17 BTO projects completed during the pandemic did not see a delay past six months, with 16,000 flats being delivered since January 2020.
Flat buyers at 17 Build-to-Order (BTO) projects that were completed during the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed delays of no more than six months, reported Channel News Asia (CNA) citing the Housing and Development Board (HDB).
The 17 projects accounted for about two-thirds of the 25 BTO projects delivered since January 2020. The other eight projects were delayed by seven to 10 months, said HDB.
Overall, HDB delivered over 16,000 flats since January last year.
The waiting time for the 25 BTO projects ranged between 2.4 and 5.3 years, with the average waiting time at 4.1 years.
HDB explained that the progress of construction projects were affected by border restrictions which disrupted global supply chains, “stringent but necessary” safe management measures and work stoppages during the “circuit breaker” last year.
The Housing Board detailed some of the assistance measures extended for one of the 25 projects – Bedok North Vale, which features 215 units across two blocks.
Construction works for the project started in May 2017, with original completion date set in the third quarter of 2020.
However, all constructions works were halted during the circuit breaker from April to June 2020.
HDB worked with China Construction Realty, the project contractor, to address challenges which hampered construction works from restarting following the end of the circuit breaker.
It expedited the approval process for the construction of two temporary living quarters on site, helping reduce the risks of infection as well as the number of workers who needed to commute daily to the site.
HDB also worked with China Construction Realty to demarcate work zones, allowing the contractor to “promptly identify and quarantine” close contacts once a worker tested positive for COVID-19.
“As a result, works were allowed to resume on site after just three days, thus avoiding a longer delay and minimising disruptions to the overall construction timeline,” said HDB as quoted by CNA.
Virtual inspections were also conducted by HDB, reducing the number of people needed on site while complementing physical inspections.
Bedok North Vale was completed in December 2020 or around six months following its original estimated completion date.
HDB shared that over 90% of flat owners have collected their keys as of the end of September.
“All our building contractors have been affected by the pandemic, albeit to different degrees depending on their companies’ resources and financial strength,” said HDB.
HDB has been checking in regularly with building contractors as well as consultants to address problems and render assistance.
It also engaged some key sub-contractors and suppliers of BTO projects to widen its “sources of feedback and pick up emerging issues early”.
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Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: email@example.com.