Sunday, April 22, 2012

38 blocks in Jurong East to undergo HDB sustainable upgrading programme

SINGAPORE: Some 3,200 flats in Jurong East will be going green in a makeover that aims to introduce eco-friendly features into the estate.

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) said the pilot project under its Greenprint programme will help to slash energy usage in common areas by some 30 per cent.

It is a much needed face-lift for the Jurong East Street 21 neighbourhood, using sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions.

Under HDB's Greenprint programme, 38 blocks of flats will be the first existing HDB neighbourhood to try out several green initiatives. The project is a key initiative under HDB's "Roadmap to Better Living", introduced late last year.

For example, solar panels or fuel cells installed at selected housing blocks will power lighting in common areas. Fuel cells work by converting a chemical fuel, in this case hydrogen, into electricity through a chemical reaction. The by-product of the process is water.

Energy-saving lights, such as intelligent LED lights and outdoor LED street lamps, will also be used.
Storage tanks located at the void decks of some blocks will collect rainwater for cleaning the estate. At a capacity of between seven and 10 cubic metres, HDB said the tanks could supply enough treated water for monthly block cleanings.

HDB said these measures could cut energy consumption of common services by 30 per cent. This translates to cost savings of more than S$144,000 per year for the 38 blocks.

But the highlight of the makeover is the pneumatic refuse collection system. The system, a common feature in new HDB flats and private condominiums, is being tried out for the first time in an existing HDB estate.
When trash is thrown into existing chutes, it will be stored in holding valves. Every few hours, it will be automatically sucked through underground pipes, into one of two centralised collection areas.

The system will do away with manual clearing of rubbish, which means no smell, no pests and no mess.
HDB said the pneumatic refuse collection system is expected to reduce manpower needs of the town council by about 70 per cent. Currently, between two and four conservancy workers are employed to clean every 10 blocks of flats.

Jurong East residents have welcomed the pilot programme at their estate.

"If they were to bring down the current electricity (consumption), firstly it's good for the environment, it also
saves cost. At the same time (as) saving costs, that money, maybe they can contribute to other renovations - like upgrading other precincts, and especially for disabled people around here," said one of the residents.

HDB also wants residents to play a bigger role in their estate management. Under the Greenprint project, they will be encouraged to participate in its "Community Estate Self-Management Scheme". This means having a say in areas like the operating hours of lifts and corridor lights, block-washing frequency, repainting and landscaping management.

HDB said work will start sometime this year, after feedback from residents.

In a statement to MediaCorp, MP for Yuhua ward Grace Fu, said the constituency is "delighted" to be selected for the project.

"This will also be a great opportunity to engage our residents and stakeholders in building a consensus on how the estate could be managed and run better," she added.

The S$17.7million pilot project is expected to be completed by 2014.
HDB will tweak its Greenprint model using findings from the Jurong East trial, before implementing the programme in other estates.

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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