Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on lifts in HDB estates to support ageing population

Jan 20, 2015

Mr Zaqy Mohamad: To ask the Minister for National Development:- 

(a) whether lifts in newer HDB flats are designed to accommodate an ageing population that may require wheelchair access and ambulance stretchers to quickly evacuate emergency cases using the lifts; 

(b) what proportion of existing HDB flats are not able to accommodate ambulance stretchers or to move deceased persons easily; and 

(c) whether the Ministry will consider enhancing lift regulations to accommodate the above in future lift upgrades. 


BCA’s Building Control Regulations stipulate that in buildings with lifts, at least one lift has to be designed to allow the access of wheelchair users with a minimum internal lift car dimension of 1.2m by 1.4m. In practice, the lifts in newer HDB residential blocks are larger than 1.2m by 1.4m, and can accommodate a wheelchair, or an ambulance stretcher in an inclined position. 

The Building Control Regulations do not require the lifts to fit stretchers in a flat-lying position. 

Currently, about 15% of lifts in HDB residential blocks can accommodate a wheelchair, but not an ambulance stretcher in an inclined position. But in most of these blocks, there will be some lifts which are big enough to do so. 

Enlarging the lifts beyond what is stipulated in the Building Control Regulations is constrained by the size of the existing lift wells.