BCA to take some shine off new buildings

BCA to take some shine off new buildings
The "Walkie-Talkie" skyscraper in London reflected so much sunlight that the rays were powerful enough to fry an egg nearby. A businessman also complained that the reflected rays melted the side of his car parked nearby.

Being dazzled by the glare from buildings that reflect too much light could soon be a thing of the past here.

Rules will be updated by the authorities to ensure that building facades are not too blinding, with metal roofs a likely early casualty.

The aim of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is to increase the types of materials banned for use as buildings' external surface because they are too reflective. Now, the only shimmering culprit disallowed is glass.

But the range of materials will soon be broadened to include "all kinds of facade materials", wrote National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on his blog on Thursday.

Metal roofs, in particular, have been flickering too much for their own good.

"We are beginning to get some feedback on unwelcome glare from sunlight reflected from metal roofs of other buildings," said Mr Khaw, adding that one resident has even had to wear sunglasses in his own home.

To date, BCA has received feedback on 18 residential and commercial buildings on the glare from sunlight reflected from glass facades, metal roofs and metal claddings, which are coverings on a building.

Notably, myVillage in Serangoon Gardens darkened its floor-to-ceiling windows in 2010, after nearby residents complained that the glass reflected too much sunlight and heated up their homes in the evenings.

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