SINGAPORE: Some Tengah flat buyers who signed up for a centralised cooling system have complained of issues ranging from it not being cold enough to condensation and leaks.
These home owners have taken to Telegram chatgroups to discuss their concerns, with at least two videos circulating of water leaking from the cooling units in new flats.
Tengah, a 700ha site in the west of Singapore, was marketed as Singapore’s first and largest smart and sustainable town, with the centralised cooling system a key feature of this push.
The cooling system presents an eco-friendly alternative to conventional air conditioning. Instead of using refrigerants to remove heat, it uses chilled water piped into homes from centralised chillers on selected housing blocks.
While already adopted commercially, the concept is new to public housing and optional for home owners. Those who prefer conventional air-conditioning units can install them instead.
National grid operator SP Group manages the sign-ups, installation and maintenance of the system and works with air-con manufacturer Daikin, which is responsible for installing indoor units, diagnosing and resolving reported issues.
According to a website set up for Tengah residents by SP Group, 10,675 households have signed up for the cooling system as of Aug 23 – equivalent to nine out of 10 home owners.
Those who bought flats in Plantation Acres and Plantation Grange – the first two projects in Tengah – began collecting their keys in end-August. As of Sep 26, 295 out of 2,333 units within these two precincts have collected keys, according to figures from the Housing and Development Board (HDB).
Several residents CNA spoke to said they have seen condensation or water leaking from their cooling units.
A home owner, whose flat in Plantation Grange is under renovation, said he noticed a few drops of water on the floor and condensation on the cooling unit even before he turned it on. The issue was resolved after the team connected a valve within the system, said the 29-year-old, who gave his name as Manny.
A Plantation Acres flat owner who wanted to be known as Ms Lim said she noticed condensation on one of her units when she switched it on. The 34-year-old also found a hole in her trunking, which she asked her interior designer to fix.