Friday, November 4, 2011

HDB charts its course over next 5-10 years in new roadmap

Business Times: Thu, Nov 03
THE Housing & Development Board (HDB) yesterday released a new roadmap that sets out the key priorities for the government agency over the next 5-10 years.

HDB - which houses 82 per cent of Singapore's population - will strive to build well-designed, sustainable and 'community-centric' towns, said chief executive Cheong Koon Hean.

The board will launch about 50,000 flats over the next two years, which will translate into a construction volume of some 60,000 to 80,000 units a year for the next three years.

'The sheer scale of HDB's building programme provides opportunities for HDB to be a game changer of the building industry in the area of sustainability, as well as productivity,' said Dr Cheong.

She was speaking at an award ceremony held last night to recognise design and construction achievements in the HDB sector.

Dr Cheong noted that HDB's customer base, which stands at more than 3 million people, is diverse and varied.

'Some are low-income families who want a basic roof over their heads. Others are middle-income families who want a better living environment, and flats with even better designs and furnishing,' she said.

'HDB needs to address all these needs and aspirations, and yet ensure that the fundamentals of affordability and quality are not compromised.'

She said that HDB plans to take a more active oversight of the master plan and urban design for its towns.

'HDB will . . . strive to introduce fresh and innovative ideas in the master planning and urban design of new areas, such as the next phase of Punggol Eco Town, Bidadari and Tengah, as well as to guide more closely their development,' Dr Cheong said.

On a more micro level, the board will try to provide well-designed public spaces and more 'thoughtful' interior flat layouts to help owners maximise the usable space within a unit.

HDB will also support the Singapore Sustainable Development Blueprint by pursuing suitable green initiatives and sustainable solutions for its towns.

Sustainable towns will also provide residents with a cleaner, greener and more comfortable living environment, Dr Cheong said.

'For example, well-oriented buildings and micro climatic modelling will help our towns to capture cool breezes and improve natural ventilation, thus minimising the use of air conditioning,' she said. 'Energy- efficient light fittings will translate into cost savings for town councils, residents and households.'

At the award ceremony last night, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan gave out 15 awards to HDB's consultants and contractors to recognise their exemplary performance and innovative efforts in the development of new HDB projects.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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