SINGAPORE: Investigations into two recent instances in which parts of the facades of public housing blocks fell off have been completed, said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) on Sunday (Dec 11).
The town councils in charge of the blocks are taking measures to prevent the incidents from recurring, said a BCA spokesperson in a media statement.
In the first incident, a cladding panel made of calcium silicate fell off Block 51, Circuit Road on Oct 19. The panel was a design element of the facade and was non-structural, said the Housing & Development Board in a Facebook post the day after the incident, adding that it was liaising with Marine Parade Town Council to repair the facade and check neighbouring blocks with similar finishes on their facades.
On Sunday, BCA said that investigations showed that the panel became dislodged as a result of wear and tear.
The professional engineer appointed by Marine Parade Town Council inspected Block 51 as well as 24 other blocks in the precinct, and recommended that similar calcium silicate cladding panels be removed from all of the blocks, BCA said. Those at the service duct areas will be replaced with new metal panels.
"We understand that Marine Parade Town Council will be progressively carrying out these rectification work as recommended by the professional engineer to ensure public safety," said BCA.
In a separate incident, a slab of plaster came loose from Block 449, Hougang Avenue 10. BCA said that the professional engineer appointed by Ang Mo Kio Town Council inspected the block and found all existing plaster surfaces there to be in "satisfactory condition".
"Based on the professional engineer's investigation report, the fallen plaster had dislodged as it had deteriorated due to exposure to weather over time," BCA said. "We understand that Ang Mo Kio Town Council will be repairing the affected area and stepping up checks on the surrounding blocks."
The incidents come after a concrete sunbreaker came loose from Block 201E, Tampines Street 23. An investigation into the incident concluded that the sunshade did not have reinforcement bars.
On Sunday, BCA said that it was conducting "further investigation" to determine whether building regulations were contravened when the sunshades were built.
The agency said building owners were responsible for the maintenance of their buildings, including facade elements and any exterior features, and should carry out regular checks and maintenance of the facades of their buildings.
"BCA is currently carrying out a review on measures to enhance facade safety," it added.