HDB unveils ‘better living’ roadmap

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has unveiled a “Roadmap for Better Living in HDB Towns”, which is focused on three key thrusts: well-designed, sustainable, and community-centric towns.

To do this, HDB said its roadmap will set out key priorities for the board’s professional focus over the next five to 10 years to “deliver a better living environment and meet the evolving lifestyle aspirations of HDB residents”.

With so many external consultants playing a part in town development, HDB said there is a greater need to guide them to attain the planning vision of its towns.

One example of this is the urban design guidelines for projects along the Punggol waterway to maximise access to the water by having tiered-building heights, with lower buildings in front and taller ones behind so more units can have a water view.

To support the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, HDB will also collaborate with private-sector professionals to create resource-efficient buildings.

The Sustainable Singapore Blueprint contains strategies and initiatives that could help Singapore achieve economic growth and a good living environment, over the next two decades.

For example, well-oriented buildings and micro climatic modelling will help towns capture cool breezes and improve ventilation, minimising the cost of air conditioning.

Some 70 per cent of HDB’s building components are also prefabricated compared to less than 30 per cent in private sector developments.

This means higher construction productivity of 2.28 man days per square metre as compared to 3.13 man days per square metre in private developments.

To further drive sustainability, HDB has also been test bedding solar generated power in several of its towns since 2009.

HDB added while design and sustainability represent the “hardware” elements of public housing, physical infrastructure alone does not make a vibrant and endearing town.

Hence, the third thrust will focus on the “heart-ware” of building cohesive and resilient communities.

To do this, HDB aims to encourage more residents to take ownership of the facilities and to build stronger neighbourly ties in the town they live in.

The roadmap was unveiled at the HDB awards ceremony.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan gave out 15 Awards to HDB’s consultants and contractors for exemplary performance and innovation in HDB projects.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 2 Nov 2011