The Housing and Development Board would like to assure Miss Lim Seok Mui that we take quality seriously because these are homes where Singaporeans establish their families and their children grow up ("Let buyers check flats before paying"; July 18).
For every build-to-order project, HDB has in place a detailed quality management system that tracks the entire construction process so we can achieve a good standard of quality for our home buyers.
At both the construction stage and upon completion of the flats, checks are conducted on various aspects of the work, including the internal finishes, common areas, external walls, services/utility rooms and external works. The flats must be inspected and certified suitable for occupation before they are handed over to buyers.
Nonetheless, HDB recognises that some flats might not have met the expectations of our residents and there will still be issues to be addressed when construction is completed. For example, since not all processes can be fully automated, there may be some defects that could arise from workmanship quality, while others could arise from perceived imperfections from natural materials, such as the look of tiles.
Therefore, HDB provides a one-year defects liability period to address residents' concerns and to rectify defects. This is consistent with the industry practice, including the private sector.
For the convenience of flat buyers, HDB has a building service centre in every new project to help them with any concerns.
For the convenience of flat buyers, HDB has a building service centre in every new project to help them with any concerns. We will ensure that their feedback will be attended to expeditiously so that they can settle into their new home as quickly as possible.
We also have an objective measure of quality called the Construction Quality Assessment System (Conquas) score that is administered by the Building and Construction Authority.
This is the national yardstick for assessing the quality of building projects in the industry.
With the adoption of a comprehensive system of checks, HDB has improved from an average Conquas score of 65.7 back in 1989 to 88.6 today, which is comparable to private sector developments.
HDB will continue to strive to improve the quality of HDB flats.
Neo Poh Kok
Director (Building Construction Management)
Housing & Development Board