by , 07/20/07

Treetops@Punggol, Singapore’s First Eco-Friendly Housing Project

Singapore’s Housing and Development Board has unveiled designs for what will be the first eco-friendly residential project on the island. While this is not the greenest residential project we’ve seen to date, it is a step in the right direction, as over 80% of Singaporean households live in HDB apartments and they will soon have a more environmentally friendly living option. Treetops@Punggol embraces nature and utilizes green technologies including solar panels, roof gardens and grey water recycling systems for effective energy, water and waste management.

The residential development (set to be complete by 2011) is comprised of seven 16-story towers arranged around an “eco-deck” community garden area. The eco-deck (which covers the roof of the car park) will act as a green lung to absorb heat and provide shade for the jogging track, exercise station and children’s playground made from recycled materials. All outdoor and common corridor lights will be powered by solar panels installed on the roofs of the towers, saving up to 80% in energy consumption. Water-recycling systems have also been integrated into the design. A rainwater collection system will provide an estimated 130,000 gallons to be used for cleaning outdoors while all sinks in apartments will channel used water to flush toilets. Each apartment tower will also have centralized chutes for recyclable materials.


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  1. panji aria wibawa February 7, 2009 at 10:09 am least they act green..dont just talk green..
    i think great design its relative..its depend on our base pattern is an intuitive h o w g r e e n r u…?

  2. Singapore plans towers ... August 6, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    […] Now, Singapore’s Housing and Development Board has unveiled designs for the first eco-friendly residential projects on the island, reports Inhabitat. […]

  3. lotusten July 26, 2007 at 3:00 am

    Schiendelman obviously is very ignorant in regards to Singapore, Singapore sentiment and Singapore government housing estates. Singapore has a reputedly low crime rate being very much a police state and having an active community neighbourhood watch. The parks are often used and there are also cafes and shops beneath most HDB housing blocks.

    I would rate this as a tentative new step in the right direction by government bodies. The Prime Minister has also publicly stated that they would be putting in more efforts to build a greener society. There are now very public media efforts to bring awareness to how everyone can do their bit.

    What would help dramatically is if the government installed a recycle depot next to the rubbish depots in every estate. There is already a Rubbish depot for every two blocks . A recycle depot here would make it much easier and practical for residents to collect and dispose of recyclable products. Most residents dont bother because of the small living space. Throwing them down the rubbish shute is easier. Not every body is able to drive to the shell station to deposit their recyclable wastes.

    As far as establishing Truely Green Projects on a wide scale,…it would be interesting to see how far politics and money would allow the transformation to go. After all, some of the wealth comes from gas, oil and power bills. And where would the jobs in Shell, Mobil and the Singapore Power Gas company go? Will SPG and the government allow “zero power bills”? Technology is certainly around to effect that.

  4. dipo architects - indon... July 24, 2007 at 12:10 am

    saya setuju dengan Mr. jitesh. Eco desain bukan hanya menempelkan berbagai tumbuhan di bangunan.

  5. Jitesh Brahmkshatriya July 23, 2007 at 4:00 am

    Eco project does not mean just trees hanging out from seventh floor balcony or lots and lots of solar panels with couple of windmills sticking out here and there…I believe architectural standard should also go up…if we want people to believe eco is not ugly…we need to build good design looks too…this project I believe fails to appeal.

  6. Gerald Cheah July 22, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    I am appalled by Schiendelman’s cocky and pessimistic attitude towards someone trying to go in the right direction, albeit a tentative step. Connectivity is a big concern for Jacobs as I recall (sorry it has been 20 years since I last read her); urban design doctrine in Singapore features big on connectivity, that’s why they spent extra hundred of millions to elevate the train tracks! Have you lived in a public housing in Singapore before? The public highrises are no dens for thieves and muggers, they are actually very safe! Please be an encourager, and not a spoiler.

  7. Ben Schiendelman July 22, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Not only are MOST American apartment complexes “greener” than this by default, this is, again, “garden city” crap that will quickly be taken over by crime. Those parks won’t be used because people won’t have a reason to walk by them except when they’re commuting – there aren’t any cafes here. Did we seriously not learn anything from project housing in the US? Have these people just never heard of Jane Jacobs?

  8. Erik van Lennep July 21, 2007 at 6:21 am

    I would term this as something heading in a greener direction, rather than “green”. Good they have considered rainwater collection and I like the diversion of greywater to the the toilets. The green space outside looks like fairly standard window dressing for a large building, kind of sad if it is remarkable in the local context. With so much wealth held in Singapore, I am surprised that more innovative sustainable public design is not commonplace yet. But maybe with more encouragement that could change.

  9. simon July 21, 2007 at 5:29 am

    I’m not sure these efforts are quite enough, as stated before, these are all you need to tick boxes. The big thing to integrate is some kind of clever passive cooling, I don’t know how it can be done in something so tall but it really should be considered

  10. kwailo July 21, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Green efforts for housing in Singapore generally tend to be half-hearted attempts at trying to satisfy a government quota. As long as you have just one solar panel or a bit of waste water recycling then it has achieved a “green” status. it would be encouraging to see more integrative, environmentally responsive housing, rather than regular housing with a few gimmicks slapped on. Nonetheless, I still think it is very encouraging that they have actually CONSIDERED the idea that HDB housing should go green, and it should pave the way for more to come.

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