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Recognising professional engineers for exemplary engineering design and safety

Monday, 2 June 2014

- Clever design and safety combo nets prestigious awards for seven projects

Singapore, 2 June 2014 - Singapore is well-regarded as a place with safe infrastructure and buildings. This is made possible by the team of dedicated professionals behind the construction of a building, especially the professional engineers and their team members who are responsible for structural safety. This year, BCA is recognising seven professional engineers and their teams for their innovative design processes and solutions in overcoming project challenges.

For ingenuity in combining safety with aesthetic appeal, The Interlace was awarded the Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Award (DESEA) given by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). The iconic residential condominium is one of the seven winning projects this year to be accorded recognition for exemplary engineering design feats and high safety standards in the structural design, construction and maintenance of buildings.

The Interlace has a unique stacking design which comprises eight large residential blocks arranged in a hexagon to form eight open and permeable courtyards. This is a breakaway from standard, isolated building designs. The stacked formations allow light and air to flow through the architecture and surrounding landscape.

There were two main challenges in designing this project. First is coming up with an innovative solution for long span transfer structures to carry the load of the six-storey blocks above them, as well as safely transfer the load to the two main cores of each block. The other challenge was to devise a construction method to facilitate the construction of the superblocks at height.

Led by Er. Serena Yap from T.Y.Lin International Pte Ltd, the team of engineers came up with innovative solutions to work around the challenges presented. Rigorous and comprehensive 3-Dimensional structural analyses were carried out to capture the overall building behaviour arising from the complex nature of the building layout. These analyses ensured the safety and robustness of the design. In the end, the team came up with a structural design that was not too heavy and optimised space for construction. Additionally, the use of high strength concrete helped minimise column size in order to optimise space usage.

In terms of construction safety, features which helped the development to garner the award included a fall prevention plan that incorporated safety induction for workers. Risk assessments were carried out for proprietary heavy duty shoring erection and dismantling process. The control measures and safe work procedures were also implemented for strict compliance. These helped The Interlace to achieve a stellar zero worksite accidents record.

Commenting on the achievements of the award winners, Er. Chew Keat Chuan, Group Director of Building Engineering, Building and Construction Authority said, "We live, work and play in buildings that have been put together by dedicated professionals which most people have taken for granted. As we build taller and deeper in a densely built-up environment, engineers will have to continually seek innovative, yet practical solutions to ensure that the structures can be built safely. The BCA Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Awards serve to recognise the outstanding achievements and commitment of the engineers who keep our buildings safe."

Other award winners include Er. Soon Won Moi from Mott MacDonald Singapore Pte Ltd for the design of Downtown Line 1 C908 - Telok Ayer station and Er. Adrian Billinghurst/ Er. Lai Hock Sai for Marina Coastal Expressway C485.

The Downtown Line 1 C908 adopted the use of innovative "Trouser legs" concept for a design characterised by long diaphragm wall panels spaced at regular intervals for the cut-and-cover section of the tunnels. As these wall panels were designed to reach the hard soil strata at deeper depths, they acted both as earth-retaining and foundation elements. This innovation shortened the construction period without comprising safety.

Meanwhile, some of the challenges the Marina Coastal Expressway C485 project faced included excavation under the seabed across the mouth of Singapore River through poor ground conditions comprising very deep deposits of soft, compressible marine clays. Part of the solution was to provide double row marine cofferdam with struts installed progressively to serve as temporary earth retaining structures for the excavation of the tunnel.

The other award winners include Er. Dr. Shahzad Nasim for Marina Bay Suites and Er.Ng Peng Yuen for Casa Clementi. Merit award winners are Er.Kam Mun Wai for Cube 8 Residences and Er. Ng Swee Tong for NUH Medical Centre.

Footnotes

Winning projects (1.5MB .pdf)

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (1.5MB .pdf).

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