The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Location: Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore

History: The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Chinese: 圣母圣诞堂) is a Roman Catholic church in Singapore. From a humble beginning as an attap chapel in 1853, the church was shifted multiple times before being located in its current location. The construction was completed in 1901 and underwent extension works in 1933 to accommodate larger number of people.

Some of the unique features of the church is the Belfry Tower enclosing the bell and spire located at the top of the main church hall.

It is one of the oldest Catholic churches for the Teochew community and the church has been gazetted as a national monument on 14 January 2005.

Architectural Design: Neo-Gothic Style

Scope: We were engaged to conduct building dilapidation survey for future restoration and rectification works. This is crucial to identify areas which requires more consideration during the restoration works to ensure the condition of the artefacts are not compromised. Non-destructive tests such as Surface Penetrating Radar and Infra-red Thermography was used to determine the condition of artefacts within the church.

Further investigations were conducted on the causation of cracks on the Belfry Pinnacle and cracks on the timber roof truss. Significant cracks were observed at both locations and further tests were conducted to determine condition and possible causes. Tests such as carbonation was conducted to determine the rate of corrosion on the reinforcement bars located at the top of the tower. Timber Resistograph and termite trackers were used to measure the condition and presence of termites on the timber truss.

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