HomeTeamNS volunteers share what it has been like working on HomeTeamNS Khatib.

Since the groundbreaking of Khatib a year ago, various HomeTeamNS committees have been heavily involved in the planning and development of the iconic HomeTeamNS clubhouse of the North. Two members from the North Development Committee (DC) – CPL (NS) Sharne Sulaiman (extreme right in image above) and DAC (NS) Victor Lee (third from left in image) – share their pride at being involved in developing the clubhouse.

CPL (NS) Sharne Sulaiman studies Architecture at the National University of Singapore and currently interns at a local architecture firm. DAC (NS) Victor Lee has worked in the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore for 15 years as a Safety Oversight regulator on Singapore’s provision of Air Traffic Control services.

1. How do you feel about the progress of the clubhouse?

Sharne Sulaiman (SS): The construction of the clubhouse is moving at an incredible pace. This is owed to the commendable work and effort put in by the Consultants, Contractor, the various HomeTeamNS Committees, and HomeTeamNS staff. Being built with steel, it is amazing to see elements, some very large and complicated, quickly move into place, creating spaces that will soon be enjoyed by all HomeTeamNS members. Every time I go past the building on the MRT I get a shock at how much the building has grown in size!

VL (Victor Lee): We had a tight timeline to start with, so we had to be very disciplined in our approach and project milestones needed to be continually met. To date, all the clubhouse development progress has met and exceeded my expectations.

2. Is this your first-time partaking in such projects?

SS: This is my second time dealing with a project in construction. I had been involved in Kampung Admiralty previously while working at WOHA Architects. I am proud to mention that the integrated centre won the World Architecture Festival Award for World Building of the Year. My little contribution to that was the development’s signages. This is however my first time being involved in a project from infancy to soon-completion. It is so exciting to see the ideas we had materialise in built form.

VL: This is not the first-time I am participating in such developmental projects. In my work at Changi Airport, I have been involved in the development of Air Traffic Control facilities and systems throughout the airport for the last 15 years. I have also been involved with the Development Committee for the last 3 years and have seen the implementation of the various clubhouse works such as the refurbishment of the Sembawang Clubhouse.

3. What are you working as? How has your day job helped in your involvement in this development project?

SS: While a student at NUS Architecture, I am currently interning at a local architecture firm. In fact I am learning a lot from fellow Committee Members and Consultants too. My training in school and experiences in the industry have allowed me to ensure the design of the new clubhouse addresses the needs of all HomeTeamNS members, and is future-proofed to keep the building relevant for a long time. Of course the building is designed to be better than comparable clubhouses!

VL: I work in the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore as a Safety Oversight regulator on Singapore’s provision of Air Traffic Control (ATC) services. As a regulator, I oversee the safe implementation of ATC systems, building facilities and ATC operations at Changi and Seletar airport to ensure that they comply with our regulations. We focus on the compliance to our published standards for such operations, and the need to have a holistic view of how every stakeholder contributes to their area of work to make Singapore’s aviation operations safe.

This provides me with the discipline and experience to see potential project risks and how each part of the development project scope will work together effectively to provide a suitable clubhouse for our NSmen.

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4. What were some challenges the committee faced and how did the team overcome it?

SS: There were moments when the Committee didn’t quite agree on design concepts, and really wanted the design to speak about both SPF and SCDF’s identity, while being cost effective yet impactful. We had a long debate about the view you get when you first arrive at the clubhouse’s thoroughfare. Everyone felt strongly about what sort of design elements members could personally relate to the SPF and SCDF. With the Consultants advising us, I believe we came to a conclusion and I cannot wait to see it installed.

VL: There were several key challenges. Firstly, it was the push to work within the tight timeline at the clubhouse’s specification development stage. Although daunting, I was fortunate to work with a team of good architect and project management teams. This made the challenges much easier to manage. Secondly, we wanted to ensure the residents in the neighbouring area were not inconvenienced by our developmental work. Through our outreach efforts, it was heartwarming and assuring to see that the residents were receptive and supportive the clubhouse development.

5. Any memorable anecdotes to share?

SS: As designers we fantasize about designs taking form. What I remember most fondly was a site walk around the clubhouse at the time when only the 1st storey was completed. The columns to the 3rd and 4th storey were already erected, and the Contractor had just moved this huge truss in place. It was astounding to see all that steel, so well engineered and fabricated, floating in mid-air. The Committee and HomeTeamNS staff were so happy with the work I cannot remember how many selfies we took with the structure.

VL: Always begin with the end in mind. As a development committee, we worked as a team through all the tough times and the tight time line so that we could enjoy the fruits of our vision. Each of the committee members contributed their experiences and wisdom to guide and shape the Khatib development project.

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