SINGAPORE - Although construction came to a halt during Covid-19, home-grown construction firm Kay Lim Construction & Trading thought of various ways to speed up works at the Tampines GreenVerge Build-To-Order (BTO) site.
The firm used drones and closed-circuit television cameras to monitor construction activities and progress when construction picked up, and adopted automated systems in the face of limited manpower.
Kay Lim's innovative methods and efficient project management helped it become one of six winners of the HDB Construction Award. It will be among the 22 HDB Design, Construction and Engineering Awards which will be presented by National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Tuesday.
Kay Lim's Tampines GreenVerge is the largest BTO project to date, with a total of 2,022 units in 20 blocks.
It was completed within four years, with owners facing less than six months' delay in getting the keys.
Kay Lim senior project director Chua Hoe Seang said the project's single-storey carpark posed a challenge as it spanned below the residential blocks.
If they were to construct it in one go, it would have to be at the last phase of the project, and that would have delayed it further.
"To speed things up, we divided the project into two parcels and focused on building the carpark in one parcel and the blocks in the other," he said.
The firm converted part of the carpark into a workers' dormitory, so that workers did not have to travel amid Covid-19 restrictions.
It also used a smart silt stopper, an automated system that prevents silty water discharge from getting washed down to public waterways during construction, so workers did not have to operate it manually.
All winning projects of the construction award under the housing category, including Tampines GreenVerge, attained the Conquas Star rating, the highest possible accolade for construction and workmanship.
Another BTO project, Northshore StraitsView in Punggol by Cesma International, an entity of Surbana Jurong, won an award for its strong design identity and architectural features.
The seafront housing project, which comprises five blocks ranging from eight to 26 storeys, was carefully angled and arranged in a step-down manner to maximise the number of units that have views of the sea. It has 1,021 units in total.
Ms Jenny Wong, deputy director of architecture at Surbana Jurong, said it drew inspiration from Chinese landscape paintings to emulate undulating mountains.
"We felt it was important to open up spaces, so we incorporated six roof gardens and a sky garden, so all residents can enjoy the view," she said.
Two stacks of five-room flats were also positioned in a way that allows residents to enjoy panoramic views of the sea.
The centre of the precinct features a multi-tiered environmental deck with fitness corners and playgrounds, on top of a carpark that spans below the blocks.
Ms Wong added that the tiered design allows for viewing decks and various facilities in an enclave overlooking the waterfront.
HDB chief executive Tan Meng Dui said the winners pushed new frontiers in providing well-designed and quality homes.
He said: "With the steady recovery of the construction industry, we will continue to work in close partnership with our industry partners, as we catch up on construction delays and deliver more homes to Singaporeans."