Each generation of Build-To-Order Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats are improving over the previous generation, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Speaking at the Building and Construction Authority’s annual awards ceremony on Thursday (May 14), he said this is one reason why Singapore’s built environment sector has much to celebrate as the country turns 50 years old. However, Mr Khaw also warned that the next 50 years would bring new challenges needing imagination to overcome.

”We still have many challenging projects to build, both above and underground, upwards into the sky and outwards into the sea,” said Mr Khaw. “We will need strong skills and new capabilities in engineering, technology and design. We will need to innovate and push the frontier of construction.”

At the event, Mr Khaw launched a new book titled ”Built by Singapore”, which focuses on the evolution of Singapore’s built environment. He cited an ageing population, climate change, increasingly acute land constraints and a shrinking labour force as challenges that lie ahead for the country.

A record 372 awards in areas like construction excellence, design and engineering safety and construction productivity were given out this year. Among the biggest winners was property developer City Developments, which took 36 accolades, including the Green Mark Pearl Prestige Award for outstanding commercial tenant engagement efforts in sustainability.

Do you agree with Khaw Boon Wan when he say that BTO flats are improving over previous generations? Only recently, we have two complaints about BTO flats. One being a choked toilet exploding and polluting the entire flat while another was a complaint about mushrooms growing out of the wooden doors.

Is this Khaw Boon Wan’s perceived improvement in quality of BTO flats? Click on the links below to read about the two cases.

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