Living with Birds and Bees: 16 HDB projects recognized for good design, construction, housing news and top stories

SINGAPORE – A Housing Board project in Queenstown is also home to peaceful solitary bees and small birds like the oriental magpie robin, thanks to insect hotels, hanging drilled logs and nesting boxes that create habitats for thriving local biodiversity.

SkyParc @ Dawson, which was completed in December last year, is one of 16 projects that were recognized for their excellent design, engineering and construction at this year’s HDB Awards, the board announced on Sunday (October 17th).

The project was designed by the local company Design Link Architects and comprises 810 two-room flexi, as well as three-, four- and five-room units in three blocks.

It is one of the replacement locations for the residents of Tanglin Halt being replaced under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers).

On the ground floor, a 200 m long communal eco-corridor offers seating under 18 old shady trees, including rain trees and broad-leaved mahogany trees.

The pedestrian corridor used to be part of Margaret Drive and the architects planned specifically around existing old trees to improve vegetation and preserve wildlife in the area.

Along the eco-corridor there is a green bio-hollow, a kind of green infrastructure that is supposed to catch and hold the rainwater running off in order to prevent flooding.

The park-like environment of the project is reproduced in sky terraces and sky gardens on the higher floors of the blocks as well as a roof garden in the parking garage.

On Wednesday (October 20th) an award ceremony will take place at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh to recognize all 16 projects.

A mixed development that has been praised for good design is Eastlink I and II @ Canberra, two Build-To-Order (BTO) projects that completed in 2019.

Designed by local company SAA Architects, each of the 11 apartment blocks is connected to the nearby Canberra MRT station, a three-story neighborhood center and a park connection via elevated, sheltered walkways.

The network of protected connections provides residents with a safe and accessible route to a variety of facilities and maximizes opportunities for them to meet and interact in their daily activities, HDB said.

Inspired by the city’s history as a British naval base, the architects built nautical playgrounds along with undulating ribbons on the facades of the blocks to give the property a unique identity.

A roof garden on the 39th floor of the SkyParc @ Dawson. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The 3 insect hotels at SkyParc @ Dawson are designed to recreate natural habitats to help local biodiversity. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The upcoming Parc Residences @ Tengah will receive the innovative Engineering Award (Design) for their engineering design and construction.

The project, designed by the HDB team of planners, architects and engineers, comprises 1,044 two-room flexi, three, four and five-room apartments in 12 blocks and is integrated into a district center.

It was introduced as part of the BTO sales exercise in August 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2025.

Parc Residences @ Tengah is the first HDB project to use a cloud-based platform to log real-time information and progress updates for greater productivity and efficiency.

In terms of design, the ground floor of the parking garage will be kept car-free in order to accommodate facilities such as a daycare center, fitness stations and a playground.

Artist’s impression of Parc Residences @ Tengah, an integrated settlement with social housing and a neighborhood center. PHOTO: HDB

It will have a prominently placed staircase to encourage residents to climb the stairs for healthy living.

This year, six construction companies will be honored for outstanding construction work in the development of residential projects.

Among them is the local company BHCC Construction, which broke building restrictions to build Forfar Heights, a 43-story residential and commercial block at the intersection of Alexandra Road and Commonwealth Avenue.

HDB Managing Director Tan Meng Dui said contractors and consultants had had a tough 1½ years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but they were “up to the challenge.”

“Thanks to their dedication, professionalism and resilience during the pandemic, HDB has been able to consistently deliver quality homes to Singaporeans, with the homes delivered now exceeding pre-pandemic levels,” he added.

“With the HDB Awards, we are pleased to recognize and confirm the excellence of our industrial partners in the planning and construction of our residential projects.”

HDB is well on the way to bringing around 17,000 BTO apartments to market this year and will increase the supply of such apartments next year.

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