On quality – The Sky’s the limit

SINCERITY is the most important quality for a developer, said SkyWorld executive director and COO Lee Chee Seng. Lee has been in construction and development business for the past 20 years.

"You cannot hide or run away," said Lee, referring to new houses sold in the market, that come with defects. If the workmanship is not up to standard, word will get around as customers won't be happy and ultimately the developer's reputation will be tarnished.

"We (developers) are also a (home) buyer; our purchasers are 'first line' buyers," said Lee. And as most people are purchasers of a place to make home of, Lee brings up a fact about home buyers and their lack of knowledge about quality products and what they should look out for. Over the past years, Lee observed that there were complaints in the market where quality was concerned. Rather than seeing it as "a problem" he took it as an opportunity and made good of his realisation.

BIG ON QUALITY

Five years on and the SkyWorld Quality Centre was launched.

"We try to educate the purchaser, let them know their rights, rights to complain on defects," said Lee. This was the idea behind the establishment of a "centre" where home purchasers will be taught how to identify quality workmanship and spot construction defects. The other reason was due to the confidence in SkyWorld's portfolio of quality "products".

At the first-of-its-kind SkyWorld Quality Centre, prospective home owners are given a "Quality Tour". The objective is mainly to educate and cultivate an eye for construction workmanship and identifying defects of newly constructed houses.

Apart from home buyers, the RM3.8 million centre is open to the public, consultants and contractors, and anyone who wants to learn about quality standards in housing construction. According to Lee, other property developers also participate in the tour.

"With the naked eye, one normally will not be able to pick up if a type of finishing is of compliant or non-compliant quality standards. But by using certain tools, home buyers will be able to spot the flaws," said Lee.

For example, tiles on the floor may look good when a home owner has moved in but it may be hollow (underneath). In some cases, doors may not be fitted into the door frames properly.

"The gap between the door and the frame should be less than 5mm and it must be consistent. A lot of people don't even notice that the gap is inconsistent (all around the frame)," Lee shared.

He also felt that home owners should be aware of their rights; the reason the centre teaches how to identify defects.

BRAND PROMISE

One who is all for delivering good quality products, Lee says, "If a SkyWorld piece of property is found with defects at delivery, we will rectify or change it," Lee said.

Bent on educating home buyers and the public on their rights, he stresses his point – "They need to know they have the right to reject it, if the material and finishes are compliant or non-compliant to quality standards; you have the right to ask for it to be rectified or changed."

According to Lee, home buyers have 24 months to seek any "rectification" from a developer on their purchased property.

"The Defects Liability Period (DLP) is stated in the Sales and Purchase Agreement," informs Lee.

Lee's reason behind highlighting property defects and educating the public on such matters is mainly founded on a desire to raise the standards of the construction industry.

"Once property developers know that purchasers are aware of quality standards and that they have the right to high expectation on delivery of these standards, the quality of construction will definitely rise.

"We want to raise the standards of the Malaysian property market. We want you to learn to pay attention to details that matter as we feel that this is our responsibility – to give back to home purchasers as a responsible developer," shared Lee.

RAISING THE BAR

Although SkyWorld is merely a few years old, being established in 2008, with their first project launched in 2014 – Lee ensures that all its projects are submitted for certification by QLASSIC or CONQUAS – Singapore's building quality standards.

QLASSIC is short for "Quality Assessment System in Construction". It is a construction workmanship quality assessment system drawn up by the Malaysia Construction Industry Standards under CIDB Malaysia, which constitutes the highest standards in assessing build works of quality.

According to Lee, SkyWorld's affordable homes project, SkyAwani series under the "RUMAHWIP" housing scheme, will also be submitted for QLASSIC certification; they expect to score high.

"In Malaysia, about 7,600 projects and developments are built each year but only 4.1% of homes are QLASSIC certified.

"Last year, we achieved a 76% score for Ascenda Residence. The market norm stands at 75%; 70% is the average, and we're proud to have set the bar higher than the market norm achieving 76%," said Lee like a proud father speaking of his child.

"When you consider a SkyWorld home, you can be sure about our quality commitment," Lee said.

A brand founded on quality; the SkyWorld Quality Centre is reported to have achieved an 85% QLASSIC quality score.

The centre is open to the public and anyone can make an appointment to learn and receive insights on construction finishing, quality standards and flaws. Each tour takes about one to one-and-a-half hours.

While quality centre hosts will be at hand to share their knowledge, Lee has plans to organise a life learning experience for SkyWorld home buyers, inviting quality experts to share their insights, tips and tricks.

Those interested on learning can join the tour by registering at www.skyworld.my or write in to corporate@skyworld.my.