Tengah BTO Flats to Pilot New Building Tech
Applicants of Build-to-Order flats will benefit from new construction technologies being tested at the Tengah BTO project, part of the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Construction Transformation Project (CTP). Two BTO flats will be used as a test case for beamless flat design, which is a new feature in HDB’s BTO flats. This means that the slabs will rest directly on the columns, which will result in higher headroom and a more flexible flat layout for residents.
The HDB will use a hybrid precast system for this project. This system combines 2D and 3D precast components to form flats that are beamless. During the assembly process, precast components will be tracked by radio frequency identification (RFID) and Bluetooth tags. The hybrid precast system is currently the first of its kind in Singapore.
The project will have 18 residential blocks ranging from nine to 16 storeys. The construction period will depend on the type of development and the number of units. The construction period may also take longer for projects that have large numbers of dwelling units. The design and attributes of the project may also play a role in the construction period.
HDB has plans to offer nearly 10,000 new flats in the next five years. It is targeting to improve site productivity by 40 per cent by 2030. To achieve this, HDB will be piloting construction technologies such as Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), a process that simulates construction activities. This will help the board model and refine flats virtually before construction.
HDB also plans to pilot fibre-glass reinforced concrete material for small streetscape furniture. This is an alternative to conventional 3D printing techniques, which use less material. The material is designed to be more lightweight and will be used only where structurally necessary. This will help reduce waste materials. It will also allow HDB to utilise less labour during the construction process, which helps to minimise costs.
The CTP project aims to use sustainable construction methods to produce better-quality flats. These methods include the use of glass, which allows for more efficient fabrication of complex structures, without the need for complex moulds. They also integrate work processes and logistics. HDB is working with construction firm Obayashi Singapore to adopt new technologies and techniques for this project. The project will include 2,000 flats and will be launched in November 2022. The project will also study the key takeaways and apply them to other housing areas.
In order to help address the demand for affordable housing in prime locations, HDB has also introduced the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model. Under this model, flat owners have to return six percent of the resale value to HDB when they decide to sell their homes. This is in addition to the subsidies they receive from HDB when they buy a BTO flat. HDB will price flats according to their value and will offer additional subsidies on top of the BTO subsidies.