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For Qingjian Realty, smarter homes help make better neighbours
QINGJIAN Realty wants to use the most cutting edge technology in the apartments that it builds so as to bring an age-old Chinese adage about neighbourliness to life. It wants to introduce digital platforms, so that residents who are living in estates built by Qingjian Realty can secure a time slot to use facilities such as gyms or tennis courts, or even find neighbours to play sports with.
Or perhaps, if residents feel like getting rid of an old bookshelf or an old sofa set, a prospective buyer living in the same estate can be easily found on that same platform.
"We say in Mandarin, 'yuan qin bu ru jin lin' (a distant relative cannot compare to your next-door neighbour). Now it seems as though even neighbours have become strangers," says Li Jun, executive director of Qingjian Realty.
"Through introducing these technologies, we hope that we can provide a platform for residents in the same estate to communicate more, thereby strengthening the sense of community."
These are plans that Qingjian Realty has for iNz Residence, an executive condominium development in Choa Chu Kang that's also located at the fringe of the future Tengah housing estate.
Located along Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5, the development has 497 units spread over nine blocks of 15- and 16-storey apartments. It is expected to obtain its temporary occupation permit (TOP) in August of 2019.
To ensure that iNz Residence can truly live up to its mantle of being Singapore's first smart executive condominium in the west, Qingjian Realty has partnered with telecommunications company Singtel to build the apartments.
Aside from enjoying the ultra-fast fibre broadband services that will be offered throughout the estate, future residents can also take advantage of the security and safety smart features that include motion sensors, contact sensors, digital locks, digital energy meters that will bring convenience and peace of mind to their everyday lives.
Mr Li says Qingjian Realty's attempts at building smart homes in iNz Residence is a further refinement of what they first started with The Visionaire, a 632-unit executive condominium in Sembawang that was launched in April 2016.
At The Visionaire, units will come with a smart-home system that is connected to 10 smart devices, all of which can be controlled via a centralised mobile app.
The idea to build smart homes started with the merging of two central themes - one in Qingjian Realty wanting to make everyday living more convenient for residents, and the other in Singapore's drive to be a smart nation.
"And then we thought, maybe by building smart homes, smart communities, we can bring some form of benefit to our buyers, or even the property sector as a whole. So we started experimenting," says Mr Li.
The idea of building smart homes was still relatively new then, says Mr Li, and Qingjian Realty was not sure if such an approach would be popular with buyers.
But with the launch of The Visionaire last year, Qingjian Realty knew that building smart homes was the way to go; the take-up rate was more than 70 per cent, says Mr Li.
This gave Qingjian Realty the confidence to further develop the ideas that it has in building smart homes with subsequent developments, including iNz Residence, and for the upcoming Le Quest at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6.
Expected to launch in the coming months, the 516-unit Le Quest will be Qingjian Realty's first mixed-use building comprising of 12 storeys, 100 commercial units and 516 residential units.
Homeowners at Le Quest can look to enjoy the benefits of smart living with smart-home initiatives that will be similar to the ones seen in iNz Residence, says Mr Li.
But beyond bringing convenience to Le Quest's homeowners, Qingjian Realty is hoping to benefit the wider community. The commercial units at Le Quest will be a mix of retail shops, restaurants, a supermarket, and a childcare centre. "It's almost like a mini shopping mall. Le Quest will be the focal point for the 10,000 or so HDB residents who live nearby," says Mr Li.
Further ahead, Qingjian Realty will be refining its approaches to smart living and its focus on building communities with the redevelopment of Bishan estate Shunfu Ville. "Shunfu will be the biggest project for us so far," says Mr Li. "I hope it can showcase what we can bring to Singapore's property market on how we can improve lifestyles, design, and development in the future."
Qingjian Realty plans to build about 1,000 homes on the Shunfu plot. The homes are expected to be a mix of high-rise units of up to 25 storeys and landed units. The development will be launched a year from now.
Qingjian Realty's focus on smart homes is but the latest evolution in its overarching strategy in aligning its focus closely to Singapore's national development.
The group, which entered the Singapore market in 1999 as a construction company, has since launched and developed a range of developments including HDB design, build, and sell scheme development Natura Loft, and condominiums River Isles and Nin Residence, and executive condominium Waterbay.
Qingjian Realty was also one of the first developers to have projects in Punggol and Sengkang. "Back then, many thought that those areas are hard to reach, why launch projects there? But with the Singapore government's plans for these estates, we thought there's a lot of potential," says Mr Li.
This is the same approach that it is taking with foraying into Singapore's housing estates in the west. Bukit Batok's Le Quest and Choa Chu Kang's iNz are all within a few minutes' drive to the Jurong Lake District. Often touted as Singapore's upcoming second central business district, the presence of the Kuala Lumpur- Singapore high speed rail terminus in the area can inject vitality and growth to the surrounding estates.
And in building smart homes, Mr Li says that Qingjian Realty can help play a crucial role in ensuring that residences will also be part of Singapore's Smart Nation drive.
In all of these, and in all of its projects, Mr Li sees Qingjian Realty playing a role, and leaving an impact far beyond its immediate one as a developer. "For a Smart Nation to happen, everyone must be in it together. The government, the society can push ahead with its vision, and residences should follow up; families are after all the basic unit of society," says Mr Li.
- iNz Residence is the first executive condominium in the West to offer cutting-edge smart living. The development located along Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 has 497 units spread over nine blocks of 15- and 16-storey apartments. It is also the first executive condominium in the West to offer a tranquil Sky Garden.
- Qingjian Realty also brings the CoSpaceTM concept to iNz Residence where homeowners and their family can enjoy spaces that freely interact with each other.
- The Visionaire also incorporates the CoSpaceTM concept, where homeowners can have the flexibility in creating spaces that suit their lifestyles at every stage of their lives. The versatility of space allows homeowners to reconfigure the space into a home office, infant room or an entertainment room, to name a few possibilities. With CoSpaceTM, the possibilities are endless.
- Qingjian Realty first introduced the concept of smart homes in The Visionaire, a 632-unit executive condominium in Canberra that was launched in April 2016.
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