DECEMBER 2011 - Nic & Wes Builders Pte Ltd Newsletter (Issue 19)

Subject: DECEMBER 2011 - Nic & Wes Builders Pte Ltd Newsletter (Issue 19)

Send date: 2011-12-01

Issue #:



Ventilation and light are essential factors that take quite a bit of planning when it comes to home building. For most, it is a key element when designing no matter whether it be bungalow, semi-detached or an intermediate terrace. But with the most light and ventilation constraints found within an intermediate terrace nature, the two elements of air and light become the most challenging and at the same time the most creative to design.

The air-well and light well are two architectural features that have served well to channel nature’s elements into the home. Generally observed as a vertical tunnel, the air well is an open shaft that passes through floors allowing ventilation of air into the home. A light well on the other hand is also a shaft which instead of air leads light from the outside of a home into the internal parts of the home from the top point.
History suggests that the use of architectural light wells date back to ancient Egypt when electricity was not yet discovered.  

In modern times today when electricity is pretty much easily accessible in most developed households, the use of air and light shafts are not just a practical feature but decorative as well. Looking from a practical stance especially in the rather humid, tropical local climate these shafts help keep our homes brightly lit and well ventilated without having to heavily depend on energy and more on mother nature.


 Light wells are generally placed on a ceiling above a feature such as a staircase which traditionally was a badly lit area of the home. These days however, it’s the one place people make sure it is well lit. Illuminating a staircase in the day can turn it into a focal point of the home.


While there is no concrete rule as to where light wells must be placed, another place that light wells can also be located is in bathrooms. Especially for a compact sized bathroom, a light well can easily illuminate the area without having to flick a switch. Passage ways in the higher floors too make for a good location to keep the home well-lit throughout the day without having to depend on an escalating electrical bill.


Pretty simplistic, the basic light well is a piece of frosted glass or glass tiles placed amidst the ceiling board. More practical by nature than design driven, the modern light well blocks out the heat while allowing light into the space.
Air wells on the other hand are equally practical as they are design driven. Air wells play with a little more space as compared to light wells. Furthermore, its versatility allow both air and light into the respective space. 

While an air well can be adopted into any type of home, intermediate terrace drive towards air shafts typically more than semi-detached or bungalows. Being restricted by walls on either ends of the home, intermediate terraces essentially require as much light and ventilation in a home through means of windows or air wells.

Air wells can break the monotony of a boxed up home. Bringing the outside in, without the glare is all a possibility when a corner of the home is cordoned off vertically leaving a large entrance for light and air to come into the home.


From a design aspect, these tower tunnels give ample space to play with. Adding in a towering plant adds nature’s warmth to the coldness of concrete.


Making a focal statement in the home, air well walls can be textured or tiled with rocks having rooms overlook the space bringing the view in. Creating an indoor garden is now possible as the flora and fauna can grow healthily because of the light source and ventilation that comes from an air well.


And while many worry about rain causing the floors to be soaked and drenched air wells can easily be fitted with louver shutters that automatically shut out the rain from entering the home. This neat contraption allows you to manipulate nature’s elements in your home.

The interesting part about air-wells and lightwells are that it’s more than just a growing trend in homes but a way of making a home green-friendly. While the use of solar power is still rather expensive for most, incorporating air-wells and lightwells allow us to steer towards green living without having to fork out tones of cash. While it still does not fully convert our homes to environmentally friendly, it is a step in the right direction.


How time flies when it just felt like we were celebrating the beginning of 2011 and it has already come to the end of another year. What has changed during the past year? We have relocated to new premises – a place we now call home, we have a private dormitory for our crew, our staff strength is now in excess of forty, we are building a lot more Lifestyle Homes which include swimming pools and elevators and we are in the midst of creating new technology homes.

What has been a great sigh of relief especially is that we can now house our team of workers. Although we are the heart and soul of the company, but the many body parts is our crew and decent housing has always been an issue. However, that took precedence when we decided to move to our new premises in Paya Ubi. Today we can dare say that they are a happier lot even though they have not complained but the results are evident in their attitude. And while it took a while to get the premises approved it was well worth the effort as they are a hardworking bunch.

To conclude the final issue for the year, I would like to wish one and all a very happy and exciting 2012!



Type: Intermediate Terrace

Tenure: Freehold

List Type: For Sale

Land: 2077 sq. ft. approx

Built In: 1600 sq. ft. approx

Rooms: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living room

Amenities: Close to amenities and Bedok MRT Station

View Time: By Appointment

Contact: Randell (8100 0810)

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