AWARDS: An eCO-friendly development

xinying.bong@edgeprop.sg

Flora and fauna are eCO’s attractions for buyers and one of the reasons the 748- unit condominium clinched not only the Sustainability Excellence award but also the Top Development award at the EdgeProp Singapore Excellence Awards 2018 on Oct 3.

“eCO has set a new benchmark in creating significant species-rich habitats, with an emphasis on native flora species, creating a new paradigm for its residents,” says Yvonne Tan, director of DP Green, who was one of the judges for the EdgeProp Awards.


eCO, a 748-unit condominium, won the Top Development award (Credit: Far East Organization)


The 99-year leasehold eCO was the first private residential project in the Bedok South area to be launched in the past 30 years, according to Far East Organization. Jointly developed by FEO, Frasers Property and Sekisui House, eCO is focused on integrating native flora and fauna with the surrounding landscape. The development was completed in February last year.


The 50m lap pool at eCO (Credit: Far East Organization)


Five residential unit types are offered at eCO: SOHO, Suite, Loft, Condominium and Townhouse. One- and two-bedroom suites range from 549 to 775 sq ft; two- and three-bedroom SOHO apartments from 614 to 990 sq ft; twoand three-bedroom condo units from 840 to 1,453 sq ft; three- and four-bedroom lofts from 1,012 to 1,776 sq ft; and four-bedroom townhouses from 3,218 to 3,854 sq ft. The different housing options cater to the varying needs of homebuyers, from singles to multi-generational families.


The five residential types offered at eCO cater for a range of homebuyers (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)


According to FEO, extensive studies were conducted to generate an optimal ecological environment for the native flora and fauna to flourish. The effort was carried out by a multi-disciplinary team led by DP Architects, ICN Landscape International and renowned ecological architect Ken Yeang of Malaysia. As eCO was designed to create a natural habitat, car park elevations and clubhouses are well screened with green creepers. Mature raintrees also act as a subtle delineation between eCO and the neighbouring residential estate.

At the heart of eCO lies the one-of-its-kind Green Corridor — a 100m-long nature trail and boardwalk through a lush woodland garden landscape of 18 conserved raintrees, which has attracted many chirping birds. Complete with a bio-stream coursing through at the end of the trail, the Green Corridor’s unique trail captured the judges’ attention.


At the heart of eCO is the 100m nature trail (Credit: Far East Organization)


The design blends with the neighbourhood, as eCO’s boardwalk is adjacent to a landed housing estate. Says Ong Choon Fah, CEO of Edmund Tie & Co (ET&Co): “The neighbours also get to enjoy the view of the boardwalk and the chirping birds.” Ong was one of the judges for the EdgeProp Awards.

Moreover, eCO’s landscape design not only encourages biodiversity but also harvests rainwater and helps cool the development. Dust particles from the air are filtered through innovative features.


The landscape design encourages biodiversity (Credit: Far East Organization)


A rain garden has been designed to collect, filter and store rainwater runoff to be reused in water features and irrigation of the landscape. With retention and filtration functions, the rain garden comprises a series of heavily interlinked cascading pools. At its full capacity, the garden can collect enough water to irrigate the landscaping plants in eCO for three days. All these factors earned eCO the BCA Green Mark Gold Plus in 2014.

eCO was developed to reflect the existing natural physical features of the area. Located on a greenfield site, eCO “has sensitively minimised earthworks by building to advantage the existing terrain”, notes DP Green’s Tan. There is no basement, and the multi-storey carpark is located on an existing slope. “The lush plantings have greatly softened the architecture and blended the multi-storey parking, exponentially blurring the boundaries between nature and built form,” Tan says.


Water from the bio-retention basin, along with rainwater, is harvested within eCO (Credit: Far Est Organization)


ET&Co’s Ong adds that preserving trees is a challenging job. To be able to show that it is possible to protect and embrace nature is, however, “really making a very bold statement”, she asserts.


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