We recently read an article that commented on a topic that’s close to our heart. So close that we’ve written two posts about it, from two different perspectives.

Now, the article mentioned above criticised a tactic used by developers as dubious and unethical. Developers have always been allowed to include air-conditioner ledges, (more accurately termed as service ledges) in the total floor area of a unit. The article claims that this questionable practice is being further abused by developers who get architects to design unnecessarily large ledges, thereby falsely inflating the floor area at negligible cost.

This got us thinking about our previous post about how certain parts of the floor plan, such as balconies, planters and service ledges are not counted as part of the Gross Floor Area (GFA), within certain limits. Our post about how to be savvy buyer also commented on how developers should state the breakdown of floor area for each unit, including any balconies, outdoor areas and service ledges, in the interest of transparency.

Service ledges aren't just for placing air-con units; they should also provide maintenance access

But we also recalled our recent post about high-rise safety. While the author of the letter in the above-mentioned article is right about an air-conditioning unit only needing a small ledge to sit on, the service personnel need space to work too! Not only that, they should have simple railings to guard their back, and mounting points for their safety harnesses. With the Ministry of Manpower considering laws to make high-rise work safer, perhaps they should extend such legislation to developers and their service ledges too.

In a way, we support the letter’s author cause, but dispute his call to make service ledges as small as possible. We feel that developers are not transparent enough with their declaration of floor area. They should break down the usage of each and every square foot, especially the area not counted in the GFA. Savvy consumers would know that such usages are “free” or “bonus” area, and should be cheaper than the main, live-in area.

We believe that not only should service ledges be free, and not counted in the calculation of floor area/psf metrics, but that they should also be legislated to be a safe working environment for air-con technicians and other high-rise work personnel.


  2 Responses to “Air-con Ledges a Dilemma for HDB and Condo Developers?”


    Good info. Lucky me I recently found your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


      Dear Mr Tan and All,I am been staying in Singapore for somemites and have seen its’ developments, physical, political, social and all.Reading almost all the social-political blogs since they started, there is only one conclusion that the people of Singapore never and could not be cohesive in any endeavors. They are all for themselves. Even the social-political netizens have never worked with one another.There has never been any attempt by bloggers, their readers and commenters to gather themselves to forge a stronger, better alliance to make their activism more potent and more effective. The Cyber communities are carbon copy of the Opposition Political parties, splitted, individualistic even within their own parties and communities.Some bloggers are obviously highly intellectual, professionally qualified and successful in their careers and lives. One cannot help somemites to suspect that within their successes they are still looking for fames that they have yet to achieve. So here they are in Blogoland to get some of that. Putting up discourses in the Net to get the limelights without showing the ability to work with fellow netizens expose the sincerities of these bloggers to work for the holistic improvements in the livings of the people.Another observation is that, in whichever blogsites, there are always another group of participants as well endowed as the bloggers singing discording tunes.All considered, Singaporeans are all out of place with their own people. They should not blame foreigners.Observing, Reading And Seeing No Hope.

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