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What Lies Ahead For Singapore’s Real Estate Industry

Chia Ngiang Hong, President of REDAS and Group General Manager of property developer CDL, shares his thoughts.

What does the future hold for Singapore’s real estate industry?

The real estate industry has been very resilient during the pandemic in the last 18 months and the outlook will continue to remain healthy as the economy, both locally and globally, recovers. The real estate sector is one of the key pillars of the Singapore economy. It has significant forward and backward linkages with multiple ancillary industries. Real estate developers have a pivotal role as a key stakeholder in the real estate value chain that provides support for others in transforming the nation’s urban landscape and grow the economy. As an employer-generator in the nation, the sector is expected to provide substantial employment opportunities to the population. The sector has taken on an expansionary role from the fundamental brick-and-mortar function of meeting the needs of providing shelter, to one that ensures economic stability, social resilience and environment sustainability.

How is the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (REDAS) working with architects to raise the standards in design and architecture in Singapore?

REDAS works closely with the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and other related trade associations to promote good design through regular networking or sharing sessions, as well as key signature events such as ArchiFest. We also encourage our members to attend relevant courses, which enhance their staff’s knowledge and skills, as well as conduct training webinars and sharing sessions. As the industry is gearing towards more advanced technology and a digitalisation push to overcome the labour shortage problem, REDAS is advocating the adoption of digitalisation via IDD symposiums and other events to promote active participation. These are important steps to prepare industry stakeholders to advance more quickly towards the higher standards expected as Singapore marches on to become a smart nation.

What are some recent initiatives you have launched at CDL to demonstrate it is a thought leader in the industry to tackle future challenges?

We are injecting tangible initiatives into many of our projects to liven up the industry and lead the way to showcase our leadership and commitment to the built environment. For instance, CDL is the first private residential developer to adopt PPVC. With the experience learnt from the first project, we proceeded to adopt design innovations in PPVC construction in subsequent ones. We are also very strong advocates of sustainability and put our money where our mouth is, by pioneering our projects to qualify for the Super Low Energy (SLE) rating. We lead by example and become champions in the various aspects of developments, such as  construction productivity, quality, workplace, safety and health.

How can a project be equipped for the challenges of the future?

Creative thinking and innovation are very essential. At CDL, we are constantly on the lookout for users’ changing needs and expectations. For example, due to the new habits brought about by the need to work from home, we design our apartments and offices with flexibility in mind, by allowing the configuring of spaces to adapt to the users requirements as much as possible. With a strong emphasis on addressing the climate change actions, we make sure our projects have sustainable design, construction and  maintenance. We also invest in digitalisation and technology to increase productivity and future-proof our projects, regardless of typology.

It is important to work with brands that champion forward-thinking innovations. Is this what attracts you to Geberit?

Not many people know that Geberit was established in 1874, and has shaped important industry developments with its progressive innovations. We understand that research and development are core to its brand and one can always trust it to be at the forefront of the latest sanitary technology. Today, Geberit unites that reliable technology behind the wall with perfectly designed products in front of the wall to offer a complete sanitary solution for the entire bathroom. We are aware that it is Geberit’s mission to make every new product be part of an integrated solution and consider future challenges. This ensures they are always innovative and an improvement to the bathroom, helping developers build faster, smarter and to last.

What are some CDL projects that have used Geberit's products and why?

The reliable Geberit concealed cisterns are installed in many of our newer projects, such as Boulevard 88, Edition Hotel, Amber Park and Haus on Handy. Some projects are given the extra edge with the AquaClean Sela shower toilets (intelligent WC), such as New Futura and Gramercy Park. Irwell Hill Residences is extra special as most of the bathroom has Geberit’s  ceramic products that have many innovative features. Some of the criteria that we use to select our partners are design, functionality, comfort and reliability. For instance, the products need to be aesthetically pleasing with a timeless appeal. They should promote sustainability but also contribute to the user’s well-being. We also prefer if they are durable, intuitive, easy to use and maintain. Geberit meets many of our stringent evaluation criteria and hence we have used it for more than 10 years in many projects.

This story is brought to you by Geberit. It first appeared in Issue 122: Dec 2021

21 December 2021