A widely circulated WhatsApp image showing the incorrect installation of a prefabricated wall at a construction site in Tampines came to the attention of The Online Citizen on 23 June.
A prefabricated wall is a structure that was assembled in a factory or any other manufacturing site, and is then transported to the construction site in a fully assembled form, after which the structure is to be installed or fixed upon.
The WhatsApp message read:
"Location: Tampines GreenVerge BTO [Build-To-Order] project.
Contractor fix the prefab wall upside down."
The Online Citizen visited the aforementioned construction site after receiving the message.
It was found that the prefabricated wall was indeed installed wrongly onto the building.
However, the contractor was in the midst of conducting correction work on it.
According to the floor plan, the HDB flat affected by the incorrect installation is 622A #06-23.
It is understood that the construction company in charge of the project is Kay Lim Construction & Trading Pte Ltd, while architectural works, as well as those that involved structural engineering and quantity surveying related to the project, were carried out by Surbana Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd.
On 4 July, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) replied to TOC's queries:
"We refer to your feedback dated 26 June 2018 regarding the incorrect installation of the prefabricated wall panel.
Please be assured that we have detected the non-compliance during our regular check in May 2018, and had instructed the contractor to rectify it.
The rectification works will be completed by July 2018."
When TOC contacted Kay Lim Construction & Trading Pte Ltd regarding the alleged non-compliance, the engineer in charge of the project preferred to reserve his comment on the matter.
When probed further about the aforementioned "non-compliance”, considering that the photographs being circulated had only surfaced in late June and not in May, HDB replied that there was a delay, due to the process of seeking the method statement from the construction company for the ratification works and, subsequently, to have the statement approved by a qualified professional.
However, HDB noted that there is no issue with structural integrity, as the load was supported by the columns and beams of the building itself.
Additionally, the HDB mentioned that the scaffolding had been removed on 11 July and that the rectification work has been completed.