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Building Floating Aquaculture Farms with Expanded Polystyrene in Singapore

Dominic KANG, Paul ONG, Jan ROËL

Domestic fish production is vital for Singapore to diversify its food sources.  In 2018, 9% of the fish stock consumed in Singapore are produced locally from aquaculture farms.  Most of these farms operate along the Straits of Johor on floating wooden structures (also known as kelong).  These structures require constant repair and maintenance, which could be costly and disruptive for farm owners.  At present, there are no formal building regulations and guidelines available on these structures in Singapore.  This paper proposes an engineered design of an offshore aquaculture farm that is compliant with building and maritime standards.  The floating base of this new farm is constructed using expanded polystyrene and concrete based on the design concepts developed by FlexBase.  Fish will be reared in a closed containment system, which will allow farm owners to safeguard their livestock against pollution and unfavourable environmental conditions.  The new farm, designed to have a working life of 50 years, will require minimal maintenance over its service period.

KEYWORDS: Aquaculture, FlexBase, Polystyrene,  Singapore, VLFS


Dominic Kang is a final year Civil Engineering undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. His areas of interest include building information modelling and offshore structural design.


Ing. Jan Willem Roël is the founder and owner of FlexBase BV. This company holds two patents to construct floating constructions directly on the water. The primary materials are polystyrene and concrete. We designed and produced more than 7500 m2 of floating structures all over the world.

Dr. Paul Ong is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore.  His areas of interest are floating structures, subsea pipelines, and mooring systems.  He is a chartered engineer with more than 10 years of industrial experience.

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