SINGAPORE: Some of the issues with the centralised cooling system that popped up last year for owners of Tengah’s flats appear unresolved.

The energy-efficient cooling system had a good take-up rate when it was introduced, with over 10,000 contracts signed. However, some flat owners complained of the unsightly design, while others had problems with not getting enough cooling in their units.

Most recently, a Feb 20 (Tuesday) CNA report said several owners still have to deal with condensation and leaks. The report says that pictures and video clips of the issues are being posted on a Telegram group created to share these problems.

The “forest town” of Tengah will eventually contain 42,000 homes when finished, and residents began collecting their keys to the units at the end of August 2023 at two of Tengah’s projects, Plantation Acres and Plantation Grange.

The Centralised Cooling System (CCS), which has been offered to would-be HDB residents of Tengah since 2020, uses centralised chillers installed at the top of HDB blocks to cool the water, which would then be piped down to flats to cool the interiors.

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The big draw was that this would eliminate the need for conventional air-conditioning units and lessen households’ operational and maintenance expenses.

SP Group, working together with the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and air-conditioning company Daikin, is responsible for the cooling system and creating Singapore’s first-ever “smart energy town” at Tengah.

Last year, after homeowners who availed of the CCS moved in, they started sharing on the dedicated Telegram groups that the cooling system did not bring the same cooling effect as air-conditioners.

Previous to that, other homeowners were dismayed over the exposed trunking of the CCS, which they found to be unsightly.

Read also: Some Tengah residents say centralised cooling system isn’t cool enough

On Feb 19 (Monday), SP Group issued a statement to update affected homeowners.

“Our priority is to deliver a resilient and sustainable cooling solution for Tengah residents,” SP Group wrote before acknowledging the homeowners’ issues.

“As we rolled out the CCS, there were some issues reported by the initial batch of CCS customers. Most of them are condensation issues that were workmanship-related, due to the compressed timeline to install the Fan Coil Units (FCUs), piping and trunking within the homes, and to fully test and stabilise the CCS.”

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The company added that HDB and Daikin aim to promptly address the issues reported by the homeowners.

“To minimise inconvenience for CCS customers, we aim to resolve all issues reported by customers within 10 business days from the day of the initial inspection.”

SP Group also acknowledged the other “teething issues” homeowners faced with the CCS when they moved in and said the situation is stabilizing, with only 80 remaining cases in the process of being resolved.

“With the experience gained from the past few months, improvements made to our installation, testing and quality assurances processes, as well as the improved flat delivery schedule going forward, we will work towards reducing such feedback cases in the months ahead,” it added.

The company also noted that condensation is not unique to CCS “but are a recognised occurrence in air-conditioning systems.

As noted by the Ministry of National Development’s written response on 10 January 2024 to a parliamentary question, HDB receives an average of 715 cases of feedback per year on condensation in “conventional” air-conditioning.

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However, we understand the inconvenience caused and are dedicated to addressing the reported cases promptly.” /TISG

Read also: New centralised cooling system at Tengah is more energy efficient, but some flat buyers are upset over ‘unsightly’ design