All newly launched HDB flats will be installed with prefabricated bathroom units (PBU) by 2019, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced on Wednesday (6 September).
These PBUs that have been pre-assembled off-site will come with finishes like partial tiling, copper piping, window frames and a waterproofing system.
The Housing Board first piloted the concrete PBUs in Fernvale Lea, a Build-To-Order (BTO) project in Sengkang completed in January last year. So far, this has been utilized in 15 such developments comprising about 14,000 units.
“Moving ahead, HDB will implement PBUs in 60 percent of the flats launched in 2017, and extend PBUs to all projects launched by 2019, where feasible.”
In the next two years, the Housing Board will also start using in 35 percent of its projects the concrete Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) method, which involves building and assembling three-dimensional (3D) prefabricated modular units in a factory.
These components like kitchen, bedrooms and living room are combined in different configurations in the factory to create various flat layouts. Besides an initial coat of paint, these are also pre-fitted with window frames as well as floor and wall finishes, before being transported to the construction site for installation.
HDB first tested the PPVC method in Valley Spring @ Yishun, an 824-unit BTO project whose construction started in March 2017.
Before this, the agency did a trial run for the Prefabricated Volumetric Construction (PVC) approach, which is similar to PPVC but without pre-finishes like paint and flooring. This was piloted in West Terra @ Bukit Batok, a 1,793-unit BTO project quipped with PBUs and targeted for completion next year.
The use of these new construction methods is not only a departure from the conventional approach where finishes are built on-site, but is also expected to help HDB meet the government’s target of boosting construction productivity by 25 percent in 2020 compared to that in 2010.