Shorter BTO waiting time in the offing?


It was reported in The Straits Times on Nov 21 that two upcoming BTO projects (Garden Waterfront I and II) located in Tengah will pilot new construction technologies, namely 3D concrete printing — which will shorten waiting time considerably.

Indeed the two Tengah projects, with a total of 2,077 units, have the shortest waiting time of three years and four months among the upcoming November BTO exercise.

For context, the average waiting time of a BTO project is around four to five years.

What is 3D concrete printing?

The HDB has been testing out 3D concrete printing for a few years.

Here’s the printer in action.

Using this technology, HDB can increase productivity and cut wastage, both of which contribute to the shorter waiting time.

It also allows greater flexibility in terms of design as it gives more options than the traditional precast method.

HDB Centre of Building Research at Woodlands houses one such printer that can build parts up to 9m long by 3.5m wide by 3.8m tall. According to The Straits Times, the whole process of building the 3D-printed room, complete with steel reinforcement bars, windows and a door, took just six days.

Compare this with the traditional method of fabricating a precast, which will take up to two months.

Constantly looking to shorten waiting time

Understanding the needs of Singaporeans, especially first-timers who are starting a family, the PAP Government has been constantly pushing for a shorter waiting time while improving the overall quality of the flats.

For instance, commencing construction of selected BTO projects ahead of the sales launch and of course, adopting newer technologies.

And with the Forward Singapore exercise in full swing, you can expect more measures to assist those with more pressing housing needs.

In his Facebook post on Nov 21, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said that at a Forward Singapore (FSG) engagement session, he shared with participants some proposal that the Ministry is studying.

Source: Desmond Lee Facebook

“We are studying how we can further prioritise those with more pressing housing needs amongst first-timer applicants when allocating BTO flats. Most participants agreed that first-timer couples with children without their own home, and lower-income families with fewer options in the open market should have greater priority and support.”

Shorter waiting time for BTO flats in the future? You can be sure that the Ministry of National Development team is doing its best.

Cover photo credit: Desmond Lee and HDB Facebok