Site Visit to Conservation Shophouses with Rear Extension (30 June 2023)

On 30 June 2023, TCHS President Catherine Loke, Member Vivien Leong, and Bestlink Construction Pte. Ltd. hosted around 50 students from Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Architecture on a tour of a project under construction comprising existing 2-storey conservation shophouses with a 6-storey new rear extension, and a mechanised car parking system. This project was interesting in that it allowed students to see the difference between refurbishment of the conserved portion and a newly built structure.

For most of the students, this was their first time visiting a construction site, and being able to physically touch and feel various materials. This lays the foundation for a good understanding of the tactile nature of materials which forms the basis of how the physical realm is experienced, enabling these future built environment professionals to acquire the skills and knowledge to create such environments.

"I think it was really interesting, more fun than I thought it would be and actually very insightful and inspiring. I was kind of questioning if I was still passionate about pursuing architecture but this sparked my interest in the field more.” – Iffah Rasyiqah Sariman

With each level at a different stage of completion, the students could have an immediate appreciation of construction sequencing and how a building comes together from structure, building services, waterproofing, walls, plastering, door/window frames, ceiling works to final finishing.

“Getting hands-on experience on a real site really helps us bring reality into our design. It helps us understand the details and small stuff that we probably would not have noticed if we did not have this experience.” – David Lim

A full display of the numerous pipes, cables and ducts passing through the building showed the students that fancy architectural finishes do not alone make a beautiful building. A lot of thought and pre-planning needs to go into the design and coordination to optimise space and reduce waste. Students were also shown fire safety provisions such as the dry riser and hosereel.

Instead of just looking at the drawings, I got to see construction drawings come to life. I got to see how the pipes and wires are placed around the building, before it's hidden.” – Lucas Li

Specials thanks go to Mr David Tanadi from Nanyang Polytechnic for managing and organizing the students, and to Mr Lim Kwee Beng, Mr Wong Chong Thye, Mr Liaw Yee Shiun and Mr Shia Jia Chen of Bestlink Construction Pte. Ltd., and Safety Consultant Mr Christopher Tan for hosting, taking care of safety, and providing their insights.

Stay tuned for more TCHS initiatives to link architects & engineers (both students and current practitioners) with builders, to move towards a more holistic approach to design and construction.

See photos of the event here.


Written by Ar. Vivien Leong

on behalf of the

Ecological Design and Construction Working Group  

Ar. Catherine Loke (coordinator), Ar. Ho Sock Yee, Ar. Kuan Chee Yung & Ar. Vivien Leong