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Singapore Builders Directory 2011/2012

More Good Years for Construction Industry

Photo by Rendo Yap

across the island to meet the pent-up demand, new offices are being built as Singapore improves its cachet as a regional centre for trade and commerce, and new facilities are being rolled out to enhance the quality of life in a high-dense environment. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) expects the contract value for 2011 to be in the range of between S$22 and S$28 billion, broadly within the same estimate it had for 2010. But unlike 2010, public sector contracts are expected to form a larger share of between S$12 and S$15 billion. This is significantly higher than the S$8.3 billion contracts handed out in 2010, when the government deferred some institutional and civil engineering projects to prevent exacerbating the already over-heated construction sector and add pressure to construction costs.

C

onstruction

demand

remains

strong,

Looking ahead, the BCA expects construction demand to be sustained over the next two years, with an annual estimated contract value of S$19-S$26 billion.

underpinned by a growing Singapore economy. New homes are cropping up

Residential Building Boom

Public housing is being ramped up as the Housing and Development Board (HDB) seeks to satisfy the pressing demand for new flats. Projects are being brought forward, as the dearth of affordable housing was a major concern raised by the electorate in the general election in May 2011. The HDB has raised the number of build-to-order (BTO) units for 2011 from the planned 22,000 to 25,000. "Given robust demand, I told them to proceed to build, knowing that the orders will definitely come," said new National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan. "We can return to normal BTO approach after we have stabilised the situation." He also directed the HDB to sustain the new pace by building at least another 25,000 flats in 2012, as he

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Singapore Builders Directory 2011/2012

after the government raised the income ceiling for those eligible for HDB and executive condominium flats. BTO was introduced by the HDB in April 2001 to help match the supply and demand of flats to prevent overbuilding. Tenders for construction on sites the HDB has identified would be called only after demand reaches more than 70%. In 2001, only 2,100 units were built under the BTO scheme but in recent years the numbers have risen sharply on strengthening demand. More review on public housing construction is on the cards, as the ministry responds to Singaporeans' demand for affordable flats for an expanding populace.

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anticipated the pool of potential buyers would increase

Given robust demand, I told them to proceed to build, knowing that the orders will definitely come.

Mr Khaw Boon Wan National Development Minister

Private home construction is also being stepped up on strong home sales to locals and foreigners. A recent analysis of Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data placed the total number of homes to be completed by 2015 at well over 70,000 units.

office towers offering nearly 3 million square feet of prime Grade A office space as well as two residential towers and shops. Also under construction are One Raffles Place (Tower 2) on the site of the previous OUB Centre, and Asia Square, a twin-tower, mixed-use development in Marina Bay. In all, about 7 million square feet of office space is targeted for completion between the second quarter of 2011 and 2015, of which 54% is classified as Grade A.

New Developments in Commercial District

Plush new office blocks with enhanced features are springing up across Singapore's central business district as developers capitalise on the healthy business environment and attractive rental yields. Standing on a site of over 380,000 square feet, the Marina Bay Financial Centre is the largest office development in Singapore. When completed in 2012, it will have three

Expanding Train Network

In Singapore's ongoing effort to make public transport the preferred mode of transportation, expansion of the

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Photo by Rendo Yap

Singapore Builders Directory 2011/2012

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is being stepped up. Some S$60 billion will be spent to double the train network to 280 kilometres by 2020. Once completed, it will improve accessibility to the MRT. Within the city centre, it will take no more than five minutes to reach the nearest station. The current focus is on the Downtown Line (DTL), which will connect the city centre to the island's north-west, linking the Marina area through Bugis and Newton along Bukit Timah, all the way to Bukit Panjang. Developments are progressing at a steady clip. DTL 1, which runs from Bugis to Chinatown, is on schedule to open in 2013; DTL 2 will be completed by 2015, extending the line to Singapore's north-west; while DTL3 will open by 2017, running from the Singapore Expo to River Valley.

Central Business District to Woodlands in the north. This will connect to the second new line, the Eastern Region Line, which will serve residential areas like Marine Parade in the eastern part of the island. Work will commence towards the latter part of the decade.

Remaking Singapore

To preserve the quality of life for residents in this high-rise, high-density environment, the government is investing about S$1 billion a year in HDB estate renewal. Lift access for residents is being improved under the Lift Upgrading Programme, common maintenance problems related to ageing flats are being addressed under the Home Improvement Programme, while neighbourhood rejuvenation is being dealt with under the Remaking our Heartland programme. As then National Development Minister

Some existing lines are being extended. The NorthSouth Line will go all the way to the Marina Bay area, while the East-West Line will be extended by 14 kilometres into Tuas. These should be completed around 2015. Also on the cards are two more lines. The Thomson Line will run from the heart of Marina Bay through the

Mah Bow Tan told Parliament during the Committee of Supply Debate in March 2011, "These upgrading programmes will help to sustain the value of HDB flats for homeowners, ensure that older flats stay relevant to Singaporeans' needs and serve as long-term homes where we bond with our neighbours and community." Away from the heartlands, new regional growth areas are coming up in Marina Bay, Kallang River and Paya Lebar. Kallang Riverside will become the newest

Building and Construction Forecast, 2010-2013 (S$ billion) 2011 Contracts Awarded Public Sector Private Sector

Source: Building and Construction Authority

waterfront destination, with hotels along the riverfront; 2012-2013 19-26 per year 9-12 per year 10-14 per year With such a promising outlook, industry members should seize the day ­ to explore new ways of working to improve their productivity, build up their capability and secure their future. Paya Lebar Central will be transformed into a commercial hub at the city's fringe, while Marina Bay will be a new vibrant city centre for residents and businesses.

22-28 12-15 10-13

Building and Construction Activities, 2006-2010 (S$ billion)

2006 Contracts Awarded Public Sector Private Sector

Source: Building and Construction Authority

2007 24.46 5.69 18.76

2008 35.68 15.48 20.20

2009 21.00 13.51 7.49

2010 25.7 8.3 17.4

16.79 3.74 13.05

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