SINGAPORE - Property developer Santarli Management Services quietly debuted a fresh idea in show suites two weeks ago.
The suite for its condo project off Upper Serangoon Road is made up of modular units which can be partially or completely disassembled, transported by crane and reassembled in another location, say, as a show suite for another development.
Each module has an independent electrical system that enables it to function as a unit.
The idea is that, by reusing the various modules in different configurations, waste is reduced and the structure is more environmentally friendly. Add to this the savings in construction cost and time for the developer.
Santarli on Wednesday gave reporters a tour of the suite, now parked at its project, the Sant Ritz condominium in Pheng Geck Avenue, off Upper Serangoon Road.
Lai Kwong Meng, Santarli's managing director, said the company hopes to inspire other builders to adopt the concept; he suggested that large projects with multi-phase developments could benefit from the idea.
"It is not a product we are selling. Neither is it an invention; it's an idea - one that we thought would benefit the industry," he said.
At $1.2 million to $1.5 million, the cost of building the modular show suite is about the same as a conventional one. Construction time of about three months is also about the same.
The savings over conventional models come in when the suite needs to be relocated, which can be done in under a week with negligible construction cost, as opposed to building a suite elsewhere from scratch.
Lim Yew Soon, the managing director at EL Development, said when asked for his view on the modular suite, said: "The time taken to set up a modular showflat would be an advantage, but I'm not sure if modules can be reused a lot, as buyers do look out for some novelty in showflats. Whether developers will take this up remains to be seen."
The benefits of the suite's modular design are, however, probably of little interest to those eyeing units in Sant Ritz, which has already sold half its 214 units.
Since its public launch on April 13, 107 units have been sold at an average price of $1,425 psf.
A neighbouring condominium project, The Sennett, sold 238 units at a median price of $1,474 psf last month, going by Urban Redevelopment Authority data collated from developers' monthly submissions.
Sant Ritz is Santarli's second foray into residential development, after Adora Green in Yishun in a joint venture with Guthrie GTS. However, it is the first in which Santarli has a majority stake. Mr Lai said the company's core business is still building and civil construction, but that it will pursue property development as a larger business going forward.
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