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To combat COVID-19, developers are looking to prefabricated skyscrapers

Dan Cortese

30 July 2020

A PAIR of prefabricated skyscrapers rising on Singapore’s skyline could hold the answer to the myriad of challenges facing the construction industry in a post-coronavirus world.

Avenue South Residences are twin 56-storey towers set to be built on the city’s western edge.

They will eventually be connected to a former railway that is in the process of being converted into a High Line-inspired park.

Above: Avenue South Residences emphasise nature and the importance of green spaces (image courtesy of ADDP Architects).

All 988 residential units will be constructed off-site, in factories. They will then be transported to the site and assembled by cranes piece-by-piece.

At a median price of USD $1.1M these luxury apartments are challenging the idea that prefabricated buildings are unsophisticated or that they lack style.

Each tower has a dedicated “sky garden” across an entire floor, offering incredible views of Singapore’s waterfront.

There are also smaller “pocket gardens” strategically located throughout the buildings so that no apartment is more than five stories away from green space.

Above: An entire floor of each building is given over to a "sky garden" (image courtesy of ADDP Architects).

The COVID-19 pandemic could see the acceleration of these kinds of projects.

Prefabricated construction is safer as most of the work is carried out in factories where social distancing rules can be better adhered to.

They also require less people to physically be on building sites when the modules are fitted together.

Some construction experts estimate that together with the lower labour costs and faster construction times prefabricated buildings could produce savings of up to 15 percent for developers.

Singapore’s government actually sold the land for Avenue South Residences on the condition that prefabrication methods were used for construction.

Above: Residences have spectacular views of Singapore's famous waterfront (image courtesy of ADDP Architects).

A number of high-profile prefabricated skyscrapers have already been built in many major cities, including Collins House in Melbourne and the world’s tallest modular hotel in New York.

As the construction industry continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic it looks likely that we will begin to see many more of these buildings rising on our skylines.

Don't miss The B1M's 45-minute documentary on offsite construction, featuring experts and examples from around the world:



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