vietnamese construction industry recorded a compound annual growth rate of 16.12% during the review period from 2009-2013. However, industry growth slowed from 19.7% in 2011 to 7.0% in 2013, due to a slump in the property market, a banking system characterized by non-performing loans (NPLs) and a sluggish real estate sector. Nevertheless, industry outlook is favorable, due to the government’s focus industrial and residential Construction. Expansion in the tourism and retail sectors, coupled with investments in infrastructure projects, will support industry growth. The industry’s output is therefore expected to record a nominal CAGR of 11.43% over the forecast period (2014−2018). 

The Vietnam construction industry has considerably developed since 1986 as a result of “Doi Moi” or all-round renovation process, stepping in the general development trend and the process of gradual globalization and regionalization. However, despite the pace of economic reforms, obstacles and risks have continued to plague the construction industry. A study from CAGR shows factors causing the failure of the construction projects in the country: 

1.       disregard of the significance of project planning process and project planning,

2.       lack of experience in executing complicated project,

3.       poor design capacity and frequent design changes,

4.       lack of knowledge and ability in managing construction projects

5.       lack of financial capacity of owner,

6.       poor performance of contractors,

7.       lack of a systematic approach to managing the project and entire organization,

8.       corruption and bribery in construction projects,

9.       the delays in payment, and

10.   Economic volatility and high inflation. 

The study further provides insights on the factors contributing to the failure of construction projects across the Vietnam construction sector. Construction spending in the country rose up to 6.8% annually, second to China in AECOM report 2014. Construction market has also been increasing to 50% in 2004 despite the conflicts and complaints that have been filed against construction sector in the country while its profitability is almost 80%. It is also suggested that along with Indonesia, It is suggested that Vietnam is expected to exhibit increasing market openness over the next 12 months.

April 23 2015

Construction around the World: Malaysia

Jakarta, Indonesia – Axis Capital Group, a construction company based in Singapore has been delivering heavy equipment all throughout Asia and Europe. With the expansion of construction and the increasing growth of industrialization all over the world, the nation’s economy has been one of the factors that help each nation’s boom and development. Let us review how developing countries have been coping with the competition in the construction industry.

According to Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce 2010, between 2004 and 2006, Malaysia experienced a slow growth in its construction industry with average output value of RM50.9 billion. In 2007 the construction output value began to increase, up to RM 60.7 billion, and the industry recorded stronger growth in 2008 and 2009 rising to RM77.5 billion. The Central Bank of Malaysia in 2009 added that the strong growth of construction industry in 2007 to 2009 was mainly due to the implementation of construction related activities under the 9th Malaysia Plan and the high value of the fiscal stimulus package projects.

In 2010 the value added of Malaysian construction industry continues to strengthen further by 6.3% (Malaysia-German Chamber of Commerce 2012). The expansion of the industry was largely led by increased infrastructure project under civil engineering sub-sector. In 2011 the Malaysian construction recorded a moderate growth at 3.5% due to slow activity in civil engineering and non-residential sub-sector (Central Bank of Malaysia 2011). The civil engineering and special trade sub-sector register slower growth following the completion of major highway projects and maintenance and upgrading work under the Stimulus Package (Central Bank of Malaysia 2011).

In global terms and compared to other Asian countries such as China, Korea and Singapore, the size of Malaysia’s annual construction output is relatively small. With an average of 3% contribution to the total national GDP, construction industry is critical to Malaysian wealth creation and it plays an important role in the development of the country (CIDB 2006). The industry provides jobs for approximately 1.02 million people and creates a multiplier effect to other industries, including manufacturing, financial services and professional services (CIDB 2006).

Public and private sectors are important components in the Malaysian construction industry, playing a role as the clients in the industry. Due to the high value of economic stimulus package by the government, year 2007 record a high demand for construction from public sector which contributed 52% (RM48.36 billion) of the total value of projects awarded (CIDB 2009). The situation is in contrast in 2008, in which private sectors project contributed 56.4% of the total value of the project awarded. Year 2009 showed a decrease of 29.5% of total value of project awarded compared to year 2008. The decrease in the value of projects secured was due to the decline in private sectors investments, which was affected by the global economic crisis. Despite the fluctuating rate of construction in the country, few records show fraudulent acts in the industry compared to that of Singapore, India and Indonesia.

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