Ignatia Chew's story

As part of her internship at Witteveen+Bos, Ignatia Chew (28, Singapore) was involved in developing the Integrated Building Information System (IBIS). She’s now a permanent member of the digital construction group and continues to pioneer in ‘smart nation’ Singapore.

Sharing data quickly

‘As part of my Civil Technology degree, I often visited construction sites. I witnessed there how much is still done using paper. I thought: What if there was a platform where information could be brought together and made accessible for all chain partners? I imagined an all-in-one platform for the construction industry, comparable to Google Drive or Dropbox. During my internship at Witteveen+Bos in 2017, I was introduced to the Integrated Building Information System (IBIS) platform, which was then still an abstract idea. We’re now in the second development phase and are using IBIS on an actual construction project involving twelve public residential blocks in Singapore. The first results are positive: data is being shared more quickly, and budgets and timeframes are clear for everyone.’

3D printing opportunities

‘I’m also involved in developing our 3D concrete printer, which I started during my internship. Delays due to the coronavirus meant the development of the printer took longer than expected. The good news is that we’ve reached the point where we can now start printing: entire rooms and urban furniture, such as benches and other architectural components. The potential of the project is enormous, and our ambition is to print buildings. We even see opportunities for printing concrete elements for the ocean in 3D, allowing us to help restore coral reefs.’

Cool new innovations

‘What will construction be like in the future? 3D printing with concrete won’t be common practice in five years – but maybe within ten. It’s important to show beyond doubt that we’re adding value with our 3D printer and IBIS. We’re pushing the boundaries of innovation, but both projects need to become more than just cool new innovations. The biggest challenge in this is bringing clients’ expectations in line with what the technology can offer. In ‘smart nation’ Singapore, technology is the answer to many questions. Why not also for the construction industry?’


'Technology is the answer to many questions'


- Ignatia Chew -