HDB’s first eco-precinct

Singapore’s public housing has gone green.

Treelodge@Punggol is the first public housing project to attain the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Award given to energy- and water-efficient buildings.

The newly completed eco-precinct Treelodge@Punggol marks a milestone for the Housing & Development Board (HDB).

Much of the eco-features are on the rooftop. The ‘green’ roof has plants that help to lower the temperature in the flats.

The rooftop is also equipped with solar panels – a first for any HDB flat in Singapore.

Solar energy is then used to power lights in common areas, like the corridors.

Apart from harnessing solar power, HDB’s senior executive engineer Ng Bingrong said the roof also has 400 square metres of space to collect rain water.

“Rain falling on the roof would actually be drained into a tank situated on the 16th storey of the block, and then this water would actually be treated using a
chemical-free system, and then the water would then be stored in a tank for common-area washing and irrigation.”

The water tank can store up to 7,000 litres of water, which is sufficient for a month’s washing.

Recycling is also a breeze with two rubbish chutes on every floor – one for regular waste, and one for recycling.

Moving indoors, HDB says, the units are designed with larger windows to allow more natural light.

And in the bathroom, the toilet has an integrated wash basin for water used to wash hands to be recycled for the next flush.

HDB says the added eco-features have raised overall construction costs by about five to eight per cent.

But it says the total estimated energy savings is about 2 gigawatt hours, enough to power some 400 4-room households for a year.

As for whether these features will be implemented in future Build-To-Order flats, HDB says it will first evaluate the level of public acceptance.

The eco-precinct Treelodge@Punggol consists of seven 16-storey blocks with 712 units, of which 40 have yet to be sold.

HDB says they were launched in August under the Sale of Balance Flat exercise and selection will be done next month.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 17 Dec 2010

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