Trivelis developer EL Development addresses building defects

EL Development, the developer of Trivelis Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats at Clementi addressed the defects observed by residents in a statement on Friday (May 15).

Nearly 500 residents complained about shattered glass panels, rusty dish racks, exposed sanitary pipes in their homes and ponding in corridors – among other problems.

On Friday, the Housing Development Board (HDB) maintained in a statement that in the development of DBSS projects, it will provide oversight and ensure that the objectives and policies of public housing are preserved.

Under the Sales & Purchase Agreement, developers are also obliged to rectify any defect reported to them within the one-year defects liability period.

“If the developer does not do so, the buyers may seek remedy against the developer pursuant to the terms of the contract,” HDB added.

BY-PRODUCT IN TEMPERED GLASS MAY CAUSE SPONTANEOUS BREAKAGE

EL Development said it replaced three glass shower screens thus far, out of a total of 1,776 installed in Trivelis.

The shower screens are not made with normal glass but tempered ones, which are processed by “controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength”. Though stronger than normal glass, EL Development said tempered glass contains a by-product – nickel sulphide impurities – which may cause spontaneous breakage in glass. The impurities are invisible and cannot be detected by glass manufacturers.

“We have assured worried residents who wished to install an additional layer of protection film on the glass shower screen that we will not void the warranty of the shower screen and will replace the glass shower screen should spontaneous breakage occurs,” EL Development added.

RUSTY DISH RACKS NOT DETECTED WHEN UNITS WERE CHECKED

With regards to residents’ complaints of rusty dish holders, EL Development said it may not have detected them, or the rust may not have set in when units were checked.

“Residents are free to raise the rusty dish rack as defect and we have already repaired or changed some,” it added.

SANITARY PIPES: TECHNICAL AND REGULATORY CONSTRAINTS

Residents also found sanitary pipes to be exposed and visible in the kitchen, which were not depicted in the project’s showflats. EL Development said that this was due to “technical and regulatory constraints” in the construction stage.

“During the design stage, our consultants have planned for the vertical sanitary pipes for the 4-room flats to be placed outside the unit at the aircon ledge,” it added. Instead, pipes had to be placed at the service yard.

EL Development attributed the move to three constraints – one of which is the structural beam at the yard blocking horizontal pipes transporting waste water from the kitchen floor and waste traps of the upper floor unit – if the vertical sanitary pipe was placed at the aircon ledge. The vertical sanitary pipes need to be connected to the horizontal pipes.

“As the depth of the perimeter beam is too shallow to be penetrated by the horizontal pipes, we have to turn the pipes to skirt below the beam in order to connect to the vertical pipes at the aircon ledge,” it said.

“However, by doing so, the headroom at the yard area above the sanitary pipe would be below the minimum height permissible by the authorities.”

The other constraints were the need to adhere to a regulation that the vertical sanitary pipe cannot be further than 2.5m from the nearest floor trap, and that that the sanitary pipes need to be at a safe location that can be serviced and maintained by workers.

EL Development added that the area taken up by the two pipes is still within the 3 per cent difference allowed for in the terms of the Sales and Purchase Agreement.

“Furthermore, we have tried to allay the concerns of some residents by placing a suitable sized 7-kilogramme front load washing machine and stacking it up with a dryer in the yard of an actual 4-room unit to illustrate the manoeuvring space available,” it said.

“To further assist the affected residents, we have negotiated with our supplier to sell the 7kg front load washing machine at S$399 including delivery and GST, which is well below the market price.”

PONDING DUE TO ‘STRINGENT FIRE SAFETY CODE’

EL Development said it is also unable to block out the openings of corridors to prevent rain from splashing in due to “the stringent fire safety code” it observes. During rainy weather, ponding will be observed when water does not dissipate fast enough via the floor traps – which allow for natural dispersal of smoke should there be an unlikely event of fire.

“If the smoke is not dispersed, there is a danger that smoke will travel into the units and occupants in the units might get suffocated by the smoke. Minor ponding can still occur during heavy rain but the water should clear out once the rain stops,” said EL Development.

It added that some incidents where the drainage pipes were choked have been cleared. It will also resolve the problem of water seeping into houses by installing free acrylic panels to the metal gate of affected units.

“The panel should close up the gap between the main door and the flooring of the unit and prevent water from seeping in.”

EL Development is also looking at improving the drainage pipes at the corridor, it said.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 May 2015

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