A GUIDEBOOK TO THE

CHANGES IN BUILDING CONTROL
2007/2008

























Building and Construction Authority


ii


For reference, this is the version as of 25 Sep 2008



















Copyright @ 2008 Building and Construction Authority, Singapore. All
rights reserved. This document or any part of it may not be
reproduced for any reason whatsoever or in any form or means
whatsoever and howsoever without the prior written consent and
approval of the Building and Construction Authority, Singapore.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the
information in this publication, the Building and Construction
Authority, its employees and its agents shall not be responsible for
any mistake or inaccuracy found in this Guidebook and expressly
disclaim all such liability and responsibility.

This Guidebook is not an exhaustive attempt to explain every detail
and provision in the Building Control Act and its Regulations. Where
appropriate and necessary, users are advised to seek and obtain
independent legal or professional advice on interpreting the
provisions in the Building Control Act and its Regulations.


ISBN 978-981-08-0341-4

iii
CONTENTS


CHAPTER TOPIC Page

What this book is about 01
Read This First 03
1 Appointments 11
2 Supervision of Building Works 27
3 Duties of Project Parties 37
4 On Accredited Checkers 49
5 Underground Building Works 57
6 Licensing of Builders (under
construction)
83
Glossary
Schedules


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This is a blank page


1

WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT






The Building Control (Amendment) Act 2007 introduced new
provisions to the building control system in Singapore and
updated some existing ones. Some of the new provisions, like
builder’s licensing, brought in fundamental changes to the
existing system while others, such as supervision teams for
structural works, strengthened the existing requirements.
Subsequently, in 2008, the Building Control Regulations and the
Building Control (Accredited Checkers and Accredited
Checking Organisations) Regulations have been amended and
the Building Control (Builders’ Licensing) Regulations were
introduced. All these changes are to enhance building safety
and to raise professionalism in the construction industry. As the
changes are wide-ranging, there will be impact on the way
things are to be done and rules that are to be followed.

Why this Guidebook?
The main purpose of this Guidebook is, first of all, to provide a
comprehensive and easy reference to anyone interested in
finding out about the changes in the Building Control Act and its
Regulations.

Secondly, the Building Control Act prescribes provisions in a
broad manner. Similar to any other Act, this is necessary to make
the fundamental purpose of each provision clear without it being
cluttered with details. The details of implementation are always
provided in regulations, of which there are several under the
Building Control Act. This Guidebook makes it easy for the reader
to have a grasp of any particular provision of the Act by bringing
together the related details found in the regulations under the
same section of discussion.

Thirdly, the Act and the regulations cannot cover and prescribe
implementation solutions to every conceivable situation in real
life. There could be situations where some explanation is
required. With useful feedback received from the industry during

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the consultation exercise, explanation to some of such situations
have been included in this Guidebook so that everyone is clear
about the requirements under those situations.

While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information
presented in this Guidebook, neither BCA nor its employees can
accept responsibility for any loss or damage incurred in
connection with the use of the contents. This Guidebook is not an
exhaustive attempt to explain every detail and provision in the
Building Control Act and its Regulations. Where appropriate and
necessary, users are advised to seek and obtain independent
legal or professional advice on interpreting the provisions in the
Building Control Act and its Regulations. Nothing in this
Guidebook shall be taken as being legally binding and none of
the terms and explanations shall be deemed to be an
interpretation of the provisions of the Act and its regulations.

How this Guidebook is organised
The Guidebook summarizes the main changes under six
chapters. Each of the chapters deals with an important topic
under the building control system where there are significant
changes. The provisions related to each topic are collated within
the respective chapter. Where useful, the Guidebook has
included elaboration or interpretation to some of the provisions
under each chapter. To give a more complete picture, related
details from the building regulations are discussed under the
same section where each provision is found. A glossary is
provided at the back of the Guidebook. The glossary explains in
greater detail the meaning of new definitions that have been
introduced into the Building Control Act and its Regulations.

Before you read any chapter of the Guidebook, please first read
the next section. It explains some of the terms and abbreviations
used to simplify the writing and reading of this Guidebook.


***

3

READ THIS FIRST






Industry stakeholders commonly use certain terms and
abbreviations to refer to some parties, matters or things
associated with the construction industry, and for a good reason.
Since the Act and its Regulations have to be precise in
describing these parties, matters or things, some of the
expressions used in the Act and its Regulations could be
unwieldy. Take for example the expression “the qualified person
appointed under section 8 or 11 to supervise the building works”,
which is used in many parts of the Act and its Regulations. The
industry calls this person the “supervision QP”. To make this
Guidebook easier to write and to read, some of these simpler
terms and expressions are used. But just to be sure that these
terms and expressions mean the same thing to everyone, this
section of the Guidebook lists the terms and expressions used
and their meanings. The reader should not ascribe any other
meaning to these terms and expressions.


MEANINGS OF TERMS AND EXPRESSIONS USED IN THIS GUIDEBOOK

AC
This means “accredited checker”, and refers to an accredited
checker who is registered to check the structural works of a
project.

AC(Geo) or Specialist AC
There is another class of AC called “specialist accredited
checker” or AC(Geo). An AC(Geo) is registered to check the
geotechnical aspects of underground building works. His
registration is distinct from that of an AC and he cannot perform
the duties of the AC, unless he is also registered as an AC.

Act
Unless specified, the use of the term “Act” by itself in this
Guidebook refers to the Building Control Act.

4

Building Plans
This refers to the plans that relate to the architectural elements of
the building works. They are also called the architectural plans.

Building Regulations
There are several sets of Regulations associated with the Building
Control Act. Where the term “building regulations” is used in this
Guidebook, it refers to any or all of the sets of Building Control
Regulations made under the Building Control Act.

CBC
CBC means the Commissioner of Building Control.

Design QP
This term refers to the qualified person appointed to prepare the
plans of the particular building works being discussed.

Design QP(Arch)
This term refers to the qualified person appointed to prepare the
architectural plans of the building works.

Design QP(Geo)
This term refers to the qualified person appointed to prepare the
plans of the geotechnical aspects of underground building
works.

Design QP(Struct)
This term refers to the qualified person appointed to prepare the
structural plans of the building works.

Developer
This is a new term in the amended Act. It means the person for
whom or on whose behalf the building works are carried out.
Readers should note that when used in this Guidebook, the term
means more than a commercial or housing developer as
defined in the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act
(Cap. 130).

In this Guidebook, a developer includes any person who builds
any house, building or structure (or part of it), or engages others
to build it for him. It does not matter why he is building it, whether
for his own use or for any other purposes. So, a home owner who
gets a contractor to build his new house or to do additions or
alterations to his existing house is a developer.

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To illustrate further: A contractor who decides to execute
building works to build his own house is both developer and
builder in that particular project. Under a “design-and-build”
project, the owner (i.e. the one who commissions the project) is
the developer. This is so even if the person chooses to let the
builder take over every aspect of the project right up to the point
of completion.

General Building Works
This term is used in the Act only for the purposes of builder’s
licensing. General building works must be carried out only by a
licensed general builder.

Geotechnical engineer or PE(Geo)
Geotechnical engineer means a specialist professional engineer
who is registered in the branch of geotechnical engineering
under the Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) and has in force
a practising certificate under that Act to practise in the
specialised branch of geotechnical engineering. Another term
commonly used for the geotechnical engineer by the industry is
PE(Geo).

Geotechnical Report
This term refers to any calculations, plans or report, prepared in
respect of underground building works by a qualified person who
is a geotechnical engineer, showing —

a) the results of the findings, evaluation and interpretation of
the site investigation and laboratory tests;
b) assessment of and recommendations on the geotechnical
aspects for the design and construction of the
underground building works; and
c) plans showing those elements of building works designed
by the person who is a geotechnical engineer.

Major building works
The Act uses this term to refer to those works that require an AC
to check the structural plans and design calculations.

Minor building works
The Act uses this term to refer to those works that do not require
an AC to check the structural plans and design calculations.
Minor building works are given in the Fourth Schedule of the
Building Control Regulations (see Schedule B in this Guidebook).

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PE
This means “professional engineer”. The relevant professional
engineer applicable to this Act is registered either in (i) the
branch of civil or structural engineering, or (ii) the specialised
branch of geotechnical engineering. For the former, the PE is
commonly called the PE(Civil) while the latter is referred to as the
PE(Geo).

Plans of building works
The Act requires different sets of plans to be submitted for
approval. In most cases, there would be the architectural plans
and the structural plans. All the different types of plans are
referred to as the “plans of building works”. The term “plans”
under the Act also refers to drawings, details, diagrams, structural
details and calculations showing or relating to the building works
and if prepared in electronic form, includes the medium in which
the plans of building works have been stored.

QP, QP(Arch), QP(Geo), QP(Struct)
QP means “qualified person”. A QP would either be an architect
or a PE who is registered with the Board of Architects or the
Professional Engineers Board respectively. All QPs must have in
force a practising certificate from the respective Board. There
are professional duties under the Act and Regulations that must
be performed by QPs. In most building projects, there would be a
number of qualified persons, namely:

QP(Arch) – who is a registered architect appointed to
undertake the architectural works.
QP(Geo) – who is a geotechnical engineer appointed to
undertake the geotechnical aspects of building works.
QP(Struct) – who is a professional engineer or PE appointed to
undertake the structural works.

In some projects, a PE is appointed to prepare the plans of and
supervise specific structural works, for example those associated
with the fixtures to support the building’s cladding system. This PE
may be appointed in addition to the QP(Struct), who has been
appointed for the main structural system of the building. The PE is
then the QP(Struct) for those works associated with the fixtures for
the cladding system.

Also, for the same aspects of the building works, there could be
two QPs appointed – one to prepare the plans relating to those

7
aspects of the building works and another to supervise the
carrying out of the same aspects of the building works. To
differentiate between these two QPs, the terms “Design” and
“Supervision” are prefixed to them, for example, Design
QP(Struct) and Supervision QP(Struct).

In short, anyone who is appointed to perform the mandatory
professional duties related any part of the whole building works is
the QP for that part of the works.

QSS
When used in any part of this Guidebook, QSS means the
“qualified site supervisor” who is required to be appointed under
Section 10 of the Building Control Act by the QP to supervise the
structural or geotechnical aspects of the building works. There
are 2 categories of QSS, namely resident engineer and resident
technical officer.

RE
This means “resident engineer”.

RTO
This means “resident technical officer”. This is a new term to
replace what we used to call “clerk-of-works”.

Specialist Building Works
This term is used in the Act only for the purposes of builder’s
licensing. Specialist building works can only be carried out by
licensed specialist builders and the term means the following
types of building works:

a) piling works comprising installation and testing of pre-cast
reinforced concrete or pre-stressed concrete piles, steel
piles, bored cast-in-place reinforced concrete piles,
caissons and special pile types like micro-piles, barrettes
piles and composite piles, embedded retaining wall piles
like diaphragm walls, contiguous bored piles or secant
piles;

b) ground support and stabilization works, including
installation and testing of ground anchors, soil nails, rock
bolts, ground treatment like chemical grouting and jet-
grouting, reinforced-earth, shotcreting and tunnel
supports;


8
c) site investigation work comprising field investigations,
exploratory drilling or boring, logging, sampling, coring, in-
situ plate-loading tests, pressure meter tests, penetration
tests, vane shear tests, probing tests, permeability tests,
geological mapping and geophysical surveys, and
installation and monitoring of instruments measuring forces,
deformation, displacements, pore and earth pressures,
and ground-water levels;

d) structural steelwork comprising 
(i) fabrication of structural elements;
(ii) erection work like site cutting, site welding and site
bolting; and
(iii) installation of steel supports for underground building
works;

e) pre-cast concrete work comprising fabrication of pre-cast
structural elements; and

f) in-situ post-tensioning work comprising setting out of
tendon profiles, laying of conduits, anchorages and
bursting reinforcement, pulling or stressing of cables,
pressure grouting of conduits.

Structural Plans
This refers to the plans that relates to the structural elements of
the building works. It includes the piling plans, the substructure
plans, the superstructure plans and all other plans showing details
of structural works.

Supervision QP
This term refers to the qualified person appointed to supervise the
particular building works being discussed.

Supervision QP(Arch)
This term refers to the qualified person appointed to supervise the
architectural works.

Supervision QP(Geo)
This term refers to the qualified person appointed to supervise the
geotechnical aspects of underground building works.

Supervision QP(Struct)
This term refers to the qualified person appointed to supervise the
structural works.

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Underground Building Works
The term ‘underground building works’ has been defined in the
Act and building regulations as any of the following building
works:

a) any excavation or other building works to make —
i. a tunnel with a diameter, width or height of more than
2 metres;
ii. a caisson, cofferdam, trench, ditch, shaft or well with a
depth of more than 6 metres;

b) any building works for constructing, altering or repairing
any earth retaining structure in or for a trench, ditch, shaft
or well with a depth or height of more than 6 metres; or

c) foundation works for buildings of 30 or more storeys high.

See Chapter 5 for details on the requirements on underground
building works.



***


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11

CHAPTER 1
APPOINTMENTS






1.1 The Act requires various persons to be appointed when
any building works are to be carried out. These persons are
appointed to perform, and be responsible for, their respective
duties prescribed in the Building Control Act and its Regulations.
This chapter explains who is to be appointed for different types of
building works, who can make such appointments and what are
the special requirements related to some of the appointments.

DEVELOPER

1.2 Every building project begins with a developer. Under the
Act, the developer is any person for whom building works are to
be carried out. This would include the commercial developer
who builds a condominium for sales after completion. It also
includes a government agency that builds a public building; say,
a sports complex or a public bridge. A home owner who intends
to build his own private bungalow is also a developer.

1.3 To start the process of building, a developer is required to
appoint people who are qualified to perform specific duties
under the Act. Normally, he would first appoint the respective
QPs to prepare the plans for approval. In design-and-build
projects, he may first appoint a builder, who would in turn
appoint the respective QPs to prepare the plans for approval. In
design-and-build projects, the builder is not the developer of the
project. The person who appoints the builder remains as the
developer under the Act, regardless of his involvement or the
type of procurement that he chooses.

1.4 The developer is the only one who can appoint an
accredited checker, and a specialist accredited checker if one
is needed.

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QUALIFIED PERSONS

1.5 Qualified Persons or QPs are required to prepare the plans
of building works and to supervise the construction of those
works. There are three types of QPs –

a) the QP for architectural works – or QP(Arch) for short – to
prepare building plans for approval and to supervise the
architectural works during construction. The QP(Arch) is
usually an architect registered under the Architects Act
(Cap. 12) and has in force a practising certificate under
that Act. For building works listed in Part II of the Third
Schedule in the Building Control Regulations (see
Schedule C in this Guidebook), the QP(Arch) who
prepares the building plans can be an architect or a PE;

b) the QP for structural works – or QP(Struct) for short – to
prepare structural plans for approval and to supervise the
structural works during construction. The QP(Struct) is a PE
registered in the branch of civil or structural engineering
under the Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) and has
in force a practising certificate under that Act; and

c) the QP for geotechnical aspects – or QP(Geo) for short –
to prepare the underground building works plans relating
to the geotechnical aspects for approval and to
supervise the geotechnical aspects of the works during
construction. The QP(Geo) is a specialist PE registered in
the branch of geotechnical engineering under the
Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) and has in force a
practising certificate under that Act. While the QP(Geo)
is needed only when there are underground building
works, a developer or builder should consider appointing
a QP(Geo) for geotechnical aspects of any works if the
site has difficult ground conditions.

Scope of Professional Practice
BCR R6 Third Schedule

1.6 The QPs to be appointed depends on the type of project.
The scope of professional practice is prescribed in the Third
Schedule of the Building Control Regulations (see Schedule C in
this Guidebook).



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1.7 For building works that are named in Part I of the Third
Schedule, only a PE can act as a QP to prepare and sign for all
the plans (both the building and structural plans). Generally
these building works have very little architectural content and
the PE can prepare and sign for such content.

1.8 For building works that are named in Part II of the Third
Schedule, either an architect or a PE, or both, can be appointed
as the QP to prepare and sign for the building plans. However,
the structural plans of these projects have to be prepared and
signed by a PE.

1.9 For all other building works not named in Part I or Part II, an
architect has to be appointed to act as the QP to prepare and
sign for the building (architectural) plans and to supervise the
architectural works, whereas the QP appointed for structural
works has to be a PE.

QP(Arch) – Qualified Person for Architectural Works
Act S8 S11

1.10 A QP(Arch) has to be appointed by either the developer,
or the builder to –

a) prepare the plans of the architectural works, or building
plans; in this case he will be the Design QP(Arch).
b) supervise the carrying out of those architectural works; in
this case he will be the Supervision QP(Arch).

1.11 The developer or builder may appoint either the same
person or different persons to be the Design QP(Arch) and
Supervision QP(Arch).

QP(Struct) – Qualified Person for Structural Works
Act S8 S11

1.12 A QP(Struct) has to be appointed by either the developer,
or the builder in the case of a design-and-build project, to –

a) prepare the plans of the structural works; in this case he will
be the Design QP(Struct).
b) supervise the carrying out of those structural works; in this
case he will be the Supervision QP(Struct).



14
1.13 The developer or builder may appoint either the same
person or different persons to be the Design QP(Struct) and
Supervision QP(Struct). However, the appointments have to
comply with mandatory requirements on independence – see
the section on Independence of Project Parties later in this
chapter.

1.14 All structural works are classified as either large building
works or small-scale building works. Generally, large building
works are those that require the Supervision QP(Struct) to appoint
a minimum number of qualified site supervisors to help him in his
supervision duties. This team of qualified site supervisors has to be
stationed full-time at the site. On the other hand, small-scale
building works only require the critical structural works to be
carried out under the immediate supervision of either the
Supervision QP (Struct) or a qualified site supervisor (who need
not have to be stationed full-time at the site), working under the
Supervision QP (Struct)’s control and direction.

1.15 For details, see the section on Qualified Site Supervisors
later in this chapter.

Qualified Person for Geotechnical Aspects
Act S8 S11

1.16 Where the building works comprise wholly or partly of any
underground building works, qualified persons for the
geotechnical aspects have to be appointed by either the
developer, or the builder in the case of a design-and-build
project, to –

a) prepare the plans relating to the geotechnical aspects of
those underground building works; in this case he will be
the Design QP(Geo).
b) supervise the geotechnical aspects of those underground
building works; in this case he will be the Supervision
QP(Geo).

1.17 The QP for the geotechnical aspects has to be a
geotechnical engineer or QP(Geo). The developer or builder
may appoint either the same person or different persons to be
the Design QP(Geo) and Supervision QP(Geo). However, the
appointments have to comply with mandatory requirements on
independence – see the section on Independence of Project
Parties later in this chapter.

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1.18 For underground building works, the Supervision QP(Geo)
has to appoint a minimum number of qualified site supervisors to
help him in his supervision duties. For details, see the section on
Qualified Site Supervisors later in this chapter.

General Notes on Appointment of Qualified Site Supervisors
1.19 The requirement on appointment of qualified site
supervisors is prescribed under the Building Control Regulations,
details of which are at the section on Qualified Site Supervisors
later in this chapter.

1.20 The appointment of qualified site supervisors is done by the
Supervision QP (Struct) for the main building works. However, in
some projects, there may be other qualified persons appointed
for specific parts of the building works, such as for the
geotechnical works, cladding works and specialised space
frames. These works will still need to be carried out under the
supervision of qualified site supervisors. However, the CBC will not
require additional qualified site supervisors to be appointed if the
supervision of these works is to be carried out by the supervision
team already appointed by the QP(Struct) for the main structural
works. However, the CBC will also allow arrangement for these
specific works to be supervised by other additional qualified site
supervisors appointed by the respective qualified persons. Where
appropriate, these works may be carried out under full-time or
part-time supervision by these other additional qualified site
supervisors, depending on the nature of the work as determined
by the qualified person who appointed them.


ACCREDITED CHECKERS

Accredited Checker
Act S8

1.21 For major building works, the developer has to appoint an
AC. The duty of the AC is to check the detailed structural plans
and design calculations of the building works in accordance
with the building regulations and to carry out such other duties as
may be prescribed by those regulations (see Chapter 4 for more
details). The appointment of an AC has to comply with
mandatory requirements on independence – see the section on
Independence of Project Parties later in this chapter.


16

Act S8 S13(3)
1.22 The AC to be appointed is determined by the value of the
building works as follows:

a) If the value of the building works exceeds $10 million, the
AC has to be a director, partner, member or an employee
of an accredited checking organization.
b) If the value of the building works does not exceed $10
million, any AC could be appointed, that is, the AC may or
may not be affiliated with an accredited checking
organisation.

Specialist Accredited Checker
Act S8

1.23 For major building works that comprise wholly or partly of
any underground building works, the developer has to appoint a
specialist accredited checker or AC(Geo) for the geotechnical
aspects of those building works.

1.24 Currently, the specialist AC appointed does not have to
be affiliated with any accredited checking organization,
regardless of the value of the building works.

1.25 The specialist AC has to check the geotechnical aspects
of underground building works in accordance with the building
regulations and carry out such other duties as may be prescribed
by those regulations (see Chapter 4 for more details).

1.26 The appointment of any specialist AC has to comply with
mandatory requirements on independence – see the section on
Independence of Project Parties later in this chapter.


QUALIFIED SITE SUPERVISORS

Act S10
1.27 Qualified site supervisors or QSS have to be appointed by
the qualified person appointed to supervise the structural or
geotechnical aspects of the building works unless the Supervision
QP(Struct) or Supervision QP(Geo) personally supervises the works
for which he is responsible for (in the case of small-scale building
works). This appointment is made by:


17
a) the QP appointed to supervise the carrying out of
structural works, and
b) where there are underground building works, the QP
appointed to supervise the geotechnical aspects of those
underground building works.

BCR R24 Fifth Schedule
1.28 Each QSS works under the charge and direction of the QP
who appoints him. The minimum number of qualified site
supervisors to be appointed by each QP and the type of
supervision to be provided depends on the value of the building
works, as follows:

a) Small-scale building works are those works where the value
does not exceed $5 million. For this type of works, the QP
has to appoint at least one QSS for immediate supervision
of works related to the critical structural elements, unless
he personally supervises all the critical structural works in
the project.

b) Large building works have a value that exceeds $5 million.
For this type of works, the QP has to appoint a team of
qualified site supervisors comprising not less than a
minimum prescribed number of persons. This minimum
number varies with the value of the building works.

General Notes on “Value of Building Works”
1.29 The requirements for QSS are determined by the value of
building works. When determining the value of building works, it is
not confined to structural works alone. The term “value” is
defined as:

a) for any underground building works, the total cost to be
expended in carrying out those building works estimated
at the time of, and contained in, the application under
section 5 for approval of the plans of those building works,
including any goods and services tax payable in relation
to the supply of the work; or

b) for any other building works, the total cost to be expended
in carrying out the building works (including the
foundations, basements, structural frame, finishes and the
installation of building services) estimated at the time of,
and contained in, the application under section 5 for
approval of the plans of the building works, including any

18
goods and services tax payable in relation to the supply of
the work.

Equipment and Machinery
1.30 In some industrial projects, the contractual costs may
include the costs of various equipment or machinery to be
installed for the operational purpose of the building. While these
equipment or machinery are part and parcel of the building
contract, they are not relevant in so far as the design and
construction processes of the building are concerned. In
computing the value of building works, the cost of such
equipment or machinery need not be included.

Act S10(3)
1.31 There are two classes of QSS – the RE and the RTO. More
details on requirements for QSS can be found in Chapter 2. To
qualify as a QSS under either of the two classes, a person must:

a) have the qualifications and practical experience
prescribed for his respective class;
b) remain accredited with the Joint Accreditation Committee
of the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) and the
Association of Consulting Engineers Singapore (ACES) from
15 February 2009 onwards, and
c) comply with mandatory independence requirements – see
the section on Independence of Project Parties later in this
chapter.


BUILDERS

Act S8 S11
1.32 The developer has to appoint a main builder to carry out
the building works. In some building works, the developer may
appoint more than one main builder in a project. As an example,
different builders may be appointed for each building in a
project where there is more than one building.

1.33 Except for sub-contractors carrying out specialist building
works, other sub-contractors who work under the control and
direction of the main builder do not need to be licensed as their
engagement by the main builder is not a requirement under the
Act. In so far as the Act and its Regulations are concerned, the
main builder is responsible for works that are done by his sub-
contractors.

19

1.34 The builder’s main duty is to carry out the building works in
accordance with the Act and its Regulations, and the relevant
plans approved by the CBC, that are supplied to him by the
qualified persons. The builder’s other duties are explained in
detail in Chapter 3: Duties of Project Parties.

Specialist Builders
Act S11(2) S8

1.35 Specialist builders have to be appointed to carry out
specialist building works. There is no restriction on who may
appoint a specialist builder. However, the appointed specialist
builder for monitoring instruments that measure ground
properties and movements has to comply with mandatory
independence requirements (see the section on Independence
of Project Parties later in this chapter).

1.36 The specialist builder’s main duty is to carry out the
relevant specialist building works in accordance with the Act
and its Regulations, and the relevant plans approved by the
CBC. The specialist builder’s other duties are explained in detail
in Chapter 3: Duties of Project Parties.

Licensing
Act Part VA

1.37 All builders and specialist builders have to be licensed
under Part VA of the Act (see Chapter 5: Licensing of Builders).


EXCAVATION WORKS

1.38 Works that involve ground excavations require special
care in structural and geotechnical design and supervision. This is
because they have great impact on the safety of surrounding
properties. As the complexity of such works increases with the
depth of excavation, the requirements on appointments vary
with the depth (except for appointments for architectural works).
The following table (next page) summarizes the requirements.


20
TABLE 1.1
TABLE ON APPOINTMENTS OF QPs AND ACs FOR BUILDING WORKS
INVOLVING GROUND EXCAVATION

Appointments Required
All permanent or
temporary building
works that involve Qualified Person
Accredited
Checker
Excavation not more
than 1.5 m** deep
Plan approval is not required
Excavation more than
1.5 m** deep but not
exceeding 4 m deep
No accredited
checker required
Excavation more than
4 m deep but not
exceeding 6 m deep
Any professional
engineer can act as
the qualified person for
structural works
An accredited
checker to check
structural works
Excavation more than
6 m deep and all
underground building
works
Any professional
engineer can act as
qualified person for
structural works (and if
he is not a
geotechnical engineer,
then a geotechnical
engineer is needed for
the geotechnical
aspects)
An accredited
checker to check
structural works
(and a specialist
accredited
checker is needed
for the
geotechnical
aspects)
** If the structure that retains earth (either as a retaining wall or for
excavation) is not constructed of reinforced concrete or steel, then
the applicable depth is 1 m instead of 1.5 m.

1.39 The appointments shown in the preceding table apply to
both the QP to prepare the structural plans and the QP to
supervise the works in those plans. The requirements are relevant
for all building works with excavations, regardless of whether the
structure to be constructed is for permanent use (such as
foundations and basements) or only for temporary use (such as
the temporary earth-retaining structures for holding back the
faces of an excavation during the construction of an
underground structure).


21
INDEPENDENCE OF PROJECT PARTIES

1.40 The Act restricts certain relationships and associations
between some project parties. These provisions are necessary to
protect the public interest by keeping critical functions free from
potential conflicting interest situations. This section summarizes
the independence required of project parties under the Act.

Independence of Qualified Persons
Act S9(7)

1.41 A qualified person who is appointed to supervise the
carrying out of any building works, or the geotechnical aspects
of any underground building works, shall not supervise –

a) any works relating to the structural elements of any major
building works; or
b) the geotechnical aspects of the underground building
works,

if he, or any nominee of his, is a partner, an officer or an
employee of

i. the developer of those building works;
ii. the builder of those building works; or
iii. an associate of the developer or builder referred to in
paragraph (i) or (ii).

1.42 This requirement on independence of the relevant QPs
does not apply to minor building works. Nevertheless, the
Commissioner of Building Control encourages project parties to
adopt a similar arrangement for minor building works as a means
to avoid potential conflicting interest situations.

Developer/Supervision QP Relationship
1.43 Can a PE supervise the construction of his own house since
he is also the developer of the project? The construction of any
detached house, semi-detached house, terraced or linked
house not exceeding 3 storeys for residential purposes is classified
as minor building works, to which the independence requirement
on the Supervision QP does not apply. For these works, an
appropriate PE can therefore act as the Supervision QP for the
structural works even if he is also the developer.



22
Independence of Qualified Site Supervisors
Act S10(4)

1.44 No qualified site supervisor or QSS shall supervise any
structural works of any major building works if he, or any nominee
of his, is a partner, an officer or an employee of –

(a) the developer or builder of those building works; or
(b) any associate of the developer or builder of those building
works.

General Notes on Independence of QSS
1.45 While the QSS has to be appointed by the Supervision QP
(Struct), there may be cases where the developer or builder may
choose to help the QP in the procurement of the QSS. This may
be done in the form of a procurement contract between the
developer or builder and the QSS.

1.46 While such procurement can be allowed, the contract
must be clear that the QSS is procured to fulfil his statutory
requirements under the Act and that he works under the
direction and control of the QP. The QSS cannot be made to
work for the developer or the builder, otherwise it will be taken
that the QSS is an employee of the developer or builder
respectively.

Independence of Accredited Checkers
Act S18(4)

1.47 An accredited checker shall not issue any certificate for
any building works if he has any professional or financial interest
in those building works.

1.48 In the case where the accredited checker is acting on
behalf of an accredited checking organization, he shall not issue
any certificate for any building works if any of the directors or
partners of the accredited checking organization or the
organization itself has a professional or financial interest in those
building works.

Independence of Specialist Accredited Checkers
Act S18(5)

1.49 Similarly, a specialist accredited checker shall not issue any
certificate for any underground building works if he has any

23
professional or financial interest in those underground building
works.

Meaning of ‘professional or financial interest’
Act S18(6)

1.50 The Act explains what is meant by “professional or financial
interest”. An AC or a specialist AC shall be regarded as having a
professional or financial interest in any building works if –

(a) he is or has been responsible for the design or construction
of the building or any of the building works in any capacity
except building works relating to the alterations of the
building which –

i. do not affect any key structural element, or
ii. affect any structural element but the effects are
localized in nature and do not require any
strengthening of any key structural element;

(b) he or any nominee of his is a member or an officer or
employee of a company or other body which has a
professional or financial interest in the building works, or
(c) he is a partner or is in the employment of a person who has
a professional or financial interest in the building works.

Act S18(7)
1.51 Similarly, an accredited checking organization shall be
regarded as having a professional or financial interest in any
building works if –

(a) any of its directors, partners, members or employees is or
has been responsible for the design or construction of the
building or any of the building works in any capacity
except building works relating to the alterations of the
building which –

i. do not affect any key structural element, or
ii. affect any structural element but the effects are
localized in nature and do not require any
strengthening of any key structural element;

(b) any nominee of the organization is a member or an officer
or employee of a company or other body which has a
professional or financial interest in the building works, or

24
(c) the organization or any of its directors or partners is a
partner or is in the employment of a person who has a
professional or financial interest in the building works.

Clarifications on ‘professional and financial interest’
Act S18(8) S18(9)

1.52 The Act clarifies the meaning of ‘professional and financial
interest’ further with the following clauses:

(a) A person shall be treated as having a professional or
financial interest in the building works even if he has that
interest only as trustee for the benefit of some other
person.
(b) In the case of married people living together, the interest
of one spouse shall, if known to the other, be deemed to
be also an interest of the other.
(c) Involvement in the building works as an accredited
checker or a specialist accredited checker and
entitlement to any fee paid for his function as an
accredited checker or a specialist accredited checker
shall not be regarded as constituting a professional or
financial interest.

General Notes on Independence of AC
1.53 Would an AC or specialist AC be regarded as having a
professional or financial interest in the building works of a project
if he is from a multi-disciplinary consultant firm which has been
appointed for the architectural or M&E works for the same
project? Since an AC or specialist AC shall be regarded as
having a professional or financial interest in any building works if
he is a member or an officer or employee of a company or other
body which has a professional or financial interest in the building
works in any capacity (except for certain alterations works), it
follows that the answer to the question above is yes.

Independence of Specialist Builders
Act S11(3)

1.54 The Act prescribes independence requirements on one
category of specialist builders, i.e. the specialist builder
monitoring instruments that measure ground properties and
movements, as follows:



25
1.55 Any specialist builder who is appointed in respect of any
building works shall not:

(a) carry out any work that monitors instruments measuring
pore pressures for saturated and unsaturated levels,
ground-water levels, ground movements or building
movements; and
(b) measure forces, deformations or displacements in
connection with those building works.

if he, or any nominee of his, is a partner, an officer or an
employee of –

i. the developer or builder of those building works; or
ii. any associate of the developer or builder of those building
works.

Associate
Act S2(4)

1.56 In the Act, the word ‘associate’ is used in several of the
provisions on independence of project parties. A reference to a
person being an associate of a developer or builder is a
reference to any of the following persons:

a) any partner of the developer or builder.
b) any body corporate in which the developer or builder is a
substantial shareholder as defined in section 81 of the
Companies Act (Cap. 50).
c) if the developer or builder is a body corporate –

i. a person who is a substantial shareholder of that body
corporate as defined in section 81 of the Companies
Act, or
ii. a director, secretary or similar executive officer of the
body corporate.

d) any body corporate of which the developer or builder is a
director, secretary or similar executive officer.
e) where the developer or builder is a trustee – a beneficiary
or an object of the discretionary trust.
f) any employer or employee of the developer or builder.




26
1.58 A relevant extract from the Companies Act is reproduced
below for reference:

EXTRACT FROM THE COMPANIES ACT (CAP 50)
Section 81 of the Companies Act (Chapter 50)
81. (1) For the purposes of this Division, a person has a
substantial shareholding in a company if —
a) he has an interest or interests in one or more
voting shares in the company; and
b) the total votes attached to that share, or those
shares, is not less than 5% of the total votes
attached to all the voting shares in the
company.
(2) For the purposes of this Division, a person has a
substantial shareholding in a company, being a company
the share capital of which is divided into 2 or more classes
of shares, if —
(a) he has an interest or interests in one or more
voting shares included in one of those classes;
and
(b) the total votes attached to that share, or those
shares, is not less than 5% of the total votes
attached to all the voting shares included in that
class.
(3) For the purposes of this Division, a person who has a
substantial shareholding in a company is a substantial
shareholder in that company.
(4) In this section and section 83, “voting shares” exclude
treasury shares.



***

27

CHAPTER 2
SUPERVISION OF BUILDING
WORKS






Act S7
2.1 The provisions in the Act stress the importance of building
works being carried out under the supervision of appropriately
trained persons. Generally, it is an offence to carry out any
building works unless the works are done under the supervision of
an architect or a professional engineer. For the structural
elements of building works, there are additional requirements for
qualified site supervisors (QSS). This chapter summarizes the
various requirements for supervision of building works.

Architectural Works
Act S7(1)(a)

2.2 All architectural works must be carried out under the
supervision of the qualified person appointed to supervise the
architectural works. This Supervision QP(Arch) may employ his
own supervisors to carry out the tasks and put in place a system
that ensures compliance with the requirements, but he has to
sign all the required certificates and will be responsible for
ensuring that all the works under his charge are done in
accordance with the requirements of the Act and the
Regulations.

2.3 Please note that there is no mandatory requirement for the
Supervision QP(Arch) to employ supervisors to help him in his
supervision duties. Supervisors employed to help the Supervision
QP(Arch) are not the same as the qualified site supervisors or QSS
required to be appointed mandatorily by the Supervision
QP(Struct) or the Supervision QP(Geo). The QSS is required to
carry out his duties in supervision of structural works or

28
geotechnical aspects of underground building works under the
direction and control of the Supervision QP(Struct) or Supervision
QP(Geo) respectively.

Structural Works
Act S7(1)(a) S7(2)(a)

2.4 All structural works must be carried out under the
supervision of the qualified person appointed to supervise the
structural works, i.e. the Supervision QP(Struct). Where there are
underground building works, the geotechnical aspects must be
carried out under the supervision of the qualified person
appointed to supervise the geotechnical aspects of those
underground building works, i.e. the Supervision QP(Geo).

2.5 In each case, the Supervision QP has to sign all the
required certificates and will be responsible for ensuring that all
the works under his charge are done in accordance with the
requirements of the Act and the Regulations. While the
Supervision QP is not expected to do all the tasks personally, he is
required to put in place a system that ensures compliance with
the requirements.

Qualified Site Supervisors for Structural Works
Act S7(1)(b) S7(2)(b)

2.6 Other than the qualified person, the Act also requires
structural works and their geotechnical aspects to be carried out
under the supervision of a qualified site supervisor (QSS). There
are two classes of qualified site supervisors, namely:

a) Resident Engineer (RE)
b) Resident Technical Officer (RTO)

Resident Engineer
BCR Reg24(4)

2.7 A Supervision QP can appoint a person as an RE for the
purposes of section 10 (1) or (2) of the Act if that person meets
any one of the following requirements —

a) is a professional engineer in the civil or structural
engineering discipline registered under the Professional
Engineers Act (Cap. 253);
b) possesses a university degree or any other professional

29
qualification recognised by the Professional Engineers
Board for registration as a professional engineer under the
Professional Engineers Act in the civil or structural
engineering discipline;
c) possesses a postgraduate master’s degree or doctoral
degree in Civil Engineering or Structural Engineering from
any university recognised by the Professional Engineers
Board for registration as a professional engineer under the
Professional Engineers Act;
d) is a Chartered Engineer registered by the Engineering
Council United Kingdom in the Civil Engineering or
Structural Engineering discipline;
e) possesses a university degree in Civil Engineering or
Structural Engineering from any university that is specified
by the Commissioner of Building Control in the list that is 

i. obtainable from his office at the Building and
Construction Authority, 5 Maxwell Road, #02-00 Tower
Block MND Complex, Singapore 069110; and
ii. available in the Internet website of the Building and
Construction Authority at http://www.bca.gov.sg,

and has at least one year of relevant postgraduate
practical experience in design or construction of structural
works as may be acceptable to the Commissioner of
Building Control; or

f) possesses such other qualification and period of practical
experience as the Commissioner of Building Control may
determine, being a qualification and practical
experience that is substantially equivalent to any
qualification and practical experience referred to in sub-
paragraphs (a) to (e).

Resident Technical Officer
BCR Reg24(4)

2.8 The RTO is previously called the “clerk-of-works”. A
Supervision QP can appoint a person as an RTO for the purposes
of section 10(1) or (2) of the Act if that person meets any one of
the following requirements —

a) possesses a degree from any local university or a diploma
from any local polytechnic in Civil Engineering or Structural
Engineering;

30
b) possesses a diploma in any construction-related field from
any local polytechnic and has at least one year of such
relevant practical experience in full-time supervision of
structural works in construction sites in Singapore as may
be acceptable to the Commissioner of Building Control;
c) possesses a diploma or higher certificate from any foreign
polytechnic in Civil Engineering or Structural Engineering
and has at least one year of such relevant practical
experience in full-time supervision of structural works in
construction sites as may be acceptable to the
Commissioner of Building Control;
d) possesses a diploma in any construction-related field from
any foreign polytechnic and has at least 4 years of such
relevant practical experience in full-time supervision of
structural works in construction sites in Singapore as may
be acceptable to the Commissioner of Building Control;
e) possesses a degree from any foreign university in Civil
Engineering or Structural Engineering and has at least one
year of such relevant practical experience in full-time
supervision of structural works in construction sites as may
be acceptable to the Commissioner of Building Control;
f) possesses a degree related to Civil Engineering or
Structural Engineering from any foreign university and has
at least one year of such relevant practical experience in
full-time supervision of structural works in construction sites
in Singapore as may be acceptable to the Commissioner
of Building Control; or
g) possesses such other qualification and period of
postgraduate practical experience in full-time supervision
of structural works in construction sites as the Commissioner
of Building Control may determine, being a qualification
and practical experience that is substantially equivalent to
any qualification and practical experience referred to in
sub-paragraphs (a) to (f).

Accreditation of Qualified Site Supervisors
BCR R24(3)

2.9 All QSS are required to be accredited by the Joint
Accreditation Committee of the Institution of Engineers
Singapore (IES) and the Association of Consulting Engineers
Singapore (ACES) from 15 February 2009 onwards.




31
Requirements for Appointment of Qualified Site Supervisors

2.10 The Supervision QP(Struct) who is supervising the carrying
out of the structural works or the Supervision QP(Geo) who is
supervising the carrying out of geotechnical aspects of
underground building works has to appoint one or more QSS to
help him in the task. The requirements of such appointment
depend on the scale of the building works.

2.11 Under the Act, building works are classified as either small-
scale building works or large building works. The requirements of
supervision of the structural elements for these two classes of
works are as follows:

Small-Scale Building Works
Act S7(1)(c)

2.12 Critical structural works like concreting, piling, pre-stressing,
tightening of high-friction grip bolts or other critical structural
works of small-scale building works shall be carried out under the
immediate supervision of –

a) an appropriate qualified person; or
b) a QSS working under the Supervision QP’s control and
direction.

Act S2(1)
2.13 The term "immediate supervision", in relation to any
building works or part thereof, means personally and directly
exercising oversight, control and inspection of the carrying out of
the building works or part thereof. Where immediate supervision
is required, the Supervision QP or the appointed QSS has to be
present at the site to supervise the carrying out of critical
structural works. They do not need to be stationed at the site
when there are no critical structural works in progress.

Act S10(2)
2.14 The Act requires the Supervision QP(Struct) appointed to
supervise the carrying out of any small-scale building works to
appoint at least one QSS to supervise the critical structural
elements of the small-scale building works. Where appropriate,
the Supervision QP(Struct) may appoint himself to personally
carry out such supervision in the absence of a QSS. The details of
this requirement are summarized as follows (next page):


32
TABLE 2.1
SITE SUPERVISORS REQUIRED FOR IMMEDIATE SUPERVISION OF
STRUCTURAL WORKS IN SMALL-SCALE BUILDING WORKS
Act S7(1)(c)

Value of building works Site supervisor
Up to $5 million Appropriate qualified person or
resident engineer or resident
technical officer

Large Building Works
Act S7(1)(b)

2.15 The structural elements or geotechnical aspects of all large
building works shall be carried out under the full-time supervision
of a QSS, or a team of QSS, working under the appropriate
Supervision QP’s control and direction.

BCR R24(1)
2.16 The number of QSS required for each project depends on
the value of the building works. More resources in terms of
qualified site supervisors are required as the value of the building
works increases. This is based on the rationale that the value
would in most cases be a good and simple indicator of the
scope or complexity of works. More resources for supervision
would be required as scope or complexity increases. The details
are provided in the Building Control Regulations, and are
summarized as follows (next page):


33
TABLE 2.2
QUALIFIED SITE SUPERVISORS REQUIRED FOR FULL-TIME
SUPERVISION OF STRUCTURAL WORKS OR GEOTECHNICAL
ASPECTS IN LARGE BUILDING WORKS

Value of building works Minimum number of QSS for full-
time supervision of structural
works or geotechnical aspects
More than $5 million but not
exceeding $10 million
One (1) RTO
More than $10 million but not
exceeding $20 million
One (1) RE
More than $20 million but not
exceeding $50 million
One (1) RE and one (1) RTO
More than $50 million but not
exceeding $100 million
One (1) RE and two (2) RTO
More than $100 million Two (2) RE and three (3) RTO

Full-time supervision
2.17 The term “full-time supervision”, in relation to any building
works, means that the QSS has to be stationed at the site
throughout the duration of the project when structural or
geotechnical works are in progress and cannot act as the QSS
for any other project. The QSS has to personally and directly
exercise oversight, control and inspection of the carrying out of
critical structural works like concreting, piling, pre-stressing,
tightening of high-friction grip bolts and other critical structural
works, and carry out any other supervision duties as directed by
the Supervision QP who appointed him. Where there is more than
one QSS in a project, the Supervision QP has to direct how and
by who each supervision duty is to be carried out.

Site Records
BCR R22

2.18 All Supervision QPs appointed to supervise any building
works are required to keep and maintain at the premises on
which the building works are carried out the following books and
records:


34
a) for major building works, a schedule of the structural works
to be carried out every 3 months, specifying, in particular,
the excavation, installation, testing, removal, construction
or fabrication of the key structural elements;
b) a record of attendance of the Supervision QP and QSS;
c) a site record book;
d) a copy of the approved structural plans including all
amendments;
e) a record of all the departures or deviations relating to the
structural elements of the building works as provided by
the Design QP(Struct);
f) a record of inspection and approval for concreting;
g) a record of repairs to defective structural works;
h) a site investigation report;
i) a record of piles installed;
j) a record of pile load tests;
k) a record of tests on cement, sand and aggregates;
l) a record of concrete cube tests;
m) a record of tests on steel reinforcements;
n) a record of tests on pre-stressing steel;
o) a record of pre-stressing works;
p) a record of tests on welding works and all welders’
certificates;
q) a record of ground anchor, soil nails or rock bolt tests and,
where applicable, stressing loads;
r) a record of inspection and approval at each of the
following stages of the building works: excavation,
installation, construction and removal stage of the building
works;
s) a record of inspection and approval for strut, soil nails, rock
bolts, or anchor during installation and removal;
t) a record of instrumentation and monitoring reports;
u) a record of actions taken where monitoring results of
earth-retaining wall deflection or adjacent ground
settlements exceed the allowable limits or where damages
occur in the neighbouring properties;
v) a record and test results of earth or ground improvement
or strengthening works;
w) a record of tests on fixings of external claddings and safety
barriers against falling from a height;
x) the mill certificates and test results for structural steel
sections, and
y) a record of all other tests of or in connection with the
building works.


35
Submission of Progress Reports and Certificates
BCR R23

2.19 The Act also requires all Supervision QPs appointed to
supervise any building works to prepare and submit the following
reports and certificates relating to the building works at the
corresponding times or intervals, where applicable:

a) a notice of completion of all piling works carried out, a
record plan showing full details of the piling works and a
certificate of supervision of those piling works within 28
days of completion of those piling works;
b) on completion of all building works, his certificate stating
that the building works have been carried out under his
supervision, and
c) within 14 days of his ceasing to carry out his duties under
the Act, a summary report of all those building works which
have been carried out under his supervision and a
certificate of such supervision.

Quarterly Structural Reports
2.20 With effect from 1 Feb 2008, there is no need for submission
of three-monthly (quarterly) structural reports detailing the
schedule and progress of structural works at the site. This
requirement has been removed.

Tests of and in Connection with Building Works
Act S7A

2.21 It is important to ensure that materials used for the building
works comply with requirements. The Act therefore requires the
Supervision QP to carry out or cause to be carried out all
necessary and appropriate tests in connection with the building
works as prescribed in any of the building regulations or required
by the CBC. The tests have to be carried out in such manner and
at such places and times as prescribed in the respective building
regulations.

2.22 If a Supervision QP fails to comply with the above
requirements, the CBC may serve an order in writing to any of
the project parties to cease the building works until the order is
withdrawn. For special cases, however, the CBC may, on
application, waive a requirement to carry out a prescribed test if
he is satisfied that carrying out the particular test would be
unreasonable.

36
Builder’s Supervision Duty
Act S11(1)(e)

2.23 The Act requires the builder to have an adequate number
of construction supervisors working under his direction to help him
ensure that the building works are carried out in compliance with
all the requirements.



***

37

CHAPTER 3
DUTIES OF PROJECT PARTIES






3.1 The Act and building regulations prescribes specific duties
on the various parties who are involved in the building works. This
chapter lists and explains these duties.


DEVELOPER

Act S8(1)
3.2 The developer has a set of duties under the Act. These
duties are summarized as follows:

(A) Appointments
3.3 For all building works, every developer shall appoint the
following (no other person may make these appointments)–

a) a builder to carry out those building works;
b) for major building works,

i. an AC who is either a director, partner, member or an
employee of an accredited checking organization, if
the value of the building works exceeds $10 million; or
ii. an AC (whether or not a director, partner, member or
an employee of an accredited checking
organization), if the value of the building works is $10
million or less

c) where the building works comprise wholly or partly of any
underground building works, an AC(Geo) for the
geotechnical aspects of those building works; and
d) where appropriate, a specialist builder to monitor
instruments measuring pore pressures for saturated and
unsaturated levels, ground-water levels, ground

38
movements or building movements and to measure forces,
deformations or displacements.

3.4 Every developer shall also appoint the following (if no such
person has been appointed by the builder) –

a) the appropriate Design QPs to prepare the plans of the
building works (i.e. architectural plans and structural plans);
b) the appropriate Supervision QPs to supervise the carrying
out of those building works
c) where the building works comprise wholly or partly of any
underground building works,

i. a QP(Geo) to prepare the plans relating to the
geotechnical aspects of the building works, who may
or may not be the same QP for structural works
referred to in paragraph (a) above; and
ii. a QP(Geo) to supervise the geotechnical aspects of
those building works, who may or may not be the
same qualified person referred to in paragraph (i)
above.

Act S8(2)
3.5 If any QP, builder, specialist builder, AC or AC(Geo)
appointed by the developer becomes unwilling to act or unable,
whether by reason of the termination of his appointment or for
any other reason, to carry out his respective duties under this Act,
then the developer shall —

a) without delay appoint another QP, builder, specialist
builder, AC or AC(Geo), as the case may be, in his place,
and
b) within 7 days thereafter, notify the CBC of that substitute
appointment.

(B) Notification
Act S8(3)

3.6 The developer of any building works shall notify the CBC of
any contravention of this Act or the building regulations relating
to those building works of which the developer knows or ought
reasonably to know.




39
Act S8(6)
3.7 The Act prescribes that it shall be a defence in any
prosecution for a contravention of paragraph 3.6 above for the
person charged to prove to the satisfaction of the court that he
did not know and could not reasonably have discovered the
contravention referred to in the charge.

General Notes on Implementation Practices on Notification
3.8 Several parties (namely, the developer, QP, builder and
specialist builder) have the similar duty of notifying the CBC
when they are aware of any contravention under the Building
Control Act. The CBC has received some feedback that had
expressed concern on failing to comply with this requirement of
notification under circumstances that may be beyond the
control of the relevant party. While the CBC will consider all
circumstances in each case, these general notes on
implementation practices are included to address such
concerns:

a) Some contraventions may involve matters which are of a
very technical nature, where specific knowledge in
architecture or engineering is necessary to know that a
contravention has occurred. For such cases, the CBC will
not expect that a person who does not possess such
knowledge could reasonably have discovered the
contravention, provided that the person was not involved
in any way in directing or instructing another party who
have such knowledge not to notify the CBC. On this
matter, there are already specific sections under the Act
which allow it to be a defence for any person charged to
prove to the satisfaction of the court that he did not know
and could not reasonably have discovered the
contravention referred to in the charge.

b) Some contraventions may be easily and quickly rectified.
Where a contravention has been rectified, the CBC may
take that into consideration in deciding any enforcement
action for that contravention. However, should the CBC
discovers a contravention before notification by any party,
subsequent rectification of the contravention cannot be
used as an excuse to absolve any party of the failure to
notify the CBC of the contravention.

c) Several parties (namely, the developer, QP, builder and
specialist builder) have the similar duty of notifying the

40
CBC when they are aware of any contravention. If one of
these parties has notified the CBC of the contravention
immediately or within a reasonable time of the occurrence
of the contravention, and has also informed the other
parties of the notification, it may not be necessary for the
other parties to notify the CBC of the same contravention.


QUALIFIED PERSON

Act S9(1)
3.9 Each of the various QPs has similar duties under the Act,
albeit in respect of their respective roles in the building works (i.e.
architectural, structural or geotechnical aspects). The specific
duties under the Act are as follows:

Qualified Person to Prepare Plans
3.10 Every QP who is appointed to prepare the plans of any
building works shall –

a) take all reasonable steps and exercise due diligence to
ensure that the building works are designed in
accordance with the provisions of the Act and the
building regulations;
b) notify the CBC of any contravention of this Act or the
building regulations in relation to those building works of
which he knows or ought reasonably to know (see the
“General Notes on Implementation Practices on
Notification” under the section on the developer in this
chapter);
c) supply a copy of every plan of the building works
approved by the CBC to –

i. the QSS or the team of QSS that he has appointed;
ii. the builder of those building works; and
iii. the Supervision QP appointed to supervise those
building works (if he is not that person).

Act S9(5)
3.11 Where the QP becomes unwilling or unable, whether by
reason of the termination of his appointment or for any other
reason, to carry out his duties under the Act, he shall, within 14
days of his ceasing to carry out his duties, notify the CBC and the
builder of those building works of that fact.


41
Act S9(12)
3.12 For a contravention of sub-paragraph 3.10(b) above, the
Act prescribes that it shall be a defence in any prosecution for
the person charged to prove to the satisfaction of the court that
he did not know and could not reasonably have discovered the
contravention referred to in the charge.

Qualified Person to Supervise Building Works
Act S9(4)

3.13 Every Supervision QP who is appointed to supervise the
carrying out of any building works, or the geotechnical aspects
of any underground building works, shall –

a) take all reasonable steps and exercise due diligence in
supervising and inspecting the building works or
underground building works, as the case may be, to
ensure that those building works are being carried out in
accordance with –

i. the provisions of the Act and the building regulations;
ii. the relevant plans approved by the CBC; and
iii. any terms and conditions imposed by the CBC;

b) in the absence of a QSS, take all reasonable steps and
exercise due diligence in giving immediate supervision to
the carrying out of concreting, piling, pre-stressing,
tightening of high-friction grip bolts or other critical
structural works of the building works to ensure that such
critical structural works of the building works are being
carried out in accordance with –

i. the provisions of this Act and the building regulations;
ii. the relevant plans approved by the CBC; and
iii. any terms and conditions imposed by the CBC;

c) notify the CBC of any contravention of this Act or the
building regulations in relation to those building works of
which he knows or ought reasonably to know (see the
“General Notes on Implementation Practices on
Notification” under the section on the developer in this
chapter);
d) keep and maintain at the premises on which building
works are carried out such documents, books and records
as may be prescribed in the building regulations;

42
e) submit to the CBC at the prescribed times such reports and
certificates as may be prescribed in the building
regulations;
f) notify the CBC if the building works have been suspended
for a period of more than 3 months;

Act S10(1)
g) for any large building works, appoint the following QSS in
respect of the structural elements of the large building
works:

i. a team of QSS comprising not less than such number
of persons as prescribed in relation to the value of
those large building works (see Chapter 2); or
ii. at least one QSS, in any other case;

Act S10(2)
h) for any small-scale building works, appoint at least one
QSS, in respect of the critical structural elements of the
small-scale building works

Act S9(6)
i) if any QSS he appointed under paragraph (g) or (h) above
becomes unwilling or unable, whether by reason of the
termination of his appointment or for any other reason, to
carry out his (the qualified site supervisor’s) duties, appoint
another QSS in his place and within 7 days thereafter,
notify the CBC of that substitute appointment

Act S9(5)
j) where the QP becomes unwilling or unable, whether by
reason of the termination of his appointment or for any
other reason, to carry out his duties under the Act, the QP
shall, within 14 days of his ceasing to carry out his duties,
notify the CBC and the builder of those building works of
that fact.

Act S9(12)
3.14 For a contravention of sub-paragraph 3.13(c) above, the
Act prescribes that it shall be a defence in any prosecution for
the person charged to prove to the satisfaction of the court that
he did not know and could not reasonably have discovered the
contravention referred to in the charge.




43
QUALIFIED SITE SUPERVISOR

Act S10(5)
3.15 Every QSS works under the control and direction of the
Supervision QP who appointed him. The Act prescribes the
following duties on the QSS:

3.16 Every QSS shall take all reasonable steps and exercise due
diligence in giving –

a) in the case of large building works — full-time supervision to
the carrying out of the structural elements of the building
works; and
b) in the case of small-scale building works — immediate
supervision to the carrying out of the critical structural
elements of the building works,

to ensure that the structural elements or critical structural
elements, as the case may be, of the building works in question
are carried out in accordance with the plans of the building
works supplied to him by the qualified person, and with any terms
and conditions imposed by the CBC.

Act S10(6)
3.17 If a QSS appointed in respect of any building works
becomes unwilling or unable, whether by reason of the
termination of his appointment or for any other reason, to carry
out his duties, the qualified site supervisor shall, within 7 days of his
ceasing to carry out such duties, notify the CBC of that fact.


BUILDER

Act S2(1)
Meaning of Builder
3.18 Under the Act, a "builder" means any person who
undertakes, whether exclusively or in conjunction with any other
business, to carry out any building works for his own account or
for or on behalf of another person (referred to in this definition as
“Party A”), but does not include any person who contracts with a
builder for the execution by that person of the whole or any part
of any building works undertaken by the builder for or on behalf
of Party A under a contract entered into by the builder with Party
A.

44
3.19 Essentially, a builder is anyone who undertakes to carry out
building works, either for his own purpose or for Party A (for
example. the developer) by way of a contract.

3.20 The Act specifically states that another person who
contracts directly with the builder to execute part or all of the
building works (i.e. a sub-contractor) is not the builder. In some
cases, the sub-contractor would be a specialist builder who
executes specialist building works within the building project.

3.21 Some building works may comprise wholly of one type of
specialist building works and the developer enters into a
contract directly with a specialist builder to undertake the
carrying out of those works. In this case, the specialist builder is
the one who enters into a contract with Party A (the developer)
and for this project, that specialist builder is the “builder” of the
building works.

Duties of Builder
Act S11(1)

3.22 The Act prescribes the following specific duties on the
builder. A builder undertaking any building works shall —

a) ensure that the building works are carried out in
accordance with –

i. the provisions of the Act and the building regulations;
ii. the relevant plans approved by the CBC and supplied
to him by a QP; and
iii. any terms and conditions imposed by the CBC;

b) notify the CBC of any contravention of this Act or the
building regulations relating to those building works of
which the builder knows or ought reasonably to know (see
the “General Notes on Implementation Practices on
Notification” under the section on the developer in this
chapter);
c) keep at the premises on which the building works are
carried out, and make available on request (at a
reasonable time) by any specialist builder appointed in
respect of specialist building works comprised in those
same building works, all plans of those building works
approved by the CBC and supplied to him by a QP;
d) have an adequate number of construction supervisors

45
working under his direction to assist him (the builder) to
ensure that paragraph (a) above is complied with;
e) within 7 days of the completion of the building works,
certify that the building works have been carried out in
accordance with the provisions of this Act and the building
regulations and deliver that certificate to the CBC;
f) notify the CBC of the appointment and termination of
appointment of any specialist builder appointed by him
(the builder) in respect of any specialist building works
comprised in those same building works;
g) comply with such other duties as may be prescribed in the
building regulations; and

Act S11(4) BCR R25
h) where he becomes unwilling to act or unable, whether by
reason of the termination of his appointment or for any
other reason, to carry out his duties, within 14 days of his
ceasing to carry out his duties, notify the CBC of that fact
and his notification shall be accompanied by a summary
report describing the building works completed by him
and his certificate of completion in such form as the CBC
may require.

Act S11(8)
3.23 For a contravention of sub-paragraph 3.22(b) above, the
Act prescribes that it shall be a defence in any prosecution for
the builder charged to prove to the satisfaction of the court that
he did not know nor could reasonably have discovered the
contravention or non-compliance referred to in the charge.

Duties of Builder to Appoint QP
Act S11(1)

3.24 In some building works where the developer does not
make the appointment of one or more of the QPs (for example in
Design-and-Build projects), the builder has the duty to appoint –

a) the appropriate Design QP to prepare the plans of the
building works (i.e. architectural and structural, where
applicable);
b) the appropriate Supervision QP person to supervise the
carrying out of those building works; and
c) where the building works comprise wholly or partly of any
underground building works –
i. a Design QP(Geo) who may or may not be the same

46
person referred to in (a) above, to prepare the plans
relating to the geotechnical aspects of the
underground building works and
ii. a Supervision QP(Geo) who may or may not be the
same person referred to in (b) above, to supervise the
geotechnical aspects of the underground building
works.

Duty to Cease Works
Act S11(5)

3.25 If any QP becomes unwilling or unable, whether by reason
of the termination of his appointment or for any other reason, to
carry out the QP’s duties under the Act, the builder shall cease or
shall not commence carrying out the building works until another
appropriate QP in respect of those building works is appointed.

SPECIALIST BUILDERS
Act S11(2)

3.26 The Act also prescribes duties for specialist builders acting
in the role of a sub-contractor for specialist building works. A
specialist builder undertaking any specialist building works shall —

a) ensure that the specialist building works are carried out in
accordance with

i. the provisions of this Act and the building regulations;
ii. the relevant plans approved by the CBC; and
iii. any terms and conditions imposed by the CBC;

b) notify the CBC of any contravention of this Act or the
building regulations relating to those specialist building
works, being a contravention which the specialist builder
knows or ought reasonably to know (see the “General
Notes on Implementation Practices on Notification” under
the section on the developer in this chapter);
c) comply with such other duties as may be prescribed in the
building regulations; and

Act S11(4)
d) where he becomes unwilling to act or unable, whether by
reason of the termination of his appointment or for any
other reason, to carry out his duties, within 14 days of his
ceasing to carry out his duties, notify the CBC of that fact.

47

Act S11(8)
3.27 For a contravention of paragraph (b) above, the Act
prescribes that it shall be a defence in any prosecution for the
specialist builder charged to prove to the satisfaction of the
court that he did not know nor could reasonably have
discovered the contravention or non-compliance referred to in
the charge.

Duty to Cease Works
Act S11(5)

3.28 If any QP becomes unwilling or unable, whether by reason
of the termination of his appointment or for any other reason, to
carry out the QP’s duties under the Act, the specialist builder
shall cease or shall not commence carrying out the building
works until another appropriate QP in respect of those building
works is appointed.


ACCREDITED CHECKER

Act S18(1)
3.29 The duties of the AC are given in detail in the Building
Control (Accredited Checkers and Accredited Checking
Organisations) Regulations (see Chapter 4). Under the Act, the
specific duties for an AC and AC(Geo) are as follows:

Main Duty of Accredited Checker
3.30 Any AC who is appointed in respect of any major building
works or who is acting on behalf of an accredited checking
organization shall check the detailed structural plans and design
calculations of the building works in accordance with the
building regulations and shall carry out such other duties as may
be prescribed by those regulations.

Main Duty of Specialist Accredited Checker
3.31 Any AC(Geo) appointed in respect of any underground
building works shall check the geotechnical aspects of those
building works in accordance with the building regulations and
shall carry out such other duties as may be prescribed by those
regulations.


***

48




















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49

CHAPTER 4
ON ACCREDITED CHECKERS






4.1 ACs and AC(Geo)s are like privatized regulators under the
building control system. They are registered under the Building
Control Act and they have a duty to check respectively the
structural and geotechnical design prepared by QPs. This
chapter summarizes the provisions on ACs and AC(Geo)s under
the Act and building regulations.


ACCREDITED CHECKERS AND
SPECIALIST ACCREDITED CHECKERS

4.2 An AC has duties to check the structural elements of
building works whereas an AC(Geo) has similar duties to check
the geotechnical aspects of underground building works.

4.3 The registrations of the ACs and AC(Geo)s are separate
and not connected. An AC cannot perform the duties of an
AC(Geo) and vice versa, unless he is registered as both an AC
and an AC(Geo). Registration is on an annual basis and has to
be renewed.

Who may register?
Act S15(1)

4.4 A person who applies to be registered, or to renew his
registration, as an AC or AC(Geo), as the case may be, shall be
eligible to be so registered or have his registration so renewed if,
and only if —

a) he has paid the prescribed fee for such registration or
renewal;
b) he satisfies the CBC that he has the qualifications and the

50
practical experience (whether in Singapore or elsewhere)
prescribed for an AC, or the specialist qualifications and
the specialist practical experience (whether in Singapore
or elsewhere) prescribed for an AC(Geo), as the case may
be; and
c) he satisfies such other requirements as may be prescribed
for such registration or renewal.

4.5 The applicant for registration to be an AC or AC(Geo) will
be required to submit a professional report and attend an
interview with a Board for reviewing such applications.

Act S15(1)
4.6 The CBC may refuse to register, or to renew the registration
of, a person as an AC or AC(Geo) if, in the opinion of the CBC —

a) the person is not of good character and reputation; or
b) there are reasonable grounds for believing that the person
will not carry out the duties of an AC or AC(Geo), as the
case may be, in accordance with this Act or the building
regulations.

Requirements for Registration as an Accredited Checker
BCR (AC&ACO) R3(1)

4.7 The Building Control (Accredited Checkers and
Accredited Checking Organisations) Regulations prescribes the
following requirements for registration of an AC.

4.8 No person shall be registered under the Act as an AC, or
have his registration as an AC renewed, unless he can satisfy the
CBC that —

a) he is a professional engineer registered under the
Professional Engineers Act in the civil or structural
engineering discipline;
b) he has had, after such registration as a professional
engineer, practical experience in the design or
construction of buildings in Singapore at a professional
level for a period of not less than 10 years;
c) by virtue of his ability, standing in the profession or special
knowledge or practical experience in civil or structural
engineering he is deserving of such distinction; and
d) he is insured against professional liability for a minimum
sum of not less than $500,000.

51

BCR (AC&ACO) R3(2)
4.9 Paragraph (e) shall not apply if the AC undertakes work as
an AC on behalf of an accredited checking organization. In
such cases, the accredited checking organization is required to
have the insurance coverage for professional liability.

Requirements for Registration as a Specialist Accredited Checker
BCR (AC&ACO) R3A(1)

4.10 The Building Control (Accredited Checkers and
Accredited Checking Organisations) Regulations prescribes the
following requirements for registration of an AC(Geo).

4.11 No person shall be registered under the Act as an
AC(Geo), or have his registration as an AC(Geo) renewed, unless
he can satisfy the CBC that –

a) he is a professional engineer registered under the
Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) as a specialist
professional engineer in the specialized branch of
geotechnical engineering;
b) he has —

i. after registration as a professional engineer under the
Professional Engineers Act, practical experience in
civil or structural engineering at a professional level for
a period of not less than 10 years, of which at least 5
years shall be in geotechnical engineering in
Singapore; or
ii. practical experience in civil or structural engineering
for a period of not less than 15 years, of which at least
5 years shall be in geotechnical engineering at a
professional level in Singapore after registration as a
professional engineer under the Professional Engineers
Act;

c) by virtue of his ability, standing in the profession or special
knowledge or practical experience in geotechnical
engineering he is deserving of such distinction; and
d) he is insured against professional liability for a minimum
sum of not less than $500,000.





52
ACCREDITED CHECKING ORGANISATIONS

Act S13(3) S15(3)
4.12 Where the value of building works is more than $10 million,
the Act prescribes that the role of checking shall only be
undertaken by an AC who is a director, partner, member or an
employee of an accredited checking organization.

4.13 An accredited checking organization is registered by the
CBC. Any partnership or corporation may apply and be eligible
for registration as an accredited checking organization if and
only if –

a) it is –

i. a partnership consisting wholly of professional
engineers registered under the Professional Engineers
Act (Cap. 253) or which is licensed under that Act to
supply professional engineering services in Singapore;
or
ii. it is a corporation licensed under the Professional
Engineers Act to supply professional engineering
services in Singapore; and

b) it satisfies the CBC that it meets such requirements as may
be prescribed for such registration.

Requirements for Registration as an Accredited Checking
Organisation
BCR (AC&ACO) R4(1)

4.14 The Building Control (Accredited Checkers and
Accredited Checking Organisations) Regulations prescribes the
following requirements for registration of an accredited checking
organization.

4.15 No firm shall be registered as an accredited checking
organization, or have its registration as an accredited checking
organization renewed, unless —

a) it consists of or has in its employ —

i. an AC registered under the Act;
ii. 2 persons who are professional engineers registered
under the Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) in the

53
civil or structural engineering discipline; and
iii. not less than 2 other persons who are professional
engineers registered under the Professional Engineers
Act in the civil or structural engineering discipline or
who possess such qualifications as will entitle them to
be registered as professional engineers under that Act
in the civil or structural engineering discipline;

b) the AC referred to in paragraph (a)(i) does not undertake
work as an AC on his own behalf or for any other
accredited checking organization;
c) it has an ISO 9001 certification under the scope of
“Structural Design Services”; and
d) it is insured against professional liability for a sum of not less
than $2 million.


DETAILED DUTIES

4.16 The Building Control (Accredited Checkers and
Accredited Checking Organisations) Regulations prescribes
detailed duties for ACs, an AC(Geo)s and accredited checking
organisations. This section collates these duties for easy
reference.

Duties of Accredited Checkers
BCR (AC&ACO) R7(1) R7(2)

4.17 The following duties are prescribed in the Building Control
(Accredited Checkers and Accredited Checking Organisations)
Regulations for an AC.

4.18 An AC shall –

a) evaluate, analyse and review the structural design in the
plans of any building works and perform such original
calculations with a view to determining the adequacy of
the key structural elements of the building to be erected or
affected by building works carried out in accordance with
those plans;
b) verify that the key structural elements designed are
consistent with the layout shown in the architectural plans
and any amendments to those plans; and
c) in relation to any plans of building works carry out the tasks
listed in Schedule D.

54

BCR (AC&ACO) R7(3)
d) notify the CBC of any contravention or non-compliance
with the provisions of the Act or any regulations in
connection with the structural design of any plans of
building works;

BCR (AC&ACO) R8(1)
e) without delay after performing his duty in relation to any
plans of building works, prepare and submit to the CBC —

i. a certificate in Form A set out in the First Schedule;
and
ii. an evaluation report including the analysis and
calculations performed by the AC.

BCR (AC&ACO) R9(1)
4.19 Where the AC has completed his duty in relation to any
plans of building works, he shall without delay submit to the CBC
a declaration that he has no professional or financial interest in
the building works.

BCR (AC&ACO) R7(4)
4.20 For sub-paragraph 4.18(d) above, the Regulations
prescribe that the duty does not apply in respect of any such
contravention or non-compliance which the AC did not know
and could not reasonably have discovered.

Duties of Specialist Accredited Checkers
BCR (AC&ACO) R7A(1) R7A(2)

4.22 The following duties are prescribed in the Building Control
(Accredited Checkers and Accredited Checking Organisations)
Regulations for an AC(Geo).

4.23 An AC(Geo) shall –

a) evaluate, analyse and review the geotechnical aspects of
the underground building works and perform such original
calculations with a view to determining the adequacy of
the geotechnical aspects of those underground building
works to be erected or carried out in accordance with the
plans of those building works;
b) verify that the geotechnical aspects of the underground
building works are consistent with the plans of those
underground building works and any amendments to

55
those plans;
c) in relation to any plans of underground building works
carry out the tasks set out in Schedule E;

BCR (AC&ACO) R7A(3)
d) notify the CBC of any contravention or non-compliance
with the provisions of the Act in connection with any of the
geotechnical aspects of the underground building works;

BCR (AC&ACO) R8(2)
e) without delay after performing his duty in relation to any
plans of building works which comprise wholly or partly of
any underground building works, prepare and submit to
the CBC –

i. a certificate in the Form B set out in the First Schedule;
and
ii. an evaluation report including the analysis and
calculations performed by the AC(Geo).

BCR (AC&ACO) R9(2)
4.24 Where an AC(Geo) has completed his duty in relation to
any plans of underground building works, he shall without delay
submit to the CBC a declaration that he has no professional or
financial interest in those underground building works.

BCR (AC&ACO) R7A(4)
4.25 For sub-paragraph 4.23(d) above, the Regulations
prescribe that the duty does not apply in respect of any such
contravention or non-compliance which the specialist
accredited checker did not know and could not reasonably
have discovered.

Duties of Accredited Checking Organisations
BCR (AC&ACO) R7(3)

4.26 The following duties are prescribed in the Building Control
(Accredited Checkers and Accredited Checking Organisations)
Regulations for an accredited checking organization.

4.27 An accredited checking organization shall –

a) notify the CBC of any contravention or non-compliance
with the provisions of the Act or any regulations in
connection with the structural design of any plans of
building works; and

56

BCR (AC&ACO) R9
b) with each of its directors where it is a corporation or with
every partner if it is a partnership, without delay submit to
the CBC a declaration that it has no professional or
financial interest in the building works.

BCR (AC&ACO) R7(4)
4.28 For sub-paragraph 4.27(a) above, the Regulations
prescribe that the duty does not apply in respect of any such
contravention or non-compliance which the accredited
checking organization did not know and could not reasonably
have discovered.

Minor Building Works
BCR BCR 4
th
Schedule

4.29 The Fourth Schedule of the Building Control Regulations
prescribes the list of minor building works. These are works that do
not require the certification of an AC (see Schedule B of this
Guidebook).



***



57

CHAPTER 5
UNDERGROUND BUILDING
WORKS






5.1 Underground building works are essentially critical building
works that involve deep ground excavations, tunnelling and
foundations for high-rise building (30 storeys or more). Compared
to other types of building works, they have a greater impact on
safety, in particular on the safety of surrounding properties and
structures and the people working in it. To minimize the risks
associated with underground building works, the Act has been
amended to provide additional safeguards for such works. This
chapter describes the additional requirements that have been
introduced for underground building works and explains some of
the details of application.

What are underground building works?
Act S2(1)

5.2 The term ‘underground building works’ has been defined
in the Act and building regulations as any of the following
building works:

a) any excavation or other building works to make —

i. a tunnel with a diameter, width or height of more than
2 metres;
ii. a caisson, cofferdam, trench, ditch, shaft or well with
a depth of more than 6 metres;

b) any building works for constructing, altering or repairing
any earth retaining structure in or for a trench, ditch, shaft
or well with a depth or height of more than 6 metres; or
c) foundation works for buildings of 30 or more storeys high.

58
Requirements for Underground Building Works
5.3 All requirements that apply to normal structural works
apply as well to underground building works. The additional
requirement for underground building works is that the
geotechnical aspects of these works are to be determined by a
geotechnical engineer, i.e. PE(Geo).

Act S8 S11
5.4 Where the building works comprise wholly or partly of any
underground building works, the following QP must be appointed
to undertake the following work:

a) Design QP(Geo) to prepare the plans relating to the
geotechnical aspects of those underground building
works; and
b) Supervision QP(Geo) to supervise the geotechnical
aspects of those underground building works.

5.5 Subject to requirements on independence of project
parties, the Design QP(Geo) and Supervision QP(Geo) may either
be the same person or different persons. See Chapter 2 for
details.

5.6 In practice, a person who possesses all the appropriate
qualifications, and subject to requirements on independence of
project parties, may be appointed as the Design and Supervision
QP for both the structural works and the geotechnical aspects of
underground building works of the same project.

Act S8
5.7 Where the building works comprise wholly or partly of any
underground building works, the developer has to appoint (in
addition to the AC) an AC(Geo) in respect of the geotechnical
aspects of those building works.

5.8 The AC(Geo) does not have to be affiliated with any
accredited checking organization, regardless of the value of the
building works.

5.9 The AC(Geo) has to check the geotechnical aspects of
underground building works and carry out such other duties as
prescribed in the building regulations. See Chapter 4 for details
on the duties of the AC(Geo).



59
Duties of Qualified Person for Geotechnical Aspects
BCR R24A(1)

Design of Geotechnical Aspects
5.10 Every Design QP(Geo) appointed to prepare the plans of
geotechnical aspects of underground building works shall carry
out the following tasks:

TABLE 5.1
BCR Seventh Schedule

DUTIES OF QUALIFIED PERSON PREPARING THE PLANS OF
GEOTECHNICAL ASPECTS OF UNDERGROUND BUILDING
WORKS
1. In the preparation of plans relating to the geotechnical
aspects of any excavation or other building works to
construct a tunnel with a diameter, width or height of more
than 2 metres, the qualified person shall —

a) determine the site investigation, namely type, extent
(which shall include quantity, layout and depth),
method of sampling, coring and laboratory tests results
for the design and construction of the tunnel;
b) analyse the site investigation results and determine the
geotechnical parameters for the design, taking into
consideration onerous water conditions, seepage
pressures, and surcharge, earth, water, construction
and accidental loadings;
c) determine and adopt appropriate method or model
for the analysis and design including the consideration
of drained, undrained and consolidation analyses, and
appropriate drainage conditions;
d) determine suitability of tunnelling method, sequence of
construction, and tunnel support system including face
pressures and ground support system;
e) determine allowable limits of ground deformation and
changes in groundwater and piezometric levels, and
measures to control groundwater where required;
f) analyse the stability of excavation and determine the
ground stabilization or improvement works as

60
appropriate;
g) design soil or rock reinforcement, where applicable,
including the consideration of the structural and
geotechnical capacity;
h) determine the instrumentation and monitoring of
geotechnical engineering parameters such as tunnel
face pressures, pore pressures, water table level,
ground deformation and stresses including the
consideration of location, type and number of
instruments, and frequency of monitoring and
reporting; and
i) assess monitoring results and site conditions to ensure
that the geotechnical aspects during construction are
within design assumptions and parameters at every
critical stage of construction, and review or modify the
design so as to ensure its adequacy as appropriate.

2. In the preparation of plans relating to the geotechnical
aspects of any excavation or any building works for
constructing, altering or repairing any earth retaining
structure (including slope) in or for a caisson, cofferdam,
trench, ditch, shaft or well for supporting earth which has a
depth of more than 6 metres, the qualified person shall —

a) determine the site investigation, namely type, extent
(which shall include quantity, layout and depth),
method of sampling, coring and laboratory tests results
for the design and construction of the earth retaining
structure including earth slope;
b) analyse the site investigation results and determine the
geotechnical parameters for the design of the earth
retaining structure including consideration of onerous
water conditions, seepage pressures, and surcharge,
earth, water, construction and accidental loadings;
c) determine and adopt appropriate method or model
for the analysis and design including the consideration
of drained, undrained and consolidation analyses, and
appropriate drainage conditions;
d) determine suitability of earth retaining structure types
and scheme, and the method and sequence of
construction;

61
e) analyse the stability of the excavation work, taking into
consideration groundwater, drainage and seepage
conditions, basal heave, hydraulic uplift and piping,
and determine the ground stabilization or
improvement works as appropriate;
f) determine allowable limits of ground deformation and
changes in groundwater and piezometric levels, and
measures to control groundwater where required;
g) design tie-backs, soil or rock reinforcement, where
applicable, including the consideration of the
structural and geotechnical capacity;
h) ensure that drawings of the earth retaining structure,
including earth slopes, are consistent with the
calculations relating to the geotechnical aspects;
i) determine the instrumentation and monitoring of
geotechnical engineering parameters such as pore
pressures, water table levels, ground deformation and
stresses including the consideration of location, type
and number of instruments, and frequency of
monitoring and reporting; and
j) assess monitoring results and site conditions to ensure
that the geotechnical aspects during construction are
within design assumptions and parameters at every
critical stage of construction, and review or modify the
design so as to ensure its adequacy as appropriate.

3. In the preparation of plans relating to the geotechnical
aspects of such type of foundation works for buildings of 30
or more storeys, the qualified person shall —

(a) where a caisson, raft or piled-raft foundation is adopted

(i) determine the site investigation, namely type,
extent (which shall include quantity, layout and
depth), method of sampling, coring and laboratory
tests results for the design and construction of the
caisson, raft or piled-raft foundation;
(ii) analyse the site investigation results and determine
the geotechnical parameters, such as soil strength
and deformation characteristics, pile shaft friction,
downdrag, pile base resistance or bearing pressures

62
and pile lateral geotechnical capacity, for the
design of the foundation taking into consideration
the onerous water conditions, seepage pressures,
and loads from surcharge, earth, water and
construction;
(iii) determine and adopt appropriate method or
model for the analysis and design including the
consideration of drained, undrained and
consolidation analyses, and appropriate drainage
conditions;
(iv) determine suitability of the foundation type and the
method of construction;
(v) where applicable, determine and analyse the
negative shaft friction;
(vi) ensure that the drawings of the foundation are
consistent with the calculations relating to the
geotechnical aspects;
(vii) analyse the stability of excavation for the caisson or
raft during construction taking into consideration
groundwater, drainage and seepage conditions,
basal heave, hydraulic uplift and piping, and
determine the ground stabilization or improvement
works as appropriate;
(viii) analyse the forces and deformation of the raft or
pile-raft foundation and stability of the foundation
including the consideration of short-term and long-
term conditions;
(ix) determine the number, location and types of load
tests, analyse the results of load tests; or

(b) where jacked-in piles or driven piles or bored cast in-
place piles or barrettes are adopted —

(i) determine the site investigation including the extent
(which shall include the quantity, layout and
depth), method of sampling, coring and laboratory
tests results for the design and construction of the
piled foundation;
(ii) analyse the site investigation results and determine
the geotechnical parameters such as soil strength
and deformation characteristics, negative skin

63
friction or downdrag, pile shaft friction, founding
depth, pile base resistance, pile group effects,
settlement, bearing capacity, and where
applicable, lateral geotechnical capacity; and
(iii) determine the load tests and analyse results of load
tests to ensure that the pile shaft friction, founding
depth, base resistance, pile movement, and other
appropriate geotechnical parameters are within
the design, and as appropriate, review or modify
the design so as to ensure its adequacy.


Supervision of Geotechnical Aspects
BCR R24A(2)

5.11 Every Supervision QP(Geo) appointed to supervise the
geotechnical aspects of underground building works shall carry
out the following tasks:

TABLE 5.2
BCR Eight Schedule

DUTIES OF QUALIFIED PERSON SUPERVISING THE
GEOTECHNICAL ASPECTS OF UNDERGROUND BUILDING
WORKS
1. In the supervision of geotechnical aspects of any
excavation or other building works to make a tunnel with a
diameter, width or height of more than 2 metres, the
supervising qualified person shall —

a) supervise the implementation of instrumentation and
monitoring of geotechnical parameters in accordance
with the instrumentation and monitoring plan; and
b) assess the ground conditions at the site and
construction of the tunnel in relation to its impact on
the geotechnical aspect of the design and review the
performance and results of instrumentation and
monitoring of the tunnelling works such that the
geotechnical aspects are within the design at every

64
critical stage.

2. In the supervision of geotechnical aspects of any
excavation or any building works for constructing, altering or
repairing any earth retaining structure including slope, in or
for a caisson, trench, ditch, shaft or well with a depth or
height of more than 6 metres, the supervising qualified
person shall —

a) supervise the implementation of instrumentation and
monitoring of geotechnical engineering parameters in
accordance with the instrumentation and monitoring
plan;
b) determine adequacy of the founding or penetration
depth of embedded earth-retaining wall on site; and
c) assess the ground conditions at the site and
construction of the earth retaining structure (including
earth slope) in relation to its impact on the
geotechnical aspect of the design and review the
performance and results of instrumentation and
monitoring of the earth retaining structure including
earth slope such that the geotechnical aspects are
within the design at every critical stage.

3. In the supervision of geotechnical aspects of such type of
foundation works for buildings of 30 or more storeys, the
supervising qualified person shall —

(a) where a caisson, raft or piled-raft foundation is adopted

(i) determine the founding or penetration depth of the
caisson, raft or piles on site; and
(ii) assess the ground conditions at the site and
construction of the caisson, raft or piled-raft
foundation in relation to its impact on the
geotechnical aspect of the design, analyse the
results of load tests, and review the performance
and results of instrumentation and monitoring of the
caisson, raft or piled-raft foundation to verify that
the geotechnical aspects are within the design at
every critical stage; or

65

(b) where jacked-in piles or driven piles or bored cast in-
place piles or barrettes are adopted —

(i) determine the founding or penetration depth of the
piles on site; and
(ii) assess the ground conditions at the site, analyse the
results of load tests, and review the performance and
results of instrumentation and monitoring of the piles
to verify that the geotechnical aspects are within the
design at every critical stage.


Types of Plans for Underground Building Works
BCR R10A

5.12 The Building Control Regulations prescribe the types of
plans that have to be submitted for underground building works.
These are:

a) plans of tunnelling support system;
b) plans of excavation and earth retaining structures;
c) plans of foundation, and
d) instrumentation and monitoring plans.

BCR R10A(2)
5.13 All plans of underground building works shall –

a) be in accordance with the provisions of the Act and these
Regulations and any other requirement of the
Commissioner of Building Control;
b) be signed and endorsed by the Design QP who prepared
the plans and calculations, and by the appropriate AC;
c) bear a certificate by the Design QP who prepared the
plans on the first and last sheets of the calculations stating
that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the design
calculations have been prepared in accordance with
these Regulations and that he is the person who prepared
the design calculations;
d) state on the first page of the certificate by the Design QP
referred to in sub-paragraph (c) the number of pages per
book and a numbering of every page in the book;
e) be accompanied by an Information Sheet giving a

66
summary of the key design and construction information
including, where applicable, load conditions, codes of
practice, assumptions, earth-retaining system, tunnel
support system, foundation system, and other information
relevant to the design and construction in question;
f) be accompanied by impact assessment report on
neighbouring structures and site investigation report;
g) be accompanied by a geotechnical report which shall
contain:

i. a summary to highlight the key elements of the
design and the issues addressed;
ii. evaluation and interpretation of existing
information and investigation and monitoring
results;
iii. assessment of geotechnical parameters and
groundwater conditions;
iv. geotechnical assumptions, analysis, design and
calculations;
v. geotechnical requirements relating to the design
and construction of the underground building
works including testing, validating, controlling,
inspecting and monitoring;
vi. geotechnical reviews;
vii. any other details as the CBC may require; and

h) be accompanied by such other reports as the CBC may
require.

Plans of Tunnel Support Systems
BCR R10A(3)

5.14 The plans of tunnel support system for the design and
construction of tunnel with diameter, width or height of more
than 2 metres, shall contain where applicable –

a) layout, sections and details of all excavation and tunnel
support works showing –

i. subsurface information including plan showing layout
of investigation boreholes and subsurface profile
along each tunnel axis;
ii. maximum depth, and extent of excavation at each
stage including heading, bench and invert;
iii. face pressure and other key performance indicators

67
for ensuring stability of tunnel during construction;
iv. location of planned stoppages and necessary ground
improvement and monitoring details, and
v. profile and the nature of the site and its surrounds
including ground topography, neighbouring
structures, subsurface geological and geotechnical
data, and groundwater conditions;

b) layout, sections, details and material specifications of
tunnel support elements and structures, tunnel face
support system and overall tunnel support system and
other structural elements showing types, sizes and material
specifications of members to be used and the connection
details;
c) layout, sections and details of earth or ground
strengthening, improvement or protection works including
layout, sections and sizes of all elements, material
specifications, details of inspections and tests to be carried
out;
d) method and sequence of construction including duration
and spatial limits of critical activities;
e) details of inspections and tests to be carried out;
f) details of any special precautions, groundwater control
measures, control and protective measures required
during excavation, installation and removal of any tunnel
support element;
g) other specifications and relevant particulars, and
h) such other details as the CBC may require.

Excavation and Earth-Retaining System Plans
BCR R10A(4)

5.15 The excavation and earth retaining system plans for any
excavation or any building works for constructing, altering or
repairing any earth retaining structure (including slope) in or for a
caisson, cofferdam, trench, ditch, shaft or well for supporting
earth which has a depth of more than 6 metres shall contain
where applicable –

a) layout, sections and details of all excavation and earth
retaining works showing –

i. subsurface information including plan showing layout
of investigation boreholes and surface profile along
and across the excavation boundary;

68
ii. maximum depth, and extent of excavation at each
stage, and
iii. profile and the nature of the site and its surrounds
including ground topography, neighbouring
structures, subsurface geological and geotechnical
data, and groundwater conditions;

b) layout, sections, details and material specifications of
earth retaining elements and structures, wall elevation
showing the wall founding depth or penetration depth or
minimum wall embedment requirement, and overall
retaining system;
c) layout, sections and details of struts, anchors, soil nails,
walers, king posts, bracings, corbels and other structural
elements showing types, sizes and material specifications
of members to be used, connection details, and where
appropriate, inspections and tests to be carried out;
d) layout and sections of earth berms or slope showing type
of soils, size and location of berms, internal and external
drainage provisions and protection measures including
against surface weathering;
e) layout, sections and details of earth or ground
strengthening, improvement or protection works including
layout, sections and sizes of all elements, material
specifications, details of inspections and tests to be carried
out;
f) layout, sections and details of permanent support system
to the earth retaining system showing details of lateral
bracing element, and connection details;
g) method and sequence of construction including duration
and spatial limits of critical activities;
h) details of inspections and tests to be carried out;
i) details of any special precautions, groundwater control
measures, control and protective measures required
during excavation, and installation and removal of any
earth retaining element;
j) other specifications and relevant particulars, and
k) such other details as the CBC may require.

Foundation Plans of Buildings with 30 Storeys or More
BCR R10A(5)

5.16 The foundation plans for the design and construction of
foundation for buildings of 30 or more storeys shall contain, where
applicable –

69

a) the layout, sections and details of all foundation works
showing –

i. types of piles or foundation and specification of
material to be used;
ii. location of piles or foundation and site investigation
boreholes;
iii. pile or foundation founding depth or pile minimum
embedment into competent stratum for each pile or
foundation;
iv. unit shaft friction, pile base resistance or foundation
bearing pressure;
v. allowable foundation capacity before and after
accounting for negative skin friction where
applicable, allowable tension, and lateral load;
vi. details of pile reinforcements, pile joints, connection
with pilecap, pile shops;
vii. allowable total and differential foundation
movement, and
viii. allowable vibration limit, and

b) the number, type of pile or foundation tests, structural
integrity tests and location of preliminary test pile or
ultimate load tests and site investigation for the tests.

Instrumentation and Monitoring Plans
BCR R10A(6)

5.17 The instrumentation and monitoring plans shall contain
where applicable –

a) layout and location of neighbouring structures in relation
to the underground building works;
b) numbers, types, locations, details and other particulars of
instruments for monitoring forces and movement of
structural elements, building and ground movements, and
variations in the groundwater or piezometric levels;
c) frequency and duration of monitoring;
d) allowable ground or building movement limits;
e) allowable vibration limits;
f) where applicable, long-term instrumentation, monitoring
and maintenance requirements;
g) other specifications and relevant particulars, and
h) such other details as the CBC may require.

70
Examples of Underground Building Works
5.18 The following are examples to illustrate what are regarded
as underground building works.


(A) EXCAVATION WORKS: SITE OR SLOPE FORMATION

FIGURE 5.1 Example A1

FIGURE 5.2 Example A2


71
FIGURE 5.3 Example A3

FIGURE 5.4 Example A4


72
(B) EXCAVATION WORKS: RETAINING WALLS

FIGURE 5.5 Example B1 (EARTH RETAINING SYSTEM)

FIGURE 5.6 Example B2 (BASEMENT IN SLOPING GROUND)


73
FIGURE 5.7 Example B3 (BASEMENT CONSTRUCTION)


FIGURE 5.8 Example B4 (CONSTRUCTION OF BASEMENT
STRUCTURES)


74
FIGURE 5.9 Example B5: (CONSTRUCTION OF BASEMENT
STRUCTURES)


(C) EARTH RETAINING STRUCTURES

FIGURE 5.10 Example C1: (RETAINING WALL)


75
FIGURE 5.11 Example C2 (RETAINING WALL)

FIGURE 5.12 Example C3 (RETAINING STRUCTURES)


76
FIGURE 5.13 Example C4 (RETAINING WALL)


FIGURE 5.14 Example C5 (ROAD ABUTMENT)


77
(D) OTHER EXCAVATION WORKS

FIGURE 5.15 Example D1 (DRAINAGE WORKS)

FIGURE 5.16 Example D2 (SEWER PIPE)


78
FIGURE 5.17 Example D3 (SEWER MANHOLE)


(E) EARTH FILLING WORKS AND SLOPES

FIGURE 5.18 Example E1 (EMBANKMENT OR DAM)


79
FIGURE 5.19 Example E2 (CAISSON RETAINING WALL)

FIGURE 5.20 Example E3 (A&A OF EXISTING SLOPES)


80
(F) TUNNELING WORKS

FIGURE 5.21 Example F1 (BORED TUNNEL)


FIGURE 5.22 Example F2 (CUT AND COVER TUNNEL)


81
FIGURE 5.23 Example F3 (MINED TUNNEL)


(G) FOUNDATION WORKS

FIGURE 5.24 Example G1


82
(H) MISCELLANEOUS

FIGURE 5.25 Example H1 (INSIGNIFICANT BUILDING WORKS WHERE
SEWER PIPE < 1 M DIAMETER)


FIGURE 5.26 Example H2 (NON BUILDING WORKS)

Underground water pipes, gas pipes and electrical cables are not
building works and excavations made for laying these pipes and
cables do not require submission under the Building Control Act.


***

83

CHAPTER 6
LICENSING OF BUILDERS






This chapter is under construction, pending the completion of the
Building Control (Licensing of Builders) Regulations.


84

















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85

GLOSSARY






Act S2(1)
There are new definitions in the Building Control (Amendment)
Act 2007. Many of them are connected with the new provisions
introduced in the Act, like licensing of builders and requirements
for underground building works. Some are to make the meanings
of the terms used in the Act clearer. This chapter elaborates on
the meanings of these definitions.

The following Table summarizes and explains all the new
definitions, arranged alphabetically.


NEW DEFINITIONS IN THE BUILDING CONTROL ACT
builder’s licence
One of the new provisions in the Act is that builders
have to be licensed to carry out building works. The
builder’s license is granted under Part VA of the Act.
There are two types of licence: the general builder’s
licence and the specialist builder’s licence. Details on
licensing of builders can be found in Chapter 6.
building
The Act elaborates on the term ‘building’ because the
provisions apply to more than the common meaning of
a building. Under the Act, the term refers to any
permanent or temporary building or structure and it
includes the following:
a) a hut, shed or roofed enclosure
b) an earth retaining or stabilizing structure, whether
permanent or temporary (this includes the
temporary earth-retaining structures used to
support the sides of any excavation)
c) a dock, wharf or jetty

86
d) a floating structure, not being a boat or vessel,
constructed or to be constructed on a flotation
system that –
i. is or is to be supported by water
ii. is not intended for or useable in navigation
(boats or vessels used for navigation come
under the Maritime and Port Authority) and
iii. is or is to be permanently moored
e) a culvert, crossing, bridge, underpass or tunnel
f) a sewage treatment plant, sewer, drain, swimming
pool or any non-proprietary type of concrete tank
for the storage of any solid, liquid or gaseous product
g) a shelter provided under the Civil Defence Shelter
Act (Cap. 42A)
h) such other erection or structure (whether permanent
or temporary) as the Minister may, by order
published in the Gazette, declare to be a building.
building works
The provisions in the Act apply to building works and the
term refers to all of the following:
a) the erection, extension or demolition of a building
b) the alteration, addition or repair of a building
c) the provision, extension or alteration of any air-
conditioning service or ventilating system in or in
connection with a building
and includes site formation works connected with or
carried out for the purpose of (a), (b) or (c) above.
developer
A developer, in relation to any building works, means
the person for whom or on whose behalf the building
works are carried out. It includes a housing developer as
defined in the Housing Developers (Control and
Licensing) Act as well as a home owner who –
a) builds on his own, or engages others to build, any
building for his own use or for any other purposes
and
b) carries out, or engages others to carry out, any
building works.



87
earth retaining structure
This term refers to any structure, structural system or
other means used to maintain the shape of an
excavation in the ground during construction, earth
filling or cutting. It includes all earth retaining structures,
whether the structure is to be removed after
construction or left in place as part of a permanent
structure.
general building works
This term refers to any building works except those works
that are defined as specialist building works.
geotechnical aspects
For underground building works, there are special
requirements relating to the geotechnical aspects of
the works. The Act defines the term to mean:
a) an analysis of the geological structure and earth
materials of the site of the underground building
works and its influence on the underground
building works
b) an analysis of the groundwater regime and its
influence on the wall stability and integrity of the
underground building works over time and
c) such other applications of earth sciences to and
engineering aspects of the underground building
works as may be prescribed.
See Chapter 5 for details on these works.
geotechnical engineer
In the Act, this term refers to a professional engineer
who is registered under the Professional Engineers Act
(Cap. 253) as a specialist professional engineer in the
specialized branch of geotechnical engineering. He is
commonly referred to as the PE (Geo) by the industry.
insignificant building works
This term is used in the Act to refer to building works
given in the First Schedule of the Building Control
Regulations (see Schedule A). Insignificant building
works may be carried out without any approval of plans
or permit from the Commissioner of Building Control.

88
key structural elements
This term refers to the foundations, columns, beams,
shear cores, structural walls, struts, ground anchors and
such other parts of a building which are essential for its
support and overall structural stability.
large building works
Large building works are those that have a value of
more than $5 million. For such works, the Act requires
qualified site supervisors to be appointed to carry out
full-time supervision of the structural works.
limited liability partnership
A limited liability partnership is a body corporate which
is formed by being registered under the Limited Liability
Partnerships Act (Cap. 163A) and which has legal
personality separate from that of its partners. This term
has the same meaning as that given in section 2(1) of
the Limited Liability Partnerships Act (Cap. 163A). This
term is used in conjunction with the licensing of builders.
major building works
The Act uses this term to refer to those works that require
an accredited checker to check the structural plans
and design calculations. This applies to all works except
minor building works. However, if there are underground
building works, a specialist accredited checker is
required to check the geotechnical aspects of those
underground building works, irrespective of whether the
works are major or minor.
minor building works
This term refers to those building works that do not
require checking of the structural plans by an
accredited checker. Minor building works are given in
the Fourth Schedule of the Building Control Regulations
(see Schedule B). All underground building works are
not considered as minor building works, hence the
geotechnical aspects of these underground building
works require checking by a specialist accredited
checker.


89
person responsible
This term is used in the Act in relation to an exterior
feature of a building. It generally means the owner of
the building which the exterior feature is installed on,
forms part of or projects outwards from. Exceptions to
this general meaning are summarized in Table below.

Description Person Responsible is
a) Except for a window, grille or
shutter that is part of a flat,
where the exterior feature is
part of the common property
of any housing estate of the
Housing and Development
Board
either the Housing and
Development Board or
the Town Council
established under the
Town Councils Act (Cap.
329A) for that housing
estate, as the Minister
shall designate for that
exterior feature
b) Except for a window, grille or
shutter that is part of a flat,
where the exterior feature is
part of the common property
or limited common property of
any other land (whether or not
comprised in a strata title plan)

the owner thereof
c) Where the exterior feature is
a window, grille or shutter that
is part of a flat in any housing
estate of the Housing and
Development Board
the owner of the flat as
defined in the Housing
and Development Act
(Cap. 129)
d) Where the exterior feature is
a window, grille or shutter that
is part of a flat not in any
housing estate of the Housing
and Development Board
the owner of that flat



90
qualified site supervisor
This term refers to a person appointed (whether alone or
as a member of a team of qualified site supervisors) to
act as a qualified site supervisor under section 10 of the
Act.
small-scale building works
Small-scale building works are those where the value of
the building works does not exceed $5 million. The
carrying out of structural works in small-scale building
works requires only immediate supervision (not full-time)
by an appropriate qualified person, a resident engineer
or a resident technical officer.
specialist accredited checker
This term refers to an accredited checker who is
registered to undertake duties required for the
geotechnical aspects of underground building works.
He is commonly referred to as the AC (Geo) by the
industry.
specialist builder
The term refers to any person who is licensed as a
specialist builder under Part VA of the Act. There are six
types of specialist building works. Each type can only be
carried out by a specialist builder licensed in that
particular specialist work.
specialist building works
This term refers to any of the following six types of
building works. Each category of works can only be
carried out by a specialist builder licensed in that
particular category.
(1) Piling Works
Specialist building works comprising installation and
testing of pre-cast reinforced concrete or pre-
stressed concrete piles, steel piles, bored cast-in-
place reinforced concrete piles, caissons and
special pile types like micro-piles, barrettes piles and
composite piles, embedded retaining wall piles like
diaphragm walls, contiguous bored piles or secant
piles.

91
(2) Ground Support and Stabilization Works
Specialist building works that include installation and
testing of ground anchors, soil nails, rock bolts,
ground treatment like chemical grouting and jet-
grouting, reinforced-earth, shotcreting and tunnel
supports.
(3) Site Investigation Works
Specialist building works comprising field
investigations, exploratory drilling or boring, logging,
sampling, coring, in-situ plate-loading tests, pressure
meter tests, penetration tests, vane shear tests,
probing tests, permeability tests, geological mapping
and geophysical surveys, and installation and
monitoring of instruments measuring forces,
deformation, displacements, pore and earth
pressures, and ground-water levels.
(4) Structural Steelworks
Specialist building works comprising the fabrication
of structural elements, erection work like site cutting,
site welding and site bolting, and installation of steel
supports for underground building works.
(5) Pre-cast Concrete Works
Specialist building works comprising fabrication of
pre-cast structural elements.
(6) In-situ Post-tensioning Works
Specialist building works comprising the setting out of
tendon profiles, laying of conduits, anchorages and
bursting reinforcement, pulling or stressing of cables,
pressure grouting of conduits.
structural elements
This term refers to those parts or elements of a building
that resist forces and moments, and includes
foundations, beams, columns, shear cores, structural
walls, struts, ground anchors, slabs, trusses, staircases,
load bearing walls and all other elements designed to
resist forces and moments. The term specifically
excludes doors, windows and non-load bearing walls.

92
temporary building
A temporary building is any building or structure that is:
a) constructed of short-lived materials, or
b) permitted by the competent authority or
Commissioner of Building Control to be used for a
period not exceeding 36 months, or such other
period as may be prescribed (if prescribed) in the
building regulations.
The Act specifically excludes from this definition any
bridge, decking for a bridge, or any earth retaining
structure.
Building works for a temporary building, and its
occupation, are exempted from Part II of the Act.
Instead, the construction and occupation of a
temporary building need to comply only with the
Building Control (Temporary Buildings) Regulations,
which involves applying for a permit to erect a
temporary building.
underground building works
This term refers to any of the following building works:
a) any excavation or other building works to make —
i. a tunnel with a diameter, width or height of
more than 2 metres
ii. a caisson, cofferdam, trench, ditch, shaft or
well with a depth of more than 6 metres
b) any building works for constructing, altering or
repairing any earth retaining structure in or for a
trench, ditch, shaft or well with a depth or height of
more than 6 metres, or
c) such type of foundation works as the Minister may
prescribe in the building regulations for buildings of
30 or more storeys (The Minister has prescribed all
types of foundation works applicable).
A geotechnical engineer and a specialist accredited
checker have to be appointed to undertake duties
relating to the geotechnical aspects of underground
building works.


93
value of building works
This term has different meanings for two types of
building works as follows:
a) for underground building works, the value is the
total cost to be expended in carrying out those
underground building works, estimated at the time
of, and contained in, the application under section
5 of the Act for approval of the plans of those
building works, including any goods and services
tax payable in relation to the supply of the work.
b) for any other building works, the value is the total
cost to be expended in carrying out the building
works (including the foundations, basements,
structural frame, finishes and the installation of
building services) estimated at the time of, and
contained in, the application under section 5 of
the Act for approval of the plans of the building
works, including any goods and services tax
payable in relation to the supply of the work.
Essentially, the term refers to the estimated total cost to
be expended in carrying out the building works in
question. In the case where only underground building
works are considered, then the estimated cost is limited
to that cost required for carrying out the underground
building works alone.
This term is relevant as a measure for compliance to
several provisions in the Act, such as appointment of
accredited checkers and accredited checking
organisations, and fixing the minimum number of
qualified site supervisors required in the supervision
team.

EXAMPLE
As an example, the value of building works is used to
compute the minimum number of qualified site
supervisors a qualified person or QP has to appoint for
the structural works under his charge.
Let’s take a case of a building project where the total
cost is, say $100 million, inclusive of the total cost of the
underground building works of $30 million. If an
appropriate qualified person is appointed for all aspects

94
(i.e. the structural as well as the geotechnical aspects)
of the underground building works, he will appoint
qualified site supervisors based on the value of $30
million. The qualified person appointed for the rest of the
structural works will appoint qualified site supervisors
based on $70 million.
If two qualified persons are appointed for the
underground building works, i.e. one for the structural
aspects and another for the geotechnical aspects, the
$30 million value will have to be appropriately
apportioned between them to compute their
respective number of qualified site supervisors to
appoint.
The example is based on the arrangement that the
various QPs wishes to make their own appointments of
qualified site supervisors. However, the Commissioner of
Building Control will deem that the supervision team
requirements are complied with if the prescribed
number of qualified site supervisors based on the total
cost of the building works has been appointed and the
supervision of the various relevant aspects of the
building works are done by the appointed team. This
means that as long as the supervision team based on
the total value of works has been appointed, all aspects
of the works in the project may be supervised by this
team, even though there may be different QPs for
various aspects of the building works in the project.



***

95

SCHEDULES
SCHEDULE A
INSIGNIFICANT BUILDING WORKS
The First Schedule of the Building Control Regulations

BUILDING WORKS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE THE APPROVAL OF
PLANS AND PERMIT

1. Building works carried out for or in connection with—
(a) site formation works involving any excavation or
filling not exceeding 1,500mm in depth or height
(b) any trenches for the purpose of laying sewers not
exceeding 1,000 millimetres in diameter in
conjunction with any public sewerage system
(c) any boundary wall, boundary fence or gate
(d) any awning, windowhood or cantilevered roof
constructed of glazed or clay tiles, and having a
projection not exceeding 1,400 mm
(e) any awning, windowhood or cantilevered roof
constructed of lightweight material, and having
a horizontal projection not exceeding 3,000 mm
(f) any single storey trellis, pergola, shelter, gazebo
and the like
(g) any canal or drain not exceeding 1,500 mm in
depth
(h) any box culvert with a span not exceeding 5,000
mm and a depth not exceeding 1,500 mm
(i) any stall or shed of lightweight material within
any premises used for the purpose of holding a
trade fair, fun fair or any exhibition
(j) any pipe rack or support not exceeding 2,000
mm in height
(k) any height restriction gantry

96
SCHEDULE A
(l) any concrete or brick vault used for housing
underground tanks
(m) any plinth, platform or other base with a visible
height not exceeding 1,000 mm from the ground
level and erected for the purpose of supporting
any mechanical plant, tank, equipment,
machinery or other components (other than a
building)
(n) the enclosing of a balcony, yard or terrace with
windows and glass panels in residential buildings
(o) the creation of any opening in a non-load
bearing wall or the sealing up of any wall
opening, or
(p) the demolition, restoration or reinstatement of
any non-load bearing wall
(q) any retaining wall or earth retaining structure that
is constructed with structural steel or reinforced
concrete and with a visible height of not more
than 1,500 millimetres, or any other retaining wall
or earth retaining structure with a visible height of
not more than 1,000 millimetres.
2. Replacement or changing of windows and doors
3. Replacement of existing floor and wall finishes
4. Replacement or changing of any false ceiling with
lightweight material
5. One to one replacement of timber roof and roof
covering
6. Erection or alteration of —
(a) any partition or partition wall in any bungalow,
semi-detached, terrace or linked house, or
(b) any partition or partition wall constructed of
lightweight material in any other building
7. Construction of any raised floor or the topping up of
balconies, and the like, with lightweight materials
8. Erection of any single storey detached booth, kiosk,
guardhouse, bin centre, and the like, not exceeding an
area of 10 square metres

97
SCHEDULE A
9. Installation of any roller shutter or grilled door
10. Erection of any single storey lean-to extension with roof
covering of glazed or clay tiles, or of any lighter
material, in any bungalow, semi-detached, terrace or
linked house, subject to compliance with building set-
back and area of coverage requirements under the
Planning Act (Cap. 232)
11. Erection of any single storey shed or hut not exceeding
an area of 10 square metres for housing fuel tanks,
mechanical or electrical equipment
12. All air-conditioning works
13. Nothing in this Schedule shall exempt any person from
complying with the requirements of any other written
law
14. In this Schedule —
"lightweight material" means —
(a) any sheet or board material such as timber board,
plywood, fibreboard, plasterboard, aluminium
sheet, corrugated metal sheet or polycarbonate
sheet
(b) any concrete product made with lightweight
aggregates such as pumice, perlite or vermiculite,
or
(c) any hollow concrete block, hollow glass block,
autoclaved aerated concrete block and the like
"non-load bearing wall" means a wall which supports
no load other than its own weight
"partition" means a temporary or easily removable
vertical panel of lightweight construction for the
subdivision of spaces within a building.


98

SCHEDULE B
MINOR BUILDING WORKS
The Fourth Schedule of the Building Control Regulations

BUILDING WORKS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE THE CERTIFICATE OF
AN ACCREDITED CHECKER

1. Building works for or in connection with –

(a) detached houses, semi-detached houses, terraced
or linked houses for residential purposes not
exceeding 3 storeys
(b) detached substations not exceeding 2 storeys,
detached bin centres, detached guard houses and
the like
(c) retaining walls and earth stabilizing structures not
exceeding a visible height of 4m
(d) shophouses not exceeding 2 storeys (where attic or
basement floor exceeding an area of 100 m2 shall
be considered as a storey)
(e) single storey buildings, sheds and the like where the
span of beams or roof trusses is not more than 6m
and the floor area is not more than 150 m2
(f) underground tank, swimming pool and the like not
exceeding a depth of 4m
(g) single storey covered walkway, car parking shed
and the like where the span of the beams or roof
trusses is not more than 6m or the span of any
cantilever is not more than 3m
(h) box culverts, canal crossings or link bridges with
spans not exceeding 5m
(i) chimneys, lighting masts and the like not exceeding
20m in height
(j) foundation for above ground tank structure where
the length, width or diameter of the foundation
does not exceed 6m
(k) foundation for gantry cranes with capacity not
exceeding 3 tonnes and the span between supports
not exceeding 6m in any direction


99

SCHEDULE C
SCOPE OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
The Third Schedule of the Building Control Regulations

No qualified person shall prepare or sign the plans of
building works 
(a) for any of the projects listed in Part I unless he is a
professional engineer
(b) for any of the projects listed in Part II unless he is a
professional engineer or an architect except that for
structural components and works relating to such
projects, the structural plans shall be prepared by a
professional engineer, and
(c) for any other project not listed in Parts I and II unless he
is an architect except that for structural components
and works relating to such projects, the structural
plans shall be prepared by a professional engineer

PART I
(a) Airport runways, taxiways and aprons
(b) Bridges, causeways, tunnels and underpasses
(c) Bulk handling complexes
(d) Chimneys
(e) Claddings and curtain walls
(f) Crane gantries
(g) Concrete tanks
(h) Culverts
(i) Dry docks, jetties, quays, slipways, harbours, wharves
and marine structures
(j) Retaining wall and stabilizing earth structures
(k) Site formation works, foundations and plinths
(l) Transmission towers

PART II
(a) Alterations, additions and extensions to detached, semi-
detached and terraced houses
(b) Alterations and additions within existing buildings which do

100
SCHEDULE C
not affect the building envelope
(c) Bus depots and train depots
(d) Cable car stations and towers
(e) Electric substations
(f) Power stations
(g) Grandstands and sports stadium
(h) Helicopter ports
(i) Industrial buildings
(j) Marinas
(k) Petrol service stations
(l) Pumping stations
(m) Satellite tracking stations
(n) Shipyards
(o) Silos
(p) Swimming pools
(q) Warehouses and godowns
(r) Pedestrian overhead bridges
(s) Farm structures



101

SCHEDULE D
TASKS THAT MUST BE CARRIED OUT BY
ACCREDITED CHECKERS
The Second Schedule of the Building Control (Accredited and
Accredited Checking Organisations) Regulations

The accredited checker in relation to any plans of building
works (but not the geotechnical aspects of any
underground building works comprised in those building
works) shall —
a) determine and use the Code of Practice adopted in
the preparation of the structural design in the plans
of building works
b) check the design loadings and, where applicable,
wind loading
c) ascertain the design assumptions and limitations of
the computer program used in the analysis of the
structural design
d) use appropriate engineering information and
models in the analysis for the structural design
e) check the standards and specifications of materials
to be used in the building works
f) ascertain the structural design concept used and
identify the key structural elements
g) determine the stability and robustness of the
structural system, including considerations for lateral
loads, lateral ties, bracings and lateral transfer of
loads
h) analyse all key structural elements and the
foundation system of the building to be erected or
affected by building works carried out in
accordance with the plans of building works
i) analyse all piles used in foundations, including
considerations for structural capacity, geotechnical
capacity, lateral load effects, uplift effects, pile
group effects, differential settlement of supporting
structures, negative skin friction effects and pile joint
capacities
j) analyse all earth retaining structures, including
considerations for surcharge loads, overburden

102
SCHEDULE D
pressure and water pressure
k) analyse all columns and vertical key structural
elements, including considerations for axial loads,
lateral loads and bending moments
l) analyse all long span steel trusses and long span
beams, including considerations for lateral stability
and torsional capacity
m) analyse all transfer beams, including considerations
for torsional capacity, lateral stability and the effects
of the structural frames to which they are
connected
n) analyse all joint connections, including connections
between structural elements and between the
structural element and its supports
o) check the structural detailing in drawings and
ensure that these are consistent with the design
calculations and
p) determine the adequacy of other aspects of the
design which are peculiar to the building to be
erected or affected by the building works and
which are essential to the structural integrity of the
building.






103

SCHEDULE E
TASKS THAT MUST BE CARRIED OUT BY SPECIALIST
ACCREDITED CHECKERS
The Third Schedule of the Building Control (Accredited and
Accredited Checking Organisations) Regulations

The specialist accredited checker in relation to the
geotechnical aspects of any underground building works shall

(a) in respect of any excavation or other building works to
construct a tunnel with a diameter, width or height of more
than 2 metres —
(i) review the adequacy of the site investigation,
namely type, extent (which shall include quantity,
location and depth) and laboratory tests results
relating to the design and construction of the
tunnel;
(ii) review the site investigation results and the
geotechnical parameters for the design, taking into
consideration onerous water conditions, seepage
pressures, surcharge, earth, water, construction and
accidental loadings;
(iii) review the method or model adopted for the
analysis and design including the consideration of
drained, undrained and consolidation analyses,
and appropriate drainage conditions;
(iv) review the suitability of tunnelling methods,
sequence of construction and tunnel support
systems (including face pressures and ground
support systems) to be applied;
(v) review allowable limits of ground deformation and
changes in groundwater and piezometric levels,
and measures to control groundwater where
required;
(vi) review the stability of excavation and ground
stabilization or improvement works as appropriate;
(vii) review soil or rock reinforcement, where applicable,
including the consideration of the structural and
geotechnical capacity;
(viii) review the adequacy of instrumentation and

104
SCHEDULE E
monitoring of geotechnical engineering
parameters (such as tunnel face pressures, pore
pressures, water table level, ground deformation
and stresses), including the consideration of
location, type and number of instruments, and
frequency of monitoring and reporting; and
(ix) review the instrumentation and monitoring results,
and performance, and ground conditions at the
site to ensure that there is no inadequacy in the
geotechnical aspects during construction if carried
out in accordance with the plans of the
underground building works;

(b) in respect of any excavation or any building works for
constructing, altering or repairing any earth retaining structure
(including earth slopes) in or for a caisson, cofferdam, trench,
ditch, shaft or well with a depth of more than 6 metres —
(x) review the adequacy of the site investigation,
namely type, extent (which shall include quantity,
layout and depth) and laboratory tests results
relating to the design and construction of the earth
retaining structure (including earth slopes);
(xi) review the site investigation results and the
geotechnical parameters for the design of the
earth retaining structure, including consideration of
onerous water conditions, seepage pressures,
surcharge, earth, water, construction and
accidental loadings;
(xii) review the method or model adopted for the
analysis and design, including the consideration of
drained, undrained and consolidation analyses,
and appropriate drainage conditions;
(xiii) review the suitability of earth retaining structure
types and scheme, and the method and sequence
of construction to be applied;
(xiv) review the stability of the excavation work, taking
into consideration groundwater, drainage and
seepage conditions, basal heave, hydraulic uplift
and piping, and any ground stabilization or
improvement works as appropriate;
(xv) review allowable limits of ground deformation and

105
SCHEDULE E
changes in groundwater and piezometric levels,
and measures to control groundwater where
required;
(xvi) review the design of tie-backs, soil or rock
reinforcement, where applicable, including the
consideration of the structural and geotechnical
capacity;
(xvii) review the instrumentation and monitoring of
geotechnical engineering parameters (such as
pore pressures, water table levels, ground
deformation and stresses), including the
consideration of location, type and number of
instruments, and frequency of monitoring and
reporting;
(xviii) review the instrumentation and monitoring results
and performance of the earth retaining structure
(including any earth slope), and ground conditions
at the site to ensure that there is no inadequacy in
the geotechnical aspects during construction if
carried out in accordance with the plans of the
underground building works; and
(xix) review the adequacy of the founding or
penetration depth of any embedded earth-
retaining wall;

(c) in respect of such type of foundation works for buildings of
30 or more storeys —

(i) where caissons, rafts or piled-raft foundation are adopted —
(A) review the adequacy of the site investigation, namely
type, extent (which shall include quantity, layout and
depth) and laboratory tests results relating to the design
and construction of the caisson, raft or piled-raft
foundation;
(B) review the site investigation results and the
geotechnical parameters (such as soil strength and
deformation characteristics, pile shaft friction,
downdrag, pile base resistance or bearing pressures
and pile lateral geotechnical capacity) for the design of
the foundation, taking into consideration the onerous
water conditions, seepage pressures, and loads from

106
SCHEDULE E
surcharge, earth, water and construction;
(C) review the method or model adopted for the analysis
and design, including the consideration of drained,
undrained and consolidation analyses, and appropriate
drainage conditions;
(D) review the adequacy of the foundation type and the
method of construction to be applied;
(E) where applicable, review the negative shaft friction;
(F) review the stability of excavation for the caisson or raft
during construction, taking into consideration
groundwater, drainage and seepage conditions, basal
heave, hydraulic uplift and piping, and any ground
stabilization or improvement works as appropriate;
(G) review the forces and deformation of the raft or pile-raft
foundation and stability of the foundation, including the
consideration of short-term and long-term conditions;
(H) review the results of load tests to ensure that pile shaft
friction, base resistance, pile movement and other
appropriate geotechnical parameters are consistent
with the design;
(I) review allowable limits for foundation movement;
(J) review the adequacy of the founding or penetration
depth to ensure that the geotechnical aspects are
within the design; and
(K) review the ground conditions at site and test results for
the design and construction of the caisson, raft or piled-
raft foundation to ensure that there is no inadequacy in
the geotechnical aspects if carried out in accordance
with the plans of the underground building works;

(ii) where jacked-in piles or driven piles or bored cast in-place
piles or barrettes are adopted —
(A) review the adequacy of the site investigation including
the extent (which shall include the quantity, layout and
depth) and laboratory tests results relating to the design
and construction of the piled foundation;
(B) review the site investigation results and the geotechnical
parameters, such as soil strength and deformation
characteristics, negative skin friction or downdrag, pile
shaft friction, founding depth, pile base resistance, pile

107
SCHEDULE E
group effects, settlement, bearing capacity, and where
applicable, lateral geotechnical capacity;
(C) review the load tests results to ensure that the pile shaft
friction, founding depth, base resistance, pile
movement, and other appropriate geotechnical
parameters are within the design;
(D) review the adequacy of founding or penetration depth
of piles; and
(E) review the ground conditions at site and test results for
the design and construction of the piled foundation with
a view to determining whether there is any inadequacy
in the geotechnical aspects if carried out in
accordance with the plans of the underground building
works.





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