Friday, November 13, 2009

Under construction

While construction has gone into a coma in the United States, Singapore appears to have missed the message about real estate bubbles, and is moving ahead.  Construction is underway everywhere you look-- it is a part of life here.  The air seems to carry a slight odor of fresh concrete.  The buildings here are no small undertaking-- large multi-story skyscrapers.  It is not possible to walk more than a few blocks without encountering construction occurring somewhere in your path.

On my first visit here I counted construction cranes that were visible from our hotel window--  27.  Our current lodging has less of a view, but  I count at least 8 cranes.

View from our apartment at the Pan Pacific Suites
Construction everywhere!

With a population of ~4.5 million in Singapore, I think 4 million of those must be construction workers to sustain such a level of activity.  Construction occurs 24 x 7--  the sound of back-up alarms on construction vehicles can be heard through the night, as well as the sharp sound of steel being pounded.  Noise ordinances require that the sounds of construction be kept lower during the night hours, and contractors can be cited for disobedience.  Project managers need to consider noise levels generated by certain tasks and constrain them in a construction schedule, adding another dimension to an already complex plan.  I'm impressed.

The construction also adds a new aspect to the ambience of the night sky-- sparks from welding can be seen falling from some of the taller buildings under construction, a miniature fireworks display.

Night view of Singapore at Boat Quay

Demand for apartments/condos and offices is apparently strong.  Who is buying and occupying all of these buildings?

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