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#1

Posted 03 March 2019 - 10:38 AM

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The lift stops on the eighth floor. But there is a ninth.
 
To get there, people enter an office pantry on the eighth storey, key in a password on a keypad on the wall, and a door - disguised as a display shelf - unlocks.
 
Behind it are two flights of stairs. Go up, and one finds an entire floor spanning over 5,000 sq ft.
 
In what is the first known case of its kind in Singapore, a light industrial building in Alexandra Road has been discovered to have illegally included a hidden floor.
 
The size of eight three-room HDB flats, it boasts various living spaces with workstations, beds, a kitchen and a meeting room.
 
The hidden floor came to light last week when the authorities, acting on a tip-off, conducted inspections of The Alexcier.
 
The Building and Construction Authority, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) told The Sunday Times that the floor is "unauthorised".
 
They will be taking enforcement action against those responsible.
 
A strata-certified plan of The Alexcier obtained by The Sunday Times showed that there are supposed to be only eight storeys and one basement in the multi-use light industrial B1 building.
 
It was built by local developer Chiu Teng Group in 2005. A company director of Chiu Teng Group, reached via phone, declined comment. He did not give his name.
 
The boss of the company that owns the eighth-floor unit admitted to The Sunday Times that it had built the extra space above.
 
It has been owned by real estate investment firm ZACD Investments since 2008, and is now leased to property and asset management company ZACD Posh. Both are under the ZACD Group, which hires some 300 employees.
 
Mr Stanley Yeo, ZACD Group co-founder and group chief executive officer, said: "It's not an additional floor. It's a racking system. We built it four to five years ago for storage purposes. It's only about 3,000 to 4,000 sq ft."
 
A racking system is a shelving storage system, similar to what furniture retailer Ikea uses to store large items at its pickup hall.
 
 
The hidden ninth floor at The Alexcier boasts various living spaces with workstations, beds, a kitchen and a meeting room.
But The Sunday Times understands that the ninth floor is as big as the eighth-floor unit, which is about 5,200 sq ft, excluding a rooftop terrace.
 
A video of SCDF officers inspecting the clandestine unit last Tuesday shows that it - unlike a racking system - is constructed like an enclosed floor, with interior fittings.
 
Some business owners working in the same building said they had no inkling that there was a ninth floor.
 
But they had suspected that people were living on the eighth floor after seeing foreigners taking the cargo lift to it late at night.
 
One business owner who asked not to be named said: "A few years ago, the security guards were already talking about people living on the eighth floor. They were told by the owner to let these people into the building. Some of them are foreigners. About 15 to 18 of them come here after 10.45pm every night."
 
But Mr Yeo insisted that no one was living on the ninth floor, which he said was solely used as storage space. The furniture there, including beds, was previously used in his company showroom, he said.
 
As for the workstations, he said he had moved up some of the computers from the eighth floor after his company's IT system was hacked.
 
"Nobody lives there, but we have people who work overtime and overnight. We have a software engineering business and people work late. They are not there most of the time. Only once in a while," said Mr Yeo.
 
He added that he has been told by SCDF that his additional structure is not compliant and he will be sealing off the stairway later this month.
 
ZACD Posh is moving out of the unit to an office at Spring Singapore because it is cutting down on some operations, said Mr Yeo.
 
A potential foreign investor who viewed it recently said she was not told that there was an extra floor in the unit, even though she had questioned the eighth-floor unit's low ceiling given that the roof looked high from the exterior.
 
When The Sunday Times visited the premises last Friday, things were already packed in boxes.
 
The architect of The Alexcier said that he designed it with eight floors.
 
Mr Chng Beng Guan, managing director of 3HPArchitects, added that it would not have passed inspections by the authorities ahead of getting its Temporary Occupation Permit if there was a ninth floor then.
 
The illicitly constructed floor means that the owners had dodged paying a development charge to the URA.
 
Based on the current rate of $3,850 per sq m for the sector that The Alexcier is located in, Mr Yeo should have paid over $1 million for the additional floor area if it had been approved.
 
But for others, the discovery of the ninth floor has also raised questions about the building's structural soundness, given the additional load that may not have been factored in from the get-go.
 
A former member of the building's management council, who asked not to be named, said: "We have been holding our meetings in the eighth-floor unit all these years and none of us knew about this ninth floor.
 
"This is a safety issue that the authorities need to address quickly."
 
The illicitly constructed floor means that the owners had dodged paying a development charge to the URA. Based on the current rate of $3,850 per sq m for the sector that The Alexcier is located in, Mr Yeo should have paid over $1 million for the additional floor area if it had been approved.
 
The Alexcier's architect, Mr Chng, said the eighth floor - which comes with a 6.5m-high ceiling - will be able to take the extra load "because that was designed for an industrial racking system which is to take a lot of goods".
 
Experts not related to the building are mixed in their views on whether the extra floor will pose any risk.
 
Engineer David Ng, a member of The Institution of Engineers, Singapore's civil and structural technical committee, said an unauthorised extra floor would usually not have been taken into consideration in the design of building foundation and supporting columns.
 
"This additional loading could result in a reduction of the required design factor of safety and if the additional load is significant, it may cause the supporting structure to be overstressed."
 
Mr Albert Loh, who runs a structural, civil and mechanical engineering consultancy firm, said that "the biggest danger is getting the wrong person" to add in the extra floor.
 
"If so, the floor is unsafe."
 
Under the Building Control Act, anyone found guilty of carrying out unauthorised building works will be liable upon conviction to a fine of up to $200,000 and/or jail of up to two years.

 

wow this building got 机关 like those in movies

 

https://www.straitst...strial-building



#2

Posted 03 March 2019 - 10:52 AM

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Hotel New World was due to unauthorised loading on the top floor, iirc ... 


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#3

Posted 03 March 2019 - 11:24 AM

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Building inspector siao liao.. how the fish never noticed.

#4

Posted 03 March 2019 - 11:31 AM

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Wonder how many more of such extra flooring exists in others building which nobody knows?!
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#5

Posted 03 March 2019 - 12:18 PM

Carbon82

This might be just tip of the iceberg...

 

While I strongly condemn such illegal construction, which put its occupants and general public at risk, I am wondering if we should also look into the various policies and regulations that might directly or indirectly lead to such behavior.

 

I came across a particular case of illegally constructed mezzanine floor for good storage before. Dangerous, irresponsible, unethical, cheapo, etc. etc. are the words that will pop up in most people mind, and I am no exception. But when I explore further, the mezzanine floor fulfilled all applicable legal requirement, such as having sprinkler and detector coverage, properly compartmentalized (with suitable fire rated walls & doors), structurally sound (verified by Professional Engineer), etc.

 

So why was it deemed an illegal construction? Because the mezzanine floor was not reflected in the official building plan. It would have exceeded the GFA (Gross Floor Area) requirement stipulated by the relevant authority (BCA & URA), if the building owner was to include it in the building plan submission!

 

For those that want to know what happen thereafter: The mezzanine floor was subsequently demolished just to meet the GFA requirement.

 

 

Disclaimer: I am NOT in any way, supporting such illegal construction. The above is purely for sharing and discussion purpose.


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<!-- isHtml:1 -->Behaviour shapes attitudes, and over a period of time, solidifies into beliefs.

#6

Posted 03 March 2019 - 12:38 PM

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Wah like batman
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#7

Posted 03 March 2019 - 12:43 PM

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Wah like batman

batman has the whole building to himself, he can build whatever he wants [laugh]
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#8

Posted 03 March 2019 - 12:46 PM

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You CANNOT cheat Ah kongs money 😜 ...
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#9

Posted 03 March 2019 - 12:52 PM

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From the description it would seem the owner built his own mezzanine floor in his 6.5m high 8th floor unit. Not really building a 9th floor on top of his 8th floor unit.
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#10

Posted 03 March 2019 - 01:38 PM

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This might be just tip of the iceberg...

 

While I strongly condemn such illegal construction, which put its occupants and general public at risk, I am wondering if we should also look into the various policies and regulations that might directly or indirectly lead to such behavior.

 

I came across a particular case of illegally constructed mezzanine floor for good storage before. Dangerous, irresponsible, unethical, cheapo, etc. etc. are the words that will pop up in most people mind, and I am no exception. But when I explore further, the mezzanine floor fulfilled all applicable legal requirement, such as having sprinkler and detector coverage, properly compartmentalized (with suitable fire rated walls & doors), structurally sound (verified by Professional Engineer), etc.

 

So why was it deemed an illegal construction? Because the mezzanine floor was not reflected in the official building plan. It would have exceeded the GFA (Gross Floor Area) requirement stipulated by the relevant authority (BCA & URA), if the building owner was to include it in the building plan submission!

 

For those that want to know what happen thereafter: The mezzanine floor was subsequently demolished just to meet the GFA requirement.

 

 

Disclaimer: I am NOT in any way, supporting such illegal construction. The above is purely for sharing and discussion purpose.

actually alot of this is happening ,esp in industrial high ceiling building.

alot of company make it into 2 storeys (mostly for office use ),

which is illegal, and they try to conceal it from inspector.

 

i suspect those inspector know also, but they just close 1 eyes, as long as no accident happen.

 

1 building near enterprise road there got raid some years back, all must dismantle,

every 1 fine about 6 digit.

cos more floor space mean more property tax, they count how many years 1 time bill u , plus other fine.

 

my current work building got about 300+ unit, i est more then 1/2 got illegal 2nd storey.

nothing happen all happy, just need 1 unit to have accident and all will kenna......



#11

Posted 03 March 2019 - 01:45 PM

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This is small compared to this
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#12

Posted 03 March 2019 - 01:53 PM

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This is small compared to this


Only in China.

#13

Posted 03 March 2019 - 02:38 PM

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actually alot of this is happening ,esp in industrial high ceiling building.
alot of company make it into 2 storeys (mostly for office use ),
which is illegal, and they try to conceal it from inspector.

i suspect those inspector know also, but they just close 1 eyes, as long as no accident happen.

....


I hope they get maxed punishment. This kind of stuff is like cockroaches...u see 1, there is probably 100 others.

Don’t need to wait until building collapse like Korea

#14

Posted 03 March 2019 - 02:43 PM

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You CANNOT cheat Ah kongs money ð ...


Development charge over $1 million to URA to get approval - owner never do things the proper way and pay up. I guess this is the real "offence" [laugh]

Edited by Sosaria, 03 March 2019 - 02:43 PM.

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#15

Posted 03 March 2019 - 02:48 PM

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Owner is a developer and he don't know it's against the law?

#16

Posted 03 March 2019 - 03:05 PM

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Development charge over $1 million to URA to get approval - owner never do things the proper way and pay up. I guess this is the real "offence" [laugh]

Thats how they earn big money 🤷🏼‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️😜
What to do ... so many suckers in sg asked for it

Owner is a developer and he don't know it's against the law?

Only the elite can act blur ... others can try but sure to fail 😜
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#17

Posted 03 March 2019 - 03:05 PM

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actually alot of this is happening ,esp in industrial high ceiling building.
alot of company make it into 2 storeys (mostly for office use ),
which is illegal, and they try to conceal it from inspector.

i suspect those inspector know also, but they just close 1 eyes, as long as no accident happen.

1 building near enterprise road there got raid some years back, all must dismantle,
every 1 fine about 6 digit.
cos more floor space mean more property tax, they count how many years 1 time bill u , plus other fine.

my current work building got about 300+ unit, i est more then 1/2 got illegal 2nd storey.
nothing happen all happy, just need 1 unit to have accident and all will kenna......

The inspectors never die yet. If any accident happen and loss of life. Confirm sure Kenna jailed for dereliction of duty.

If I see I sure report. Don’t give chance. Illegal means illegal. Such safety violations can result in loss of life.

#18

Posted 03 March 2019 - 03:08 PM

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The owner of chiu teng die die also want the chu teng. Think got ppl don't like him and baotoh him.

#19

Posted 03 March 2019 - 03:25 PM

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Owner is a developer and he don't know it's against the law?

I read the article, the developer is Chiu Teng and the current owner is a real estate fund which leased the unit to a related company.

The owner obviously knows it is illegal, hence the claim that it is for storage only, meaning temporary, but if you looked at the pictures in the 151th, it is obvious they are cheating.

This is very common in many condos, many PES and penthouse owners try to increase their usable space by building "temporary" structure that are essentially permanent ones but the authority has closed one eye so far, so long as it is not too glaring and invites complaints.

Edited by Voodooman, 03 March 2019 - 03:26 PM.


#20

Posted 03 March 2019 - 05:03 PM

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batman has the whole building to himself, he can build whatever he wants [laugh]

 

batman go underground lah. where got building.


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