Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

June 11, 2008

Bar raised; no gold BCA design awards

Filed under: Construction News,General — Propertymarketupdates @ 1:45 am

THE Building and Construction Authority (BCA) announced the results of its 2008 Universal Design Awards yesterday.

Out of 34 entries – one more than in the inaugural competition last year – three buildings garnered a silver award and six attained a bronze award.

Buildings were judged on six criteria – connectivity, accessibility, user-friendliness, safety, aesthetics and corporate philosophy. ‘No gold awards were given out because we have raised the bar,’ said assessment panel chairman Cheong Hee Kiat.

Prof Cheong explained that this year the judges went beyond surface compliance with the first four criteria, deciding that barrier-free access was the bare minimum. They looked for a corporate commitment to universal design, which broadly means ‘design that is friendly to all’, on the part of building owners, designers and developers.

BCA building plan and management director Wong Wai Ching said universal design is ‘an increasing concern against the backdrop of a greying population’, and encouraged the public to highlight the lack of friendly features through BCA’s feedback channels.

Alluding to a 1990 code that legally requires all new buildings to meet minimum accessibility standards, Mr Wong said: ‘Over the years we have been upgrading the barrier-free code to make more requirements mandatory.’

In that vein, BCA is looking at incorporating current universal design recommendations into the code when it next comes under review five years from now.

More owners and developers are using BCA awards to market their buildings, Mr Wong said. It is a ‘differentiating factor in a highly competitive market’, he believes.

The nine winners will receive their awards from National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan at the BCA Awards Night next Thursday.

Source : Business Times – 16 May 2008

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