Tag Archives: Penthouse

Lightning protection or hazard? Metal features on roof..

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Some owners of penthouse units at condominium Bedok Residences have avoided using the barbecue pits and jacuzzis on their private roof terraces when they saw that the lightning rods connect to the metal rails and facades of the units (above). However, while it seems counter-intuitive, checks reveal that the roof terrace and accompanying balustrades are safe

Talks are under way to revise a building code that regulates lightning protection to address safety in the growing number of roof terraces in housing developments.

Residents in at least one condominium development have avoided using their own private roof terraces since July last year over such concerns.

The lightning protection system at mixed-use development Bedok Residences has the lightning rods connected to the metal rails and facades of the rooftop units.

“I don’t even want my domestic helper to clean the area since lightning can strike at any time,” said resident Dennis Lim, who is in his 50s.

As a result, he and other residents have avoided using their barbecue pits and jacuzzis on their terraces.

Another resident, Ms Tay Min Li, in her 20s, said: “If I touch the metal rail and the lightning strikes elsewhere, won’t I be electrocuted?”

While it may seem counter-intuitive, checks have revealed that the roof terraces and accompanying balustrades are in fact safe.

Experts explained that the lighting protection system reduces the risk of injury thanks to the concept of “equipotential bonding”, in which metal parts on the roof are earthed if they are connected to the ground.

When lightning strikes, its electrical current will follow the path of least resistance to the ground through the metal instead of the human body, said Mr Ken Jung, vice-president of the Singapore Electrical Contractors and Licensed Electrical Workers Association.

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Both the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and developer CapitaLand Singapore confirmed that Bedok Residences’ lightning protection system was certified by a professional electrical engineer for its temporary occupation permit.

Professor Liew Ah Choy, who chairs the technical committee of the current lightning protection code, however, noted that given the increasing trend towards having accessible or private roof areas, the lighting protection code for roof terraces is being reviewed.

In its current state, the lightning protection code – Singapore Standards 555 (SS 555), which was introduced in 2010 – does not refer specifically to roof terraces, noted the National University of Singapore adjunct professor.

Similar systems can be seen at developments with publicly accessible roofs, such as Marina Bay Sands and the Pinnacle @ Dawson.

The Straits Times understands that one of the ideas mooted in the new lightning protection code involves parapet capping, where the entire edge of the roof is encased in metal.

Another possibility is a trellis, which functions as an enlarged lightning rod.

However, these fully metallic structures may actually look more alarming to some residents, said Mr Jung.

“Most people have a limited understanding as to how lightning works, so it is important to educate people on how a building’s lightning protection works,” he said.

The BCA spokesman said that as a precaution, residents who own units with roof terraces should stay indoors during inclement weather.

Most people have a limited understanding as to how lightning works, so it is important to educate people on how a building’s lightning protection works.

MR KEN JUNG, vice-president of the Singapore Electrical Contractors and Licensed Electrical Workers Association


Source : ST Singapore


Singapore Property : The Penthouse Squeeze

They were bungalows in the sky once; now penthouses can be smaller than 800 sq ft

Mention penthouses and one immediately thinks of big, luxurious bungalows in the sky, with wraparound views and a multimillion-dollar price tag.

But these days they can be as small as 800 sq ft or less.

These penthouses have come on the market along with mostly yet-to-be-completed developments featuring ‘mickey mouse’ apartments of 500 sq ft or less.

There is no market data on the number of these small penthouses but a survey of some recent projects with small units shows they are not uncommon.

At the recently released five- storey, 40-unit City Loft project near Farrer Park MRT station, the two-bedroom penthouses are 743 to 904 sq ft in size.

Another recent launch Suites@Guillemard – with units as small as 258 sq ft – has penthouses of 797 to 1109 sq ft. Some sales were done around a median level of $1,250 psf.

At the 114-unit Siglap V, penthouses come as small as 760 sq ft and go up to 1,300 sq ft. This yet-to-be-launched project opposite Siglap Centre otherwise offers units starting from 380 to 730 sq ft.

Kembangan Suites also has small penthouses that come with private jacuzzis. The smallest, at 635 sq ft, includes a roof terrace that looks similar to the size of the private jacuzzi.

The project’s 60 units were sold for $775 to $1,097 psf in March.

These penthouses of around 700 to 780 sq ft may appear to be as big as a three-room HDB flat – HDB’s new build-to-order project Fernvale Palms, for instance, offers three- room units of about 721 sq ft – but they have less usable space. Continue reading