With the goal of reviving the strategic area of Paya Lebar, located in the proximity of both the Central Business District and Changi Airport, the $3.7 billion Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) was officially opened in October 2019. Touted as the new “social heart of the East”, it unites a shopping mall, a business hub, premium residences, and a beautiful and modern alfresco square in a unique and modern enclave.
Built on a wide canal 25 m wide connected to the Geylang River, the reviving and modernization of the area is not only on the surface but underground as well.
In recent years, due to the increased intensity of rainfall, mainly as a consequence of climate change, the Public Utilities Board of Singapore (PUB) made it compulsory for public squares, malls and building compounds to have a stormwater management system to prevent flooding.
Before (Video by Web Earth)
Prior to the installation of the stormwater management system, heavy rainwater would generally translate into flooding.
Similar projects have adopted measures such as the construction of concrete detention tanks with an expensive pumping system to pump out the water from the underground tank to reduce stormwater run-off and manage rainwater drainage and collection. Moreover, maintenance tends to be more frequent with higher costs. However, a non-structural detention system was used as a solution due to the unique nature of this project and to meet the various requirements, including detention requirements of a maximum allowable peak runoff stated in PUB’s Code of Practice for Surface Water Drainage.
Thus, PLQ, designed by DP Architects Ltd, had installed more than 7,000 units of Elmich’s VersiTank® (easy to install, non-structural, stormwater management system), with a combined volume capacity of approximately 980 m3, about a third of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. VersiTank® acts as a source measure which temporarily stores runoff, reducing the peak flow of runoff into the public drainage system during heavy rain occurrences.
A series of rain gardens integrated with VersiTank® underneath was designed (under ABC Waters’ consultation of Web Earth) to prevent runoff consisting of debris from entering directly into the VersiTank® system. Furthermore, the cost-effective and versatile sub-surface installation of VersiTank®, enveloped with geotextile, allows rainwater to penetrate into the sub-surface tank, whilst preventing solid particles such as sand, mud, and clay from clogging the system. This particular design methodology impedes water from entering the drains directly, functioning as a filter and protection from flooding, cleansing the water before discharging it into the Geylang River.
As it is visible in the pictures, the result was impressive: PLQ was the first mixed-use development to receive the PUB Active Beautiful Clean Waters Certification in Singapore!
Architect: DP Architects Ltd
Landscape Consultant: Grant Associates Singapore Pte. Ltd
ABC Waters Consultant: Web Earth
Landscape Contractor: Nature Landscapes Pte Ltd