Hougang BTO project gets top marks for quality

Hougang Capeview gets highest possible accolade for quality and workmanship

Hougang Capeview (above) is the first public housing project to achieve the Conquas Star rating. Mr Ng Tieh Hui (right) said his unit had only "very tiny problems" which the contractors fixed.
Hougang Capeview (above) is the first public housing project to achieve the Conquas Star rating. ST PHOTOS: LAU FOOK KONG
Mr Ng Tieh Hui said his unit had only “very tiny problems” which the contractors fixed.

For the first time, a public housing project has achieved the Conquas Star rating, the highest possible accolade for construction quality and workmanship.

The Build-To-Order (BTO) project, Hougang Capeview, was one of 12 projects for which contractors won Housing Board Construction Awards this year.

Built by Qingjian International, Hougang Capeview received a Construction Quality Assessment System (Conquas) score of more than 95 out of 100, thereby achieving the Conquas Star rating.

A Conquas score of 95 means that 95 per cent of items checked for workmanship met the standards of the national rating system, which is administered by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

One happy home owner is Mr Ng Tieh Hui, 38. He and his wife collected the keys to their four-room Hougang Capeview flat late last year.

Before inspecting his flat, he had been worried about possible defects such as crooked or hollow floor tiles.

But there turned out to be few problems apart from minor floor stains and scratches on doors.

"The workmanship was okay," said the production controller.

"All those were very tiny problems and the contractors fixed everything."

Eight other public housing projects recognised in the HDB Construction Awards also achieved Conquas scores of over 90, above the national average score of 88.2.

The winning firms include Straits Construction Singapore, which is receiving the award for the sixth year running.

Another winner, LC&T Builder (1971), was recognised for two projects: the Orchid Spring BTO in Yishun, and a group of rental housing projects in Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun.

Other contractors also clinched awards for two upgrading projects and one infrastructure project, the vehicular bridge across Punggol Waterway.

BCA group director of research Tan Tian Chong, who was on the judging panel, said: "The overall workmanship quality of HDB projects has been improving steadily over the years.

"The HDB Construction Awards winners, in particular, are as good as the private residential projects.

"This is impressive, considering that these are huge contracts comprising several hundred units."

The average Conquas score achieved by HDB flats has risen from 65.7 in 1989 to 88.6 last year, "comparable to private sector developments", the HDB said yesterday.

HDB group director of building quality Thomas Seow noted that more than 100,000 flats have been launched in the past few years.

"Despite the high volume of flats that we deliver, we do not compromise on quality," he said.

He added that the HDB was "very happy and encouraged" by Hougang Capeview's Conquas Star rating, saying that it was "like scoring an A*" in the Primary School Leaving Examination.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2015, with the headline Hougang BTO project gets top marks for quality. Subscribe