Greening the Rooftops

Our greening campaign, after 50 years, is systematically moving skywards, with wonderful results. Currently, we have over 50 hectares of rooftop greenery islandwide in public and private buildings such as housing estates, schools and shopping centres. This puts Singapore among the leading cities in skyrise greening.

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Greenery is no longer limited to the park or the streetscape along our roads. Many HDB residents have been enjoying lush, green spaces at the rooftops of their multi-storey car parks (MSCP).

In the early days of MSCPs, bare concrete top decks were the norm. Over time, with changing lifestyles and needs, rooftop greenery started creeping into the top decks of new MSCPs. In fact, these improvements were highlighted by our Facebook friend, Ron N Gazing Hawk, who regularly gave us ‘greening’ suggestions for better HDB living.

amendedBesides creating a green oasis for residents looking down from higher floors, rooftop greenery provides space for community interactions and helps to cool down our surroundings. MSCP rooftop features include community gardens, foot reflexology paths and study corners for residents. Jurong East and Dover Crescent are fine examples of how rooftop greenery is helping residents relive the kampong spirit, where neighbours get together to plant flowers, herbs and vegetables.

To-date, HDB has built 108 new MSCPs with rooftop greenery, adding about 20 hectares of green space. Another 111 new MSCPs with rooftop greenery are currently under construction.

Besides planting directly on rooftops, HDB has also come up with labour saving technology like the Prefabricated Extensive Greening (PEG) roof system for rooftop landscaping. This low-maintenance system allows plants to thrive without irrigation during dry periods, and uses lightweight plastic trays which are easy to install without the need for costly structural works. This system will be useful to enhance skyrise greenery in our existing estates where appropriate. HDB plans to implement nine hectares of rooftop greenery in existing MSCPs over the next few years.

Besides rooftops, HDB is also exploring innovative systems to bring greenery skywards. Vertical greening systems such as the VERTI.GRO and VERTI.GREEN are currently being tried out in Sembawang.

In Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, we created a “hospital in a garden”. The recently completed Park Royal Hotel on Pickering sought to be a “hotel in a garden”. Our greening efforts in HDB estates will help realise the vision of providing Singaporeans with “housing in a garden”.

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