News: Bidadari and Tengah estates to use 3D-printed features

Sep 16, 2019

This comes as HDB explores the feasibility of 3D-printed flats, including whether they could remain stable in the city-state’s climate

Housing Board (HDB) estates in Bidadari and Tengah will be the first to feature 3D printed build landscape furniture and architectural finishes in Singapore. This comes as HDB explores the feasibility of 3D-printed flats, including whether they could remain stable in the city-state’s climate.

The use of 3D printing would enable cheaper, faster and less labour-intensive construction of buildings, while also allowing more unconventional designs than traditional precast methods, reported The New Paper.

It is one of several projects the HDB is undertaking amid the construction industry’s sluggish productivity growth. In fact, 3D concrete printing is currently being tested at the HDB Centre of Building Research in Woodlands, where a printer produces components measuring up to 9m long by 3.5m wide by 3.8m tall.

Touted as Southeast Asia’s biggest 3D printer, it printed out a 3.6m by 3m by 2.75m room in 13 hours last month. Along with the manual insertion of steel reinforcement bars in the structure as well as fitting in a door and windows, the whole process took around six days. The printer and the labour involved in installing it cost around $900,000. In contrast, around two months would be needed to build a similar room with the conventional method of precast production.

“The use of 3D concrete printing has opened up new and exciting possibilities for the future of construction,” said Heru Soedarsono, HDB deputy director of building design and precast system. “Architects and designers would have more free play in their designs, greater flexibility, and since the printing process is highly automated, that reduces the dependency on manual labour.”

HDB said that for starters, they will try using 3D concrete printing for smaller components in precinct designs such as architectural features and landscape furniture in common areas at selected projects in Bidadari and Tengah.

These include 3D artwork panels and void deck designs and texture like customised rain and sun screens. Other possibilities include themed precinct furniture as well as curvilinear precinct pavilions. The technology could also one day see application in the construction of high-rise homes in the country.

 

Agnes Ong  at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email agnes.ong@propertyguru.com.sg

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