Dr Cheong Koon Hean
Chief Executive Officer
In delivering our housing mission to build the best home possible for Singaporeans, HDB has always been practical and pragmatic. This has helped us overcome myriad challenges over the years. At the same time, we have also been exploring new ideas and innovations to constantly raise the bar in our public housing journey.
At this juncture, we are prioritising sustainable living as the smart way forward. From Punggol to Yuhua, HDB aims to advance the green agenda as an enabler of quality living in all HDB towns.
In the FY, HDB celebrated the successful implementation of the pilot HDB Greenprint programme in Yuhua on 28 November 2015. The estate had 38 blocks of flats fitted with solar panels, sensor-controlled LED lighting, and the pneumatic waste conveyance system. A second HDB Greenprint pilot at Teck Ghee has also been launched in July 2015, and through these 2 pilots, we aim to develop cost-effective green building solutions for future possible replication in other HDB towns.
HDB’s green approach also supports national efforts such as Singapore’s transition into a ‘car-lite’ society. In the FY, HDB collaborated with fellow agencies on the cycling network initiative, completing 25km out of 40km of cycling tracks in Punggol Eco-Town. We also introduced a dual bicycle rack system, which can double the number of bicycle parking lots without taking up additional void deck space. There are plans to install 2,400 of them for over 300 existing HDB residential blocks in Punggol.
On the construction front, HDB has attained an overall productivity improvement of 9.8% for all HDB projects, exceeding our 2015 target of 9.5%. This resulted from our active explorations of innovative methods such as Building Information Modelling to facilitate building design and construction through interactive digital models.
Town planning tools like the use of Urban Environmental Modelling (UEM) to simulate solar and wind flow conditions, has helped our planners refine housing typology, building layouts, and orientation. This UEM tool clinched an award for HDB, among the many prestigious honours HDB received in the FY.
Riding on the wave of new technologies has helped HDB move closer to our vision to build well-designed, smart and sustainable, and community-centric towns. Even so, our focus continues to be to make lives better.
Apart from making our towns liveable and sustainable for our residents, there is the need to strengthen the community fabric. Its warp and weft is a continuous interlace, where our efforts join with residents to create a cohesive, active, and vibrant heartland. In the FY, HDB’s Community Week 2015 and other activities helped forge a more community-centred mindset, alongside upgrading and activation programmes that refresh the physical environment.
Where housing needs are concerned, in the FY, HDB refined policies to ensure that Singaporeans at different stages of their lives are given help: the elderly and those who may be in financial difficulty as well as vulnerable households. Among these was the announcement of the Fresh Start Housing Scheme to help second-timer public rental households, with young children, buy a flat of their own.
Endearing Heartland Homes
The SG Heart Map provided a good reflection of how we meld as a nation and community. HDB led the SG Heart Map under the SG50 committee to mark Singapore’s 50th birthday in 2015. The year-long celebration culminated in a 4-day finale which was a fitting conclusion to the collection of close to 100,000 personal stories by Singaporeans of places in Singapore they cherished. It was inspiring to witness how everyone came together to share and reminisce about their beloved spaces – many of which are in HDB towns.
HDB will remain active in collaborating with residents to build on this community spirit, and also to meet standards of excellence in every key area so that our heartlands can continue to be endearing homes.