Property & Construction Business Group Update - Q1 2016

By Marcus Eckersley (Cundall Singapore), Chairperson of the Property & Construction Group

The year started with a challenge for all sectors. With the price of oil sliding, financial markets have seen large corrections. We see in the news that China’s growth, imports, production and demand are slowing, adding to global uncertainty. With so many variables all impacting on one another, it’s difficult to understand the forecast for any of our sectors. For many, 2016 is going to be challenging. However, as the great British proverb goes, “Where there’s muck, there’s brass,” and we must seek out opportunities wherever they are. For Singapore, the cityscape still displays a number of tower cranes, which, of course, point to large construction sites beneath them. Ultimately, these construction sites will form an expanded Central Business District, airport terminals and transport infrastructure. Contemporary new builds such as DUO and Marina One will soon be adding over five million square feet of mixed use development to Singapore’s real estate.


January has seen S$948 million worth of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) contracts being awarded. This is just part of the MRT rail network expansion plans, which ultimately sees existing track length doubling to some 360 kilometres, with an increase of 57 stations by 2030. The world-class transit system sees impartial architectural design competitions for stations. The resulting structures are amazing and lead to some awe-inspiring journeys.


The MRT system interfaces seamlessly with the built environment. But the construction sector isn’t just about high-rise buildings and transit — there is a much greener side to Singapore’s development. The National Parks Board plans ahead for conservation and launched the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) back in 2009. One subsequent involvement for the construction industry has been the Eco-Link@BKE, a unique ecological bridge that spans the Bukit Timah Expressway, connecting Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The first of its kind in Southeast Asia, its main purpose is to restore the ecological connection between two nature reserves, allowing wildlife to expand their habitat, genetic pool and survival chances.


As can be seen, the property and construction sector is currently diverse and vibrant. Opportunities are presenting themselves here in Singapore all the time and on many differing scales. Sustainability remains a subject at the heart of our sectors and, of course, significant to this group. 



Visit the Property & Construction Business Group page to learn more about the committee members and their upcoming events.