Three awards for The Watergardens at Canberra affirm its consumer appeal

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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October 28, 2022 1:30 PM SGT
The Watergardens at Canberra is a 448-unit project that is jointly developed by UOL Group, Singapore Land and Kheng Leong Co. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The direction of innovative real estate design is often a reflection of the needs and aspirational lifestyle of homeowners. Lately, this has been rooted in a growing awareness of sustainability and wellness throughout the home.
The judges of the EdgeProp Excellence Awards 2022 certainly kept this in mind when they gave The Watergardens at Canberra, a project in District 27, awards in three categories: Innovation Excellence, Landscape Excellence and Sustainability Excellence.
The Watergardens is a joint-venture (JV) project between UOL Group, Singapore Land Group and Kheng Leong Co. The 99-year leasehold development is a low-rise, 448-unit condominium along Canberra Drive.
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EPEA2022 WINNERS - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
From left: Joyce Sng, general manager, product development, UOL Group; James Chan, general manager, Kheng Leong Co; and Jason Lim, head of residential marketing, Singapore Land Group, receiving the Landscape Excellence, Sustainability Excellence and Innovation Excellence awards from Cecilia Chow, editor, EdgeProp Singapore. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)

Thoughtful design

The development is in the neighbourhood of the Sembawang Springs landed housing estate, as well as newly completed HDB flats near Canberra MRT Station on the North-South Line. The station was opened in November 2019. (Find HDB flats for rent or sale with our Singapore HDB directory)
This part of northeast Singapore retains a relaxed atmosphere which stems from its proximity to nature reserves, reservoirs, mature landed housing estates and a developing HDB town.
As a result, the design considerations of The Watergardens reflect the relatively laid-back character of the area. When the project was initially open for preview in July 2021, UOL and its JV partners positioned the development as one that offers “resort-style living within an upcoming residential enclave”.
Garden - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The project clinched the Landscape Excellence Award this year, thanks to the well-thought-out design throughout the development. (Picture: UOL)
The overall architecture and design of the 16 residential blocks showcases a consistent sensitivity to the landscape and tropical environment. For example, the orientation of each of the five-storey blocks is positioned to promote natural wind flow while minimising solar heat gain.
The development comprises two-bedroom unit types of 646 to 969 sq ft and three-bedroom units of 904 to 1,313 sq ft. These include various premium and premium-plus-study unit types for the two- and three-bedders. There are also four-bedroom premium units of 1,302 sq ft and four-bedroom penthouse units of 1,528 sq ft.
Most of the units enjoy direct views of the numerous pools or water features that are evenly scattered around the blocks. The architecture is also mindful of the naturally undulating terrain of the site. This has been utilised to create residential blocks at different levels and paired with tiered pools and layered gardens.
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This sensitive architectural design allows the entire development to maximise the site’s natural attributes and blend with its landscaped surroundings.

Time-saving and clean construction methods

As is the case for all new private residential developments in recent years, the residential blocks of The Watergardens are being constructed using the prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC) method, where each residential unit is designed and assembled on-site in modules. This is in line with a sector-wide push towards more efficient and sustainable construction methods, which are promoted by government policies and directives.
Another time-saving construction method employed in the ongoing construction of this development is the use of prefabricated bathroom units, where the interior finishes, fittings and plumbing are fully finished and assembled off-site.
These types of off-site construction activities and just-in-time site assembly result in improved construction quality and finishings, due to the work being done in controlled factory settings rather than on-site.
Modular construction methods like PPVC also result in reduced manpower needs on-site and contribute to overall worksite safety. In addition, this leads to reduced construction noise and pollution, as well as a cleaner worksite.
For UOL and its JV partners, this level of development innovation is enhanced by technological improvements in construction design, such as the use of Building Information Modelling by all stakeholders, including consultants and contractors, to highlight and resolve technical issues and clashes early in the design process.
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This helps to streamline the entire building development process, starting from conceptualisation, thus avoiding abortive work downstream.

‘Resort-style’ living

The condo boasts an extensive number of pools and water features with lush tropical planting. There are three distinct zones in the development that form the main anchor-points for the amenities and landscaping — a Forest Pool zone, a 50m lap pool zone and a Recreational Lawn zone.
The Forest Pool is an organically shaped swimming pool with a dual-level layout in a forest-like setting. This family-friendly area includes facilities such as a water slide, kids’ pools, water jet terrace, aqua gym pool, entertainment rooms and a waterfront party pavilion.
The 50m lap pool has a more formal layout and is flanked by the gym, function rooms, cabanas and jacuzzis. At one end of the lap pool is a waterfall courtyard that cascades down as an eye-catching water feature in the main arrival court.
The Recreational Lawn is a quiet and restful zone with green spaces. (Picture: UOL)
The last main landscaped zone is the Recreational Lawn which casts an evening glow when it is illuminated by swallow pools and sensitively lit lighting features. Water hammocks are located at one end of the lawn, and various gardens add colour to the zone.
All the landscaped areas throughout the development are connected by scenic paths that are beside plants, water streams, and placemaking amenities such as garden hammocks, tepee decks and gardens. A dedicated herb garden for urban gardening is also available.

Design rooted in sustainability

Complementing the landscape design is a focus on sustainability, achieved through the architecture and passive design elements throughout the condo.
The design is mindful of the tropical environment and takes advantage of the north-south winds, as well as minimises solar heat gains during the day. Each block is designed to promote natural cross-ventilation and daylight, coupled with the open unit layouts, generous balcony space and well-ventilated kitchens.
In addition, the evenly spaced pools and waterbody features around the condo encourage evaporative cooling during the day.
When it is completed, the pockets of lush landscaping and vegetation around the development will also contribute to a lower urban heat effect, lowering the overall ambient temperature.
variety of pools - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The variety of pools and water features around the condo will encourage evaporative cooling and natural breezes during the day. (Picture: UOL)
Taken together, these green features will help to lower the overall energy consumption for each household and the development.
The environmental initiatives built into the condo reflect an intuitive and intelligent approach towards a sustainable built environment. The developers shared with the award judges that this was undertaken at the start of the development and concept phase, with the aim of integrating an open and porous building design with active green strategies and energy-saving systems.
Overall, the innovative architecture and landscape of The Watergardens is a good case of harmoniously creating a comfortable micro-environment for residents, while contributing positively towards the site’s natural biodiversity.
Many of the green facilities in the condo, such as the community garden and bicycle-sharing station, are likely to be used frequently by residents.

Hitting the right mark for buyers

The variety of positive attributes at The Watergardens has resonated well with homeowners. By the end of its first weekend of sales in July 2021, about 270 units had been snapped up by homeowners and investors. This represents 60% of the total number of units in the development.
THE WATERGARDENS 4BR SHOWFLAT - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Over the past 15 months, the development has recorded consistent sales momentum and is nearly fully sold. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
According to a statement from the developers after the initial weekend sales, two-bedders were sold from about $920,000, while three-bedroom units were bought from about $1.3 million. Meanwhile, some four-bedroom units had been purchased from about $1.8 million.
In addition, property agents manning the sales at the time shared that the developer maintained the selling prices even when 50% of the units were snapped up that weekend.
The Watergardens has continued to register a consistent sales momentum over the past 15 months. Based on developer sales data submitted to URA, the project clocked a cumulative take-up rate of 74.6% in January this year. As of end-August, the project is nearly fully sold with a cumulative take-up rate of 95.3%.
So far, the most expensive unit at The Watergardens is a 1,528 sq ft, four-bedroom penthouse that was sold by the developer for $2.1 million ($1,375 psf) on Aug 13. A similar-sized four-bedroom penthouse unit fetched $2.09 million ($1,372 psf) on July 24.
Check out the latest listings near The Watergardens at Canberra, Canberra MRT Station

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