All new HDB flats to have eco-features from Wednesday's BTO launch onwards

Ongoing construction of Fernvale Riverbow Build-To-Order (BTO) flats at Fernvale Link. All new Housing Board flats will come with a set of "eco-features" for a greener living environment and to support the national commitment to sustainable developme
Ongoing construction of Fernvale Riverbow Build-To-Order (BTO) flats at Fernvale Link. All new Housing Board flats will come with a set of "eco-features" for a greener living environment and to support the national commitment to sustainable development. -- ST FILE PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

All new Housing Board flats will come with a set of "eco-features" for a greener living environment and to support the national commitment to sustainable development.

Most of these features have been piloted in HDB projects in Punggol. They include centralised recycling chutes and sinks that direct water from hand-washing to the toilet cistern, so it can be used for flushing.

These features will be part of all new developments, starting with those in Wednesday's Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise. The BTO also marks the start of the HDB's tapering-off of the massive flat supply over the last three years.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan noted that the HDB's Treelodge@Punggol, Singapore's first "eco-precinct", has met with enthusiasm and appreciation for its eco-friendly lifestyle. "This successful experiment has given us the confidence to extend the eco-features to all future HDB housing projects," he said. "Our vision is for all new HDB towns to be clean, green, and healthy."

Cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam also champion green and sustainable living, with their residents cycling to work, tapping renewable energy and seeking new sources of water. Said Mr Khaw: "My sense is that Singaporeans, given proper support, can embrace such a lifestyle too."

Treelodge@Punggol gives him that confidence, he added. Its centralised recycling chutes have collected three times as much recyclable material as other HDB blocks. Electricity consumption has also been lowered by energy-efficient features such as LED lights controlled by motion sensors in common areas such as corridors.

Besides these features, others that will be offered in new developments include compost bins in community gardens and a system that converts the movements of lifts into energy for other uses, such as lighting.

The HDB estates will be designed to optimise wind flow and reduce heat gain, making it less necessary to depend on fans and air-conditioning. Recycled and sustainable products will be used during construction, such as recycled concrete in pavements and curbs.

And covered bicycle parking lots and wheel guides will be provided, to encourage residents to cycle, said Mr Khaw. "Overall, we want to make going eco convenient, natural and intuitive for Singaporeans," he concluded. "This is our contribution to making Singapore greener, cleaner and healthier."