Committed to its goal of developing vibrant and sustainable towns, HDB made important strides in its smart and sustainable initiatives for both new and existing estates.

Green Test Beds

Punggol Town, HDB’s first eco-town, trail blazed several smart and sustainable initiatives. Punggol Northshore, envisioned to be ‘A Smart and Sustainable District’ piloted sustainable new technologies and biodiversity and greenery through 4 demonstration precincts and a neighbourhood centre. Northshore Residences I & II and Waterfront I & II @ Northshore were launched at the May 2015 and November 2015 BTO sales exercises respectively.

In Yuhua estate in Jurong, the pilot HDB Greenprint project was completed in November 2015, with 38 blocks of flats transformed into a ‘Green Neighbourhood’. Under the HDB Greenprint, a scheme aimed at creating sustainable homes in existing towns, 14 features had been introduced in the neighbourhood since the launch in 2012. They include amenities such as Rainwater Harvesting Systems, Outdoor LED Street Lighting, and Vertical Greenery.

Smart home devices were also trialled in 10 selected Yuhua households, starting from October 2015. Technologies such as the Utilities Management and Elderly Monitoring System were tested for effectiveness and usability. Both systems use sensors and mobile technology to provide real-time information on utilities usage and send alerts in times of emergency respectively.

The Smart Home solutions were also extended to all households in Yuhua at discounted rates. A second HDB Greenprint was launched at Teck Ghee Neighbourhood in July 2015 to gather more feedback from residents on the sustainable initiatives tested.

Master Plans for New Towns

HDB further refined the master plans for Bidadari, Tampines North, and Punggol Matilda, following the first announcement of broad development plans in 2013. Bidadari’s first housing parcel was launched in November 2015. Bidadari is envisioned to be a tranquil urban oasis where the new proposals will capitalise on its rolling greens, rich heritage, and convenient transport connections, to provide a high quality living environment. Some of the ideas include: a new Bidadari Greenway, bringing back the historic Alkaff Lake, as well as pedestrianising the existing Upper Aljunied Road to better preserve the canopy of mature trees.

Tampines North is an extension of the existing Tampines Town with a projected yield of about 19,000 dwelling units. It is estimated to be developed within the next 10 to 15 years. In addition to the first public housing project launched in November 2014, a second housing parcel in Tampines North was launched in May 2015 under the BTO exercise. In Punggol Matilda, future residents will have easy accessibility from their homes to the waterfront, through a comprehensive network of sheltered and open walkways, as well as cycling paths.

Upgrading and Rejuvenation

Upgrading programmes to rejuvenate towns and maintain the value of HDB flats were carried out in the FY. Under the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) addressing common maintenance problems in ageing flats, 22 HIP projects were completed. This brought the total number of projects completed since the inception of the programme in 2007, to 67. In addition, 12 Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP) projects were completed, bringing the total number of projects completed since its implementation in 2007 to 33. NRP focuses on precinct and block-level improvements.

The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) enables HDB residents to enjoy the convenience of direct lift access on their floors. The programme has since benefited over 500,000 households in more than 5,000 blocks.

Among various initiatives to promote the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) programme to the seniors and community, HDB partnered the Pioneer Generation Office to reach out to the seniors and sharing with them the benefits of the EASE programme. EASE is targeted at Singapore Citizen households with senior members to facilitate ageing-in-place. The EASE programme offers improvement items such as grab bars and slip-resistant treatment to existing bathroom floor tiles which are heavily subsidised. As of 31 March 2016, more than 34,000 households had applied for EASE (Direct Application) and another 51,000 households had opted for EASE under HIP, since its pilot launch on 1 July 2012.

HDB served compensation notices to 3,477 households of Tanglin Halt under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS). Registration of replacement flats for 3,251 households was also completed. The scheme renews older HDB housing estates, and gives residents the opportunity to move to a new home with a fresh 99-year lease.

Remaking Our Heartland (ROH)

Following the announcement at the Committee of Supply 2015, HDB commenced a study to revitalise 3 HDB towns – Woodlands, Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris – under ROH 3. The proposals for these towns include the provision of new amenities such as a new town plaza for large-scale community activities in Woodlands, a new mixed-use development integrated with a new bus interchange in Pasir Ris, and a network of dedicated cycling paths in Toa Payoh.

HDB sought a bottom-up approach for the rejuvenation proposals for these 3 ROH towns. In June and July 2015, a total of 8 Focus Group Discussion sessions and 3 Small Group Discussion sessions were held, with over 400 participants comprising residents, community stakeholders, and grassroots leaders.

Commercial and Industrial Properties

At the end of the FY, HDB was managing 17,737 commercial properties. The average occupancy rate of HDB’s commercial properties remained high at 98%. In FY 2015/ 2016, a total of 261 commercial units was allocated, while the construction of 76 shops and eating houses were completed in towns such as Bukit Merah, Geylang and Hougang.

The HDB Industrial Redevelopment Programme (IRP) was launched in 1997 with the key objective to optimise and intensify land use. HDB will develop a high-rise industrial complex in Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 3 to relocate affected tenants from Eunos, under Batch 14 of the HDB IRP. The new industrial complex is expected to obtain a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in the 1st Quarter 2021.

Construction Productivity

To boost construction productivity this FY, HDB turned to innovative methods and materials. The measures implemented or tested included the crack inducer to reduce noise pollution and improve productivity, as compared to conventional hacking.

A second solution that found greater usage is the Concrete Prefabricated Bathroom Unit (PBU). The pilot implementation of the PBU was at the BTO project in Sengkang, Fernvale Lea, which was completed within FY2015/ 2016. PBU is set to be implemented in 11 more projects.