HDB Build-a-thon 2019

This year’s Build-a-thon is the third edition of an innovation challenge which involves the community in proposing and implementing solutions to create friendly and lively neighbourhoods.

Proposals from the 2019 Build-a-thon are meant to:

  1. Encourage Community Bonding - Provide opportunities for residents to gather and interact
  2. Enhance Neighbourhood Identity - Showcase the neighbourhood’s heritage, culture, and unique features that make residents proud to belong to the community
  3. Exemplify Care for Neighbours - Extend a helping hand to neighbours, the needy and the vulnerable

From January to May 2019, 80 participants, comprising residents from Sembawang and Woodlands, the general public, and students from Republic Polytechnic participated in the programme.

HDB Build-a-thon 2019

In January, HDB partnered Republic Polytechnic to organise a Design Thinking course for participants, where they were equipped with tools to generate new ideas and create prototypes. The teams then engaged their target communities by conducting surveys and interviews. Their solutions were then further refined, in partnership with the Sembawang Town Council and HDB.

Unlike previous years, participants of Build-a-thon 2019 were able to implement their ideas by tapping on HDB’s Friendly Faces, Lively Places fund. All 8 projects from the Build-a-thon will be implemented by end 2019.


Judging Criteria and Prizes

Learn how the projects were evaluated, and the prizes given to the winning teams.

All projects were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Engagement (40%) – the scale and approach of resident / stakeholder engagement adopted by the teams, and how the engagement outcomes were incorporated into the teams’ final proposals
  2. Impact (30%) – benefits to the community arising from the teams’ implemented projects
  3. Sustainability (20%) – the potential of the teams’ projects to have sustained benefits for the community
  4. Presentation (10%) – clarity and appeal of the judging materials submitted by the teams

Three winning teams from the HDB Build-a-thon 2019 (Team Hydroglen, Team Konnectorize, and Sembawang Rangers) received $2,500. Team Hydroglen also won the 'Best Social Media' award for their use of social media to build awareness and garner support for their project.

Build-a-thon 2019 Projects

Read more about this year’s Build-a-thon projects.

Hydroponics Farm @ Woodlands Glen, by Team Hydroglen

Looking to draw young families in the area to participate in community activities, Team Hydroglen turned to community gardening – a popular activity with residents. Instead of the conventional community garden, they set up a high-tech, cleaner version – a hydroponics community garden located at a common green near Block 573 Woodlands Drive 16. The garden occupies about 30 sqm or half the size of a 3-room flat.

With the support of eco interest groups in the neighbourhood, they organised talks and workshops, and rallied residents to help plant and harvest their own edible greens such as chye sim and chinese cabbage.

Team Hydroglen was one of the three winning teams at Build-a-thon 2019. The team also received the 'Best Social Media' award for their proactive use of social media to engage residents and encourage participation in their harvest events.

HDB Build-a-thon 2019, Winner 1

Konnectorize the Young and Mature Group, by Team Konnectorize

Observing the lack of interaction between the older and younger residents in their neighbourhood, Team Konnectorise saw the opportunity to create a platform to bring residents of different ages together. 

The team identified the void deck of Block 683C Woodlands Drive 62 as a potential space for their project. Located right in front of a bus stop, many residents pass through the space on their daily commute. With the support and ideas of residents in the area, they installed 3-D wall murals, floor decals, additional lightings, and a plant wall. The end result is an Instagram-worthy hang-out spot named ‘Konnect Point’ that has become popular with residents both young and old.

The team also organises a series of monthly breakfast events titled ‘Share Konnect’, where residents come together to enjoy a hearty meal, as well as engage in friendly competition over old school games such as marbles and “five stones”, learn how to use social media, or trade items at the community flea markets.

Team Konnectorize was one of the three winning teams at Build-a-thon 2019.

HDB Build-a-thon 2019, Winner 2

Relax & Entertainment Corner, by Sembawang Rangers

This team of nine members from Sembawang observed that the residents’ corner at Block 718 Woodlands Ave 6 was under-utilised, with not many residents participating in community activities. Speaking to residents in the neighbourhood, they found that many were unaware that the space was meant for their use. Some also felt the space was unwelcoming as it was enclosed by grilles and a gate, and was unattractive due to its aged structures.

The team decided to revamp the residents’ corner into a more open and conducive space for residents to come together. The surrounding grilles and gate were removed, and residents came together to decorate the space with art murals, transforming it into a vibrant and welcoming place that residents can call their own. The space was officially launched on 18 May 2019 with 300 residents in attendance. 

Sembawang Rangers was one of the three winning teams at Build-a-thon 2019.

HDB Build-a-thon 2019, Winner 3

Canberra Times Square, by Team Canberra

In brainstorming for ways to bring back the kampung spirit in their neighbourhood, Team Canberra decided to tap on the many young families living in their area.

Drawing inspiration from New York’s Times Square, they hit upon the idea of creating their very own Canberra Times Square – a square abuzz with entertainment and activities for residents in the estate. Recognising that children can be great catalysts for interactions amongst neighbours, they set out to organise events involving children and their families.

With the support of the area’s Residents’ Committee, they planned a mega BBQ party cum children’s art competition, holding it at an open square in front of Block 319 Sembawang Close. The event attracted close to 300 residents, and turned the square into a lively space. Encouraged by the success of their inaugural event, the team is looking to organise other activities such as talent shows, cultural performances, and movie screenings.

 HDB Build-a-thon 2019, Winner 4

Creating a Health & Wellness Hub @ Kampung Admiralty, by Team S.L.A.M

Noting the wealth of community programmes already available at Kampung Admiralty, the team of nine allied healthcare professionals from the National Healthcare Group spoke to residents to find out how to further enhance their well-being. The team found out that residents were interested in educational programmes that promote the holistic concept of physical, mental and social wellness, as well as recreational programmes that give them opportunities to interact with residents of different ages.

The team is currently working with residents at Kampung Admiralty to create suitable platforms to promote health messages to the local community. With this, the team hopes that residents can pick up healthcare knowledge and be empowered to take charge of their own wellness.

HDB Build-a-thon 2019, Winner 5

Healthy Living Garden, by Woodlands Zone 5 RC

This team of nine residents turned a once-empty space near Block 708 Woodlands Drive 70 into a community garden of edible flowers, spices and herbs. In April, the team invited about 30 residents from the surrounding blocks for a planting session. Their project has given the previously underused space a new lease of life – today the garden has become a popular stop for residents to enjoy the greenery and catch up with each other.

Going forward, residents will help maintain the garden. The team is also planning cooking workshops with the produce harvested from the garden, and organising tours for residents and children from the nearby childcare centres to introduce them to the various herbs and spices grown in the garden and encourage healthy eating.

HDB Build-a-thon 2019, Winner 6

Our Sembawang – A Place to Mingle, by Team Gamechangers

Driven by their passion to make a difference to the community, Team Gamechangers came together with one common objective – to strengthen the identity of the neighbourhood and enhance community bonding in Sembawang’s Gambas Division. Speaking to residents, the team found that many wanted more gathering spaces where their young children could come together and learn about their neighbourhood.

The void deck of Block 351D Canberra Road was eventually selected as the project site as it is strategically located next to a playground and has  high footfall. Taking in residents’ suggestions, the team spruced up the void deck to create an appealing meeting point for residents. Over 40 residents came together to paint the walls with murals that celebrate the heritage of Sembawang, such as the Sembawang Hot Spring and Sembawang Park. Benches designed to integrate with the murals will also be added, along with QR codes providing links for residents to learn about Sembawang’s heritage.

HDB Build-a-thon 2019, Winner 7

Passionfruit Pavilion, by Woodlands the Fantastic

Kampung Admiralty is currently home to a thriving community garden at Level 9. The Kampung Admiralty Community Garden Club, which manages the garden, regularly conducts workshops for residents, such as upcycling plastic bottles and terrarium-making, at a sheltered space on Level 6.

The team of nine members, led by the Garden Club, came up with the idea of setting up an additional cosy corner right next to their community garden on Level 9, creating a conducive area to organise eco-workshops and garden visits to bring more members of the community together.

With the support and feedback from over 150 residents in the area, the team plans to organise programmes at this space twice a month, potentially reaching out to about 50 residents each time. Beyond forging strong friendships amongst the neighbours, this cosy corner will further enliven the space around the community garden.

HDB Build-a-thon 2019, Winner 8