HDB piloting ‘beamless’ flats with higher headrooms in Tengah BTO project

The Garden Waterfront I & II @ Tengah projects launching in November will be built using new advanced construction technologies.

Nnurul Shakinah

Published: 12 October 2022, 5:14 PM

The Garden Waterfront I & II @ Tengah Build-To-Order (BTO) project launching in November 2022 will see flats designed and built without a beam resulting in a higher headroom, said Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Tuesday (Oct 11). 

Using advanced construction technologies, future residents at the flats can expect to have “greater flexibility” in configuring the layout as they do not have to account for ceiling beams.

The new design is part of HDB’s Construction Transformation Project, which will pilot a range of innovations and technologies to further raise productivity. The beamless flat design is done through a hybrid precast system using both 2D and 3D precast components.


The image shows what a typical 5-room HDB master bedroom with beams would look like compared to the new ones without. PHOTO CREDIT: HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD


These efforts are part of helping HDB achieve its target of 40 per cent construction productivity improvements by 2030. 

HDB will also trial the use of new technologies and innovations at the design, fabrication and construction stages. These include simulating design and construction activities virtually, instead of the current timber mock up, as well as the using special fibre-glass reinforced concrete material to provide structural strength. 

The use of the glass will allow HDB to use, potentially, less material than conventional 3D printing methods. It paves the way for studies on larger and more complex structures to be potentially fabricated in this manner without the need for complex moulds. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also be used in tower crane operations during the construction of the flats to reduce the use of manpower for labour intensive activities. 

Digital technologies, such as cloud-based common data environments, will be used to integrate work processes as well as help with the managing and planning logistics. 

HDB Chief Executive Tan Meng Dui said that with the Construction Transformation Project, HDB hopes to construct “quality homes” with less manpower, faster and safer. 

It will also support the ramp-up of HDB’s building programme over the next few years to “deliver HDB flats faster” to buyers over the next few years. 

HDB BTO flats currently have a median time of 4.3 years. HDB said it targets to achieve a 25 per cent improvement in productivity compared to other BTO projects for Garden Waterfront I & II @ Tengah. 


A summary of key changes that will be implemented under the Construction Transformation Project. PHOTO CREDIT: HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD


The pilot in Tengah is done in partnership with construction firm Obayashi Singapore Pte Ltd.  

Key takeaways from the Tengah project will be studied for future implementation in other BTO projects, added HDB. 

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