JCube shops hit by dripping water from ice-skating rink

Some tenants at JCube have resorted to temporary measures, such as using umbrellas to shield their goods from water damage.
Some tenants at JCube have resorted to temporary measures, such as using umbrellas to shield their goods from water damage.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Water condenses from third floor, damaging goods in stores below and hurting business

The ice-skating rink on the third floor of JCube mall may bring smiles to many, but for the past six months, it has drawn frowns from some shops on the floors below it.

Water has been dripping from the cold ceiling onto their goods, said shop owners, rendering items unfit for sale and causing some customers to stay away.

In a reply to queries from The Sunday Times, the mall in Jurong East said a difference in the temperature between the underside of the third-floor ice-skating rink and the second-level ceiling slab has resulted in water condensing on a part of the ceiling.

The Olympic-sized rink, which hosts sports such as ice hockey and figure skating, was opened in 2012. It is unclear why the problem cropped up only in recent months, but several shops said the dripping water has affected their business.

At the mall's J.Avenue retail zone, some tenants selling clothes and accessories on the second level had some of their goods damaged by the water. A shop assistant who declined to be named said: "We can't sell those that have been stained."

She added that the condensation problem has also driven some customers away. "Some customers browsing through the clothes would walk away after a drop of water falls on them," she said.

When The Sunday Times visited JCube on three occasions last week, large droplets of water were observed on the second-floor ceiling, right below the ice-skating rink. Three "wet floor" signs were seen on the first level, while similar signs and a floor-drying fan were spotted on the second floor. Patches of water, each about the size of a compact disc, were seen on the ground. 

Some tenants have since resorted to temporary measures, such as using umbrellas to shield their goods from water damage. 

A shop owner, who did not give her name, said: "We have brought up the issue to management many times, but not much has been done. We don't know what else to do."

Shoppers have also raised concerns over the safety of the mall.

Undergraduate Audrey Lim, 23, said: "It can be a bit irritating when drops of water fall while you look at stuff. Also, if the floor is wet, people might slip and fall."

JCube centre manager Augustine Ow said the mall has "taken the necessary steps to minimise the condensation and reduce the temperature difference".

He noted that JCube is exploring additional preventive measures and stressed that the water condensation does not affect the building's structural integrity. 

Regular inspections are carried out to ensure the building's safety, Mr Ow added. "The last inspection took place in June this year, after which the building was certified safe by an authorised professional structural engineer," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 15, 2017, with the headline 'JCube shops hit by dripping water from ice-skating rink'. Print Edition | Subscribe