View of the Punggol Waterway. (Photo: HDB)
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) was recently conferred the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award 2016 for its innovative engineering solutions at the Punggol Waterway, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
In a blog post, Wong noted that while engineering is a critical part of the HDB’s work, it is not just confined to hardware and buildings.
“Through innovation, the HDB also enhances the flora and fauna around our neighbourhoods and the overall quality of living in HDB estates,” he wrote.
To enhance biodiversity at the Punggol Waterway, the HDB cultivated 35 freshwater-tolerant mangrove species along its banks.
It also installed a floating wetlands system to introduce more greenery to the water surface, while serving as a floating platform.
Wong said: “Together, the mangroves and floating wetlands act as natural water cleansers. Using plants species which could effectively absorb excessive nutrients and pollutants from the water, the HDB was able to improve water quality by up to 30 percent!”
In fact, various wildlife including 92 species of birds, 11 species of butterflies and 17 species of dragonflies have since made the mangroves and floating wetlands their home.
“The mangroves and floating wetlands have made Punggol Waterway a green and peaceful oasis for residents,” said Wong.
He revealed that the HDB will extend its green innovations to other new estates such as Tampines North and Bidadari.
It is also looking at using the floating platform system to support the deployment of solar panels in housing estates.
“These are just a few of the many exciting possibilities to explore,” said Wong. “Through engineering and innovation, we can build better homes for all Singaporeans!”