Reinventing Soilbuild Group

Lim Han Qin, representing the next generation at the helm of the company, talks about how the business has diversified and entered new markets in recent years
Han Qin: We want to be diversified – by sector and geography. Hence, even overseas, we are in the residential and industrial as well as business space (Credit: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Soilbuild Group Holdings’ new headquarters at Defu South Street 1 features double-glazed glass walls to cut off the noise from the nearby Paya Lebar Airbase. Nine fish-tank-style meeting rooms overlook a central landscaped courtyard. There are also a boardroom and a training room.
The office pantry designed as an open kitchen with a long countertop and bar stools on either side has become a popular gathering place for staff to socialise. Other amenities include a well-equipped gym, shower room, steam room and nursing room.
A lot of attention was paid to “doing up the office nicely”, says Lim Han Qin, director of Soilbuild Group Holdings. “These days, young people place a lot of value on a beautiful office.” A staff welfare committee was set up to organise activities, for instance, exercise classes at the start of the week to beat the Monday blues and quarterly staff buffet dinners.
Meeting rooms and an open office pantry overlook a central landscaped courtyard at the Soilbuild headquarters in Defu South Street 1 (Credit: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Unlike Soilbuild’s headquarters and Prefab Innovation Hub, the entire area around it is still very much a construction site. Like all pioneers in a frontier location, being the first had its own logistical challenges. “When we first moved in last year, Grab cars didn’t even come here; you couldn’t find the address on Google Maps; and food options were limited,” says Han Qin. To counter that, Soilbuild provides regular shuttle service for staff to go out for lunch and to the nearest MRT station.
Soilbuild had purchased the 219,708.3 sq ft, 30-year leasehold site at Defu South Street 1 in September 2015 for $23.89 million. The site is designated by Building & Construction Authority (BCA) as part of the Integrated Construction and Prefabricated Hub...