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An overview of the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 & the Amendments 2007 [Part

1/5]

Author's Note:
This paper was compiled and started in 2007 when the Certificate of
Completion and Compliance was just enforced but there was still much
discussions on its implementation. It was an attempt to understand the UBBL
1984 as well as its amendments which included the CCC and to share the
understanding with engineering students as the audience. The paper was
revised in 2009 and now uploaded to be shared with a larger audience.

Badrul Hisham Mohamad Said 2011


NB: References used for this paper is listed at the end of the series

UBBL 1984

1.0 INTRODUCTION

This paper is intended as an overview of the current legislations governing


building and construction industry in Malaysia.

The paper is not meant to be a comprehensive discourse on all the laws


concerning property development and construction. Nonetheless, it will give a
specific review on the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 / Amendments 2007 that
had undergone significant amendments, as well as touching on the principal
Act 133 - Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974 / Act A1286 - Amendment 2007,
in light of the implementation of the Certificate of Completion and Compliance
[CCC].

1.1 LAWS AND THE PROFESSIONALS IN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

To understand the extent of the arm of the law in the building and construction
industry it is best to illustrate the effects of some of these Acts in a property
development. The following is a general idea of the coverage of the various
Acts in property development procedures and construction processes:

DEVELOPERS

In order to start a property development on a piece of land, a developer and


his consultants, especially the surveyors and town planners and to a lesser extent
the architect and engineers, must understand the provisions in the National
Land Code, 1965. As an example, before turning a piece of land into a
developable real estate, the property developer will need to ascertain the
Category of Land Use and Express Conditions and Restrictions in Interest of the
said land. The developer must decide whether it will be necessary to convert its
Category of Land Use from Agriculture into Building or Industry and to undertake
Amalgamation or Sub-division exercise or Surrender and Re-alienation of the
land. The developer should also be familiar with the Land Acquisition Act, 1960, if
the development involves acquisition of land by the Government for public use
or of economic benefits to the public.

As the property developer moves deeper into the development processes and
beyond land matters, the developer should be very well versed with Housing
Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 and Strata Titles Act, 1985. These
Acts govern commercial developments of landed and stratified properties and
among others the ways to conduct the construction, sale transactions and full
development of the properties.

TOWN PLANNERS

Simultaneously, a town planner will start work on a master plan of the proposed
development. In addition to the National Land Code, 1965 and the Land
Acquisition Act, 1960, the town planner will also need to understand the relevant
Acts and guidelines which bound his town planning designs. This is especially
true with the Local Government Act, 1976, the Town and Country Planning Act,
1976 and the Environmental Quality Act, 1974. For instance, the requirement for
Planning Approval links the Town and Country Planning Act, 1976 directly to the
National Land Code, 1965. In this instance, a Surrender and Re-Alienation
exercise for the land under the National Land Code, 1965 will not be considered
until a Planning Approval is obtained under the Town and Country Planning Act,
1976.

ARCHITECTS

The architect will definitely look at aesthetics and functions as the prime movers
of a design. However, the architect must also be as concerned with the
requirements of the relevant building by-laws, i.e. with respect to requirements
such as access, lighting, health, safety, ventilation, and fire protection. To
achieve the balance between good design, great functionality and the law,
the architect will need to comprehend the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984,
which was enacted under Section 133 of the Street, Drainage & Building Act,
1974, and the relevant Malaysian Standards governing design parameters such
as the quality of building materials and performance, and access for the
handicapped.

If the architect is involved with the development from the earliest stages, he
must also be familiar with the National Land Code, 1965, the Land Acquisition
Act, 1960, the Local Government Act, 1976, the Town and Country Planning Act,
1976 and the Environmental Quality Act, 1974. If the architect is involved with
commercial developments, he should also be very well versed with the Housing
Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 and Strata Titles Act, 1985, as he
will be a party to the certification processes described in these Acts.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERS

The environmental engineer will also be looking into the Environmental Quality
Act, 1974. The Act plays an important role in the protection of the environment.
Normally, the environmental engineer will be required to prepare an
Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] report for developments tracts of land
over 50 hectares. Nonetheless, only with inputs of other professionals, e.g.
architects, civil engineers and planners, who are guided by the various Acts
related to their professions, that the environmental engineers would be able
produce the EIA report.

CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS

To design the infrastructure and services for a development, a civil engineer will
need to know the regulations governing their designs for earthworks, roads and
drains, water supply, sewerage and the like. Hence, it will be useful for a civil
engineer to be acquainted with some details in Acts such as the Drainage
Works Act, 1954, the Irrigation Areas Act, 1953, the Environmental Quality Act,
1974, the Sewerage Services Act, 1993, the Waters Act, 1920 and also the Street,
Drainage & Building Act, 1974,

A geotechnical engineer may wish to know about soil properties and the
underground nature of the development land, but a structural engineer will
work within a prescribed standards and laws in order to design structures.

The structural engineer’s main concern is to ensure the stability and soundness of
buildings’ foundations, sub-structures and super-structures, which nowadays are
usually of steel or concrete. Additionally, concrete work usually involves
additional requirements for the concrete to withstand fire, high impact and, its
ability to prevent or water leakages or seepages.

Even though quite a number of structural engineers refer to the British Standards
and related British references for their design guidelines, some of these
conditions and requirements are actually covered in the Uniform Building By-
Laws, 1984.

If the C&S engineer is involved in commercial developments, they should also


be very well versed with the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act,
1966 and the Strata Titles Act, 1985, similar to the architects, as the C&S engineer
will be a party to the certification processes described in the said Acts.

MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS

The M&E engineer will be most concerned with the efficient delivery of all of the
building services. Their scope of work varies greatly between small buildings, and
tall and large buildings. Definitely, for large and tall buildings, the M&E engineer
must be very familiar with the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984, in particular its fire
protection system, lighting and mechanical ventilation requirements. In addition,
they should also be very conversant with the Factories and Machinery Act, 1967
for guidelines on building transportations such as lifts and escalators, the Fire
Services Act, 1988 for additional fire protection requirements, the Electricity
Supply Act, 1990, the Sewerage Services Act, 1993, the Communications and
Multimedia Act, 1988 and the Waters Act, 1920.

Like his counterparts, the architects and the C&S engineers, if the M&E engineer
is involved with commercial developments, he should also be very well versed
with the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 and the Strata
Titles Act, 1985, as he will be a party to the certification processes described in
these Acts.

BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS

Builders and contractors are also bound by the same regulations governing the
consultants; particularly the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 and its principal Act,
the Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974. However, Occupational Safety and
Health Act, 1994 [OSHA] and the Construction Industry Development Board Act,
1994 [CIDB] are two of the Acts most identifiable with the construction industry.

For specialist contractors, especially M&E contractors, the Factories and


Machinery Act, 1967, the Electricity Supply Act, 1990, the Sewerage Services
Act, 1993, the Communications and Multimedia Act, 1988 and the Waters Act,
1920 are very relevant to their work.

The Standards of Malaysia Act, 1995 is the main Act the CIDB refers to in its
pursuit for an Industrialised Building System [IBS] wherein CIBD advocates to the
industry to adopt a construction process that utilises techniques, products,
components, and/or building systems which involve pre-fabricated components
and on-site installation. Of particular interest to the construction industry are the
standardised Pre-cast Concrete Structural Framing, Panel and Box Systems, Steel
Formwork and Framing Systems, Prefabricated Timber Framing Systems and
Block Work Systems.
With the implementation CCC, builders and contractors are now required to be
responsible and accountable under UBBL and the related Acts for their
handiworks.

ABSTRACT

In summary, none of the players in the industry, be they property developers,


building contractors or construction professionals such as architects, engineers,
surveyors and town planners, can work without being governed or at least
taking consideration of or making references to the Acts and Regulations of the
land.

The Acts that have been referred herein so far are:


1. Act 56 - National Land Code, 1965
2. Act 117 – Architects Act, 1967 / A1287 Amendments 2007
3. Act 118 – Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 / Act A1289
Amendment 2007
4. Act 127 – Environmental Quality Act, 1974
5. Act 133 - Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974 / Act A1286 Amendment 2007
6. Section 133 . By-Laws of Act 133 - Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 /
Amendment 2007
7. Act 138 – Registration of Engineers Act, 1976 / A1288 Amendments 2007
8. Act 139 - Factories and Machinery Act, 1967
9. Act 171 – Local Government Act, 1976
10. Act 172 - Town and Country Planning Act, 1976
11. Act 318 – Strata Titles Act, 1985 / Act A1290 Amendments 2007
12. Act 341 - Fire Services Act, 1988
13. Act 418 - Waters Act, 1920
14. Act 447 - Electricity Supply Act, 1990
15. Act 486 – Land Acquisition Act,1960
16. Act 508 - Sewerage Services Act, 1993
17. Act 514 - Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1994
18. Act 520 - Construction Industry Development Board Act, 1994
19. Act 588 - Communications and Multimedia Act, 1988
An overview of the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 & the Amendments 2007 [Part
2]

2.0 THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Before going farther into the discourse, it is best to look into how the many laws
governing buildings and construction came into existence.

It was widely believed that in 1974, the second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak,
had a vision to make the local governments undertake more than their
traditional roles of maintaining public sanitation and general welfare of their
residents. He had a vision to turn the local governments into agents or catalysts
for industrial, commercial and residential developments. The local governments
were also to be turned into effective organisations to bring about development
activities within their localities.

2.1 ACT 171 - LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1976

The aforementioned vision was then drafted into Act 171 - the Local
Government Act, 1976. Effectively, Act 171 was a replacement and
consolidation of the many separate laws governing local authorities which were
inherited from the colonial era:

1. Town Boards Enactment of the Federated Malay States [F.M.S. Cap. 137],
2. Municipal Ordinance of Straits Settlements [Cap. 133],
3. Johore Town Boards Enactment [Johore No. 118],
4. Municipal Enactment of Kelantan, 1938 [No. 20/1938],
5. Town Boards Enactment of Trengganu, 1955 [Cap. 64 3/1955],
6. Local Councils Ordinance, 1952

and a post-independence Act:


7. Local Government (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1973

Under the Local Government Act, 1976, State Government, in consultation with
the Ministry of Housing & Local Government and the Election Commission, may
set up a Local Authority, make known its status as a Municipal or District Council,
declare its area and, define its boundaries.

Currently there are 145 Local Governments or Authorities [including


WP/Putrajaya] in the country, of which 98 are in the Peninsular & 22 are in Sabah
and 25 are in Sarawak. Of these, 9 are City Councils/Halls [Majlis/Dewan
Bandaraya], 37 are Municipal Councils [Majlis Perbandaran], and 98 are District
Councils [Majlis Daerah].

These Local Authorities are vested by the Local Government Act, 1976 to control
development of the land within their respective areas. The Act also empowers
the Local Authorities to involve in social, economic and infrastructural
developments, and act as catalysts for industrial, commercial and housing
development - in addition to their basic functions to oversee the amenities
within their boundaries.

2.2 ACT 172 - TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT, 1976

Act 172 - the Town and Country Planning Act, 1976 was proposed concurrent
with Act 171 – the Local Government Act, 1976. The former was adopted from
the British System of Town Planning (The Development Plan System) as a
replacement of the older “Master Plan” System which was found to be inflexible
for rapid development of urban areas. The Town and Country Planning Act,
1976 fundamentally instituted a uniform planning legislation which covers all the
states.

The Town and Country Planning Act, 1976 sets the framework for Local
Authorities to:
1. Formulate Structure Plans - policies on social, economic and physical
characters within their boundaries, and

2. Use the same as guidelines for the preparation of Local Plans, which are set to
control the use of land and buildings and property developments,

2.3 ACT 133 - STREET, DRAINAGE & BUILDING ACT, 1974

Upon independence, the governmental system for Malaysia was divided into
three platforms, namely Federal, State and Local Governments. Prior to the
introduction of Act 171 – the Local Government Act, 1976, these Local
Governments or Authorities, i.e. the town or municipal councils, had written
separate laws and regulations under the provisions of the various pre-
independence town boards and municipal enactments and ordinances,
mentioned earlier, to suit their local needs and requirements. These varying laws
and regulations had created confusions and distress among the industry players.
For instance, architects and engineers then had to submit building plans and
other documentation of various standards to comply with the variety of Local
Authorities’ peculiarities.

To consolidate the differences, many sections of these pre-independence


enactments and ordinances of the Local Governments which were related to
street, drainage and building were repealed or absorbed into this Act 133 - the
Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974. This Act however is only applicable in West
Malaysia.

Since, this Act is the principal Act to the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 [UBBL],
which is the main topic of this paper, we shall refer to its latest amendments
which affect the UBBL directly.

Extracts of Act A1286

STREET, DRAINAGE AND BUILDING (AMENDMENT) ACT 2007


An Act to amend the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974.
(1) This Act may be cited as the Street, Drainage and Building (Amendment) Act
2007.
(2) This Act shall apply only to Peninsular Malaysia.

Amendment of section 3

2. The Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 [Act 133], which is referred to as
the “principal Act” in this Act, is amended in section 3
(a) by inserting after the definition of “building”
the following definition:
‘ “building plans” means plans that include site plans, key plans, floor plans,
sections and elevations as set out specifically in any by-laws made under this
Act;’;

Redefinition of Certificate of Fitness for Occupation to Certificate of Completion


and Compliance

(b) by substituting for the definition of “Certificate of fitness for occupation,


temporary certificate of fitness for occupation and partial certificate of fitness
for occupation”
the following definition:
“certificate of completion and compliance”

Redefinition of Qualified Person to Principal Submitting Person

(d) by inserting after the definition of “premises”


the following definition:

‘ “principal submitting person” means a qualified person who submits building


plans to the local authority for approval in accordance with this Act or any by-
laws made thereunder and includes any other qualified person who takes over
the duties and responsibilities of or acts for the first mentioned qualified person;’;
(e) by substituting for the definition of “qualified person”
the following definition:

‘ “qualified person” means a Professional Architect, Professional Engineer or


building draughtsman registered under any written law relating to the
registration thereof;’;

Specifically for Structural Engineers

and
(f) by inserting after the definition of “structural plan” the following definition:

‘ “submitting person” means a qualified person who submits plans other than
building plans to the local authority or relevant statutory authority in
accordance with this Act or any by-laws made thereunder and includes any
other qualified person who takes over the duties and responsibilities of or acts for
the first mentioned qualified person;’.

Increase of Penalties for Contravening the Act

Amendment of section 70

5. Section 70 of the principal Act is amended—

(f in subsection (11), by substituting for the words “one thousand” the words
“twenty-five thousand”;
(g) in subsection (12) —

(i) by substituting for the words “one thousand” the words “twenty-five
thousand”; and
(ii) by substituting for the words “one hundred” the words “five hundred”;
(h) in subsection (13)—

(i) by substituting for the words “ten thousand ringgit” the words “fifty thousand
ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both”;
and

(ii) by substituting for the words “two hundred and fifty” the words “one
thousand”;

Issuance of CCC by the Principal Submitting Person

(l) by inserting after subsection (19) the following subsections:

“Issuance of certificate of completion and compliance

(20) No certificate of completion and compliance shall be issued except by a


principal submitting person in accordance with the time, manner and
procedure for the issuance thereof as prescribed by this Act or any by-laws
made thereunder.

(21) Before the issuance of a certificate of completion and compliance, it shall


be the duties and responsibilities of the principal submitting person to —

(a supervise the erection of the building to ensure that the erection is in


conformity with the approved plans and the requirements of the provisions of
this Act or any by-laws made thereunder;

(b) ensure that the building has been duly constructed and completed in
conformity with the approved plans and the requirements of this Act or any by-
laws made thereunder and that all technical conditions imposed by the local
authority has been duly complied with;
and
(c) ensure that the building is safe and fit for occupation.

The Rights of the Local Authorities to Issue Notice of Compliance to the


Approved Plans

(22) Nothing contained in this Act shall affect the powers conferred on the local
authority by this Act or any by-laws made thereunder pertaining to the erection
and construction of a building for the purpose of ensuring that the erection and
construction of such building are in conformity with the approved plans and the
provisions of this Act or any by-law made thereunder.

(23) If it appears to the local authority that a noncompliance with the approved
plans and provisions of this Act or any by-laws made thereunder by the principal
submitting person has occurred in the erection and construction of the building,
the local authority may issue to the principal submitting person—

(a) a notice in writing, requiring compliance within the period specified in the
notice, as the local authority thinks fit, in order that the noncompliance be
rectified; and

(b) a directive in writing to withhold the issuance of the certificate of completion


and compliance until such non-compliance has been rectified.

Penalty for Contravening the Act on the Issuance of CCC or Allowing


Occupancy without CCC

(27) Any person who—

(a) is not the principal submitting person but issues a certificate of completion
and compliance;

(b) issues a certificate of completion and compliance without the relevant forms
as prescribed in any by-laws made under this Act;

(c) issues a certificate of completion and compliance in contravention of a


direction given by the local authority to withhold such issuance pending
rectification of any noncompliance;

(d) knowingly makes or produces or causes to be made any false or fraudulent


declaration, certificate, application or representation of any form prescribed in
any by-laws made under this Act;

(e) uses any forged, altered or counterfeit declaration, certificate, application


or representation of any form prescribed in any by-laws made under this Act
knowing the declaration, certificate, application or representation have been
forged, altered or counterfeited; or

(f) occupies or permits to be occupied any building or any part thereof without
a certificate of completion and compliance,
shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty
thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to
both.”.

2.4 THE CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION AND COMPLIANCE [CCC]

The Prime Minister, in 2004, called for a replacement of the Certificate of Fitness
for Occupation [CFO] by the Local Authorities with self-certification by
construction professionals. The intention was to improve the efficiency of
building delivery system. In 2007, the parliament amended among others the
Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 [UBBL] and the Street, Drainage & Building Act,
1974 to effect the issuance of the CCC by Professional Architects or Professional
Engineers or Registered Building Draughtsmen [the latter is limited to buildings
not exceeding 2-storeys and an area less than 300sqm]. These individuals, who
were previously known as the “qualified person”, are now known as the
“Principal Submitting Person” [PSP] under the amended Act.

Most importantly, from April 12, 2007 onwards PSPs will issue the Certificate of
Completion and Compliance or the “CCC” to legalise the occupation of all
buildings as a replacement to the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation [CFO].
Thus, the PSPs are taking over the responsibilities of the Local Authorities [Pihak
Berkuasa Tempatan or PBT] to issue CFO.

Hence, all development projects where the Building Plans are submitted from
April 13, 2007, will be certified fit for occupation by the PSP without requiring the
Local Authorities consent.

Controls on CCC

The government sees it fit for professionals to undertake the CCC system
because there is a check-and-balance being introduced in the system in the
form of “Matrix of Responsibility”. A total of 21 Certification Forms will be
endorsed along the entire constructional process.
These forms are gazetted as Schedules [Form G1 – G21] under the revised
Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 – Amendment 2007.

The relevant sub-contractors and/or licensed trade contractors and the PSP shall
certify each of the 21 Form Gs that each stage of the works has been
completed in accordance with the Approved Building Plans. Thus, the Matrix of
Responsibility with the implementation of the 21 Forms Gs will make everyone
accountable for their respective scope of work.

For the implementation of CCC, six [6] Acts were amended. There were the
following:
1. Act 117 – Architects Act, 1967 / Act A1287 Amendments 2007

Amendments: Increased penalty for wrongful certification & express provisions


on fraudulent certification

2. Act 118 – Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 / Act A1289
Amendment 2007

Amendments: Redefinition to suit CCC & Vacant Possession [VP] issued together
with CCC
3. Act 133 - Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974 / Act A1286 Amendment 2007

Amendments: Provisions for implementation of CCC, definition of Principal


Submitting Person & increased penalty for wrongful certification
4. Act 133 – Section 133 - Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 / Amendments 2007

Amendments: Provisions for implementation of CCC & introduction of Form Gs


[Matrix of Responsibility]
5. Act 138 – Registration of Engineers Act, 1976 / Act A1288 Amendments 2007

Amendments: Increased penalty for wrongful certification & express provisions


on fraudulent certification
6. Act 318 – Strata Titles Act, 1985 / Act A1290 Amendments 2007
Amendments: Redefinition to suit CCC
Nonetheless, the Local Authorities are empowered to stop the issuance of the
CCC in the event of non-compliance with the conditions of the building plans
approval and/or the relevant Acts.

Limitations & Exclusions

The issuance of CCC is restricted to technical issues concerning health, safety


and essential services. PSP will not be held responsible for getting approvals for
non-technical conditions, such as Bumiputera quota, low cost housing and
contribution for public facilities – which to be resolved during planning and/or
building plans approval stages or via other means. These are to be resolved
between the Developers and the Local Authorities.

Objectives of CCC

The CCC, which replaces the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO), has
been put in force to enable smoother deliveries of completed buildings to their
eventual owners or users. Specifically, under the revised Acts, the Professional
Architect or Professional Engineer or Registered Building Draughtsman of a
project who submits the building plans [PSP] will have to issue the CCC before
owners can take possession of their properties and live in them.

Professionals Accountable and Responsible for CCC

With the enforcement of the CCC, Professional Architects and Professional


Engineers - and staff under them such as graduate architects, engineers and
clerks-of-works - and, Specialist Sub-Contractors and Main Contractors are now
legally responsible and liable under the latest laws to confirm the due
completion and compliance of the building construction to the relevant
building laws.
Principal Submitting Person’s [PSP] responsibilities under CCC are as follows:

1. Submit planning and building plans to PBT for approval,


2. Inform PBT of the commencement of construction works on site,
3. Supervise/Inspect construction works on the site and ensuring that
the laws and technical conditions of the PBT are followed.
4. Report breaches of construction against approval, explain reasons
of breach and perform recovery actions in the event of breach during
construction,
5. Present work-resumption notice to PBT,
6. Ensure Forms G1 – G21 are completed.
7. Upon satisfactory completion of the Works and obtaining
clearances or confirmation from the six [6] essential services departments,
issue the CCC to owners and developers and present a copy to the PBT
and the Professional Board
It should be highlighted further that before issuing the CCC, Professional
Architects and/or Professional Engineers, as PSP must ensure that:

1. The CIDB registered contractors and licensed tradesmen or


personal licensees, such as Electrician, Plumber, Air-Conditioning and Fire
Protections System specialists, are informed of their obligations at the time
of calling of tenders, and their certifications are obtained upon
satisfactory completion of their scope of works.
2. All the certification Forms G1-G21 are duly filled, certified and
compiled as part of CCC submission.
3. The Works is completed in accordance with the approved Building
Plans (or subsequent revised approved building plans or as-built plans)
and the PSP has supervised the works accordingly.
4. Clearances and/or confirmation of supply/connection for Six [6]
essential services departments are obtained, specifically from,
1. Tenaga Nasional Berhad [TNB] - confirmation of electrical
supply,
2. Water authorities [SYABAS, JBA, LAP, JAS etc] - confirmation of
water supply,
3. Jabatan Perkhidmatan Pembetungan [JPP] - confirmation of
connection to sewerage treatment plant or mains,
4. Jabatan Kesihatan & Keselamatan Pekerja [JKKP] - clearance
from lifts and machinery department,
5. Jabatan Perkhidmatan Bomba & Penyelamat [Bomba] -
clearances for active fire fighting systems and,
6. Roads & Drainage Department – [PBTs Internal Departments
or JKR].

For a start, it is recommended that all architects and engineers familiarise


themselves with the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 and the Street, Drainage &
Building Act, 1974. However, in this paper, we shall restrict our review on the
Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984

An overview of the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 & the Amendments 2007 [Part
3/5]

3.0 THE UNIFORM BUILDING BY-LAWS, 1984

Prior to the gazette of Act 133 - the Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974, many
parties, especially architects and engineers, had to study and implement the
varying requirements of the many Local Authorities. To resolve the confusions
and frustrations of having too many local by-laws and regulations on buildings,
the precursor of the Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia [PAM], the Federation of
Malaya Society of Architects [FMSA], initiated in 1963 the setting up of a Uniform
Building Legislation Committee to push for a nationwide uniform building by-
laws. A parallel committee also was set up by the Commissioner of Town and
Country Planning to come up with a nationwide Uniform Planning Legislation
Committee

The said committees did not make much progress then. However, much later,
i.e. in the early 1970s, when a number of building-related catastrophe such as
the collapse of flats and uncontrolled major fire occurred in Kuala Lumpur, the
Ministry of Local Government and Housing then instructed a review of the
various building and planning legislations in respond to these catastrophe.

As a result, a draft uniform building by-laws was issued in 1973, with further
amendments in 1974.

The Building By-Laws, which was the pre-cursor to the Uniform Building By-Laws,
1984, was based on the existing Kuala Lumpur and Singapore legislations and
recommendations from the Building Research Station, UK. The By-Laws were
compiled under the provisions under Section 113 - By-laws - in the Street,
Drainage & Building Act, 1974.

In 1976, a Uniform Building Regulations Standing Committee, comprising public


and private sectors, made a review of the Kuala Lumpur Municipal (Building)
(Amendments) By-Laws, 1975 and it was adopted as the model for the draft
Uniform Building Regulations. From this effort, the Ministry of Housing and Local
Government issued the draft as the Uniform Building By-Law, 1976. 1978
amendments included updates on fire requirements on buildings.

The objectives behind the formulation of the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984
[UBBL], among others were to:
1. Set a standardized building regulations for the whole of Malaysia
and applicable to all Local Authorities and building professionals,
2. Clarify line of legal responsibilities for buildings with clear definitions
on the Principal Submitting Persons,
3. Regulate architectural, structural, health & safety, fire protection
capabilities and constructional requirements of buildings; with clear
references to the approved standards,
4. Expedite the processing and building approvals and occupation of
buildings,
It was later gazetted in 1985 as the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 [UBBL].

A number of amendments had since been made to the UBBL. Later additions
made references to the Fire Services Act, 1988 and compliance to the Code of
Practice for Access for Disabled People to Public Buildings, 1991 [with reference
to the Malaysian Standard MS1184:1991].

The very recent amendments were drafted in 2007 to incorporate the


amendments to the Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974 with regard to the
Certificate of Completion and Compliance [CCC].

3.1 THE MAIN PARTS IN THE UBBL

The UBBL defines the following:


1. PART I - Definitions and interpretations used in the by-laws [By-Laws
Sections 1 - 2],
2. PART II - The procedures for submitting plans to the Local Authorities
for their approval for permanent and temporary buildings, advertisement
and perimeter hoardings [By-Laws Sections 3 - 29],
3. PART III - The required space [dimensions], light and ventilation to be
provided in buildings [By-Laws Sections 30 - 47],
4. PART IV - The required temporary works during construction [By-Laws
Sections 48 - 52],
5. PART V - Structural requirements and considerations e.g. dead,
superimposed and dynamic loads and, structural materials and elements
[By-Laws Sections 53 - 80],
6. PART VI - Constructional requirements e.g. site preparation,
constructional materials, method of construction and, architectural and
related Structural and M&E requirements [By-Laws Sections 81 - 132],
7. PART VII - Passive fire protection requirements [By-Laws Sections 133
- 224]
8. PART VIII - Active fire protection requirements [By-Laws Sections 225 -
253] and
9. PART IX - Miscellaneous definitions and references and, the
procedures on reporting on building failures [By-Laws Sections 254 - 258].
There are 10 Schedules listed in the appendix covering the following:
1. First Schedule - submission fees,
2. Second Schedule - standard forms,
3. Third Schedule - ventilation requirements [M&E considerations],
4. Fourth Schedule - weight of materials [structural considerations],
5. Fifth Schedule - designation of purpose group [for building types],
6. Sixth Schedule - limits of unprotected areas [architectural
considerations for privacy and fire safety],
7. Seventh Schedule - travel distance, occupancy loads and exits [for
architectural and structural considerations],
8. Eighth Schedule - class of materials [spread of flame],
9. Ninth Schedule - limit of compartment and fire resistant of material
[architectural and structural considerations] and
10. Tenth Schedule - active fire fighting requirements [M&E
considerations].
3.2 THE KEY AMENDMENTS TO THE UBBL (Soon to be gazetted AMENDMENTS 2007)

1. Amendments to By-Law 2
 2 (c) “Principal Submitting Person” means a qualified person who submits
building plans to the local authority for approval in accordance with these By-
Laws and includes any other qualified person who takes over the duties and
responsibilities of or acts for the first-mentioned qualified person in accordance
with by-law 7.
 2(d) “qualified person” means a Professional Architect, Professional
Engineer or building draughtsman registered under any written law relating to
the registration thereof.
 2(f) “building plans” means plans that include site plans, key plans, floor
plans, sections and elevations of buildings, and are as stipulated under by-laws
8, 9 and 10.
 2(j) “technical conditions” means conditions pertaining to health and
safety issues to buildings and essential services serving the buildings.
2. Substitution of By-Law 25: “Certificate of Completion and Compliance”
 25(1) A certificate of completion and compliance in Form F as set out in
the Second Schedule shall be issued by the principal submitting person –
 a. when all the technical conditions as imposed by the local authority
have been duly complied with;
 b. when Forms G1 to G21 in respect of stage certifications as set out in the
Second Schedule have been duly certified and received by him;
 c. when all the essential services, including access roads, landscape, car
parks, drains, sanitary, water and electricity installations, fire hydrants, sewerage
and refuse disposal requirements and, fire lifts where required, have been
provided; and
 d. when he certifies in Form F that he has supervised the erection and
completion of the building and that to the best of his knowledge and belief the
building has been constructed and completed in accordance with the Act,
these By-Laws and the approved plans.
 25(2) Upon the issuance of the certificate of completion and compliance,
the principal submitting person accepts full responsibility for the issuance of the
certificate of completion and compliance and he certifies that the building is
safe and fit for occupation.
 25(3) The principal submitting person shall within fourteen days from the
issuance of the certificate of completion and compliance or partial certificate
of completion and compliance, as the case may be, deposit a copy of the said
certificate and the Form G1-G21 with the local authority and the Board of
Architects Malaysia or Board of Engineers Malaysia, as the case may be.
 25(4) Nothing contained in this by-law shall prevent the local authority or
any officer authorised by it in writing for the purpose, from inspecting any
building works at any stage thereof and calling attention to any failure to the
building or non-compliance with these By-laws which he may observe and,
giving notice in writing to the principal submitting person ordering such failure or
non-compliance to be rectified.
 25(5) Subject to paragraph (4), the local authority may issue a directive in
writing to the principal submitting person to withhold the issuance of the
certificate of completion and compliance or partial certificate of completion
and compliance, as the case may be.
 25(6) The principal submitting person shall within twenty-one days after the
receipt of the notice issued in pursuance of paragraph (4) or such further period
as may be approved by the local authority, rectify the failure or non-
compliance.
 25(7) When the principal submitting person has rectified the failure or non-
compliance, he shall issue a notice to the local authority confirming that such
rectification works have been satisfactorily completed.
 25(8) Upon receipt of the notice as mentioned in paragraph (7), the local
authority shall within fourteen days from the receipt of such notice inspect the
building to confirm that the failure or non-compliance has been satisfactorily
rectified.
 25(9) When the local authority is satisfied that the failure or non-
compliance as stipulated in paragraph (4) has been satisfactorily rectified, the
local authority shall issue a directive in writing to the principal submitting person
to issue the certificate of completion and compliance or partial certificate of
completion and compliance, as the case may be.
 25(10) When the local authority does not carry out the inspection of
rectification works in pursuance of paragraph (8) within the period as stipulated
in that paragraph, it shall be deemed that the local authority is satisfied that the
rectification works have been satisfactorily completed.
 25(11) When the failure or non-compliance is not rectified by the principal
submitting person within the period stipulated in paragraph (6), the local
authority may itself cause any work to be executed or any measure to be taken
if it considers such work or measure is necessary to rectify the non-compliance.
 25(12) The cost for executing such work or taking such measure as
referred to in paragraph (11) shall be borne by the owner of the building.
 25(13) The certificate of completion and compliance or partial certificate
of completion and compliance, as the case may be, shall not be issued by the
principal submitting person until all the failures or non-compliances in respect of
the building has been satisfactorily rectified.
3. Substitution of By-Law 27: “Partial Certificate of Completion and Compliance”
 27(1) The principal submitting person may issue a partial certificate of
completion and compliance in Form F1 as set out in the Second Schedule in
respect of any part of a building partially completed subject to any condition
imposed by the local authority which it deems necessary for reasons of public
health and safety.
 Provided that no such certificate shall be issued unless all the essential
services, including access roads, landscape, car parks, drains, sanitary, water
and electricity installations, fire hydrants, sewerage and refuse disposal
requirements and, fire lifts where required, serving the partially completed
portion of the building have been provided.
 27(2) A partial certificate of completion and compliance once issued shall
remain effective until the whole of the building is completed and a certificate of
completion and compliance is issued in pursuant of by-law 25,
4. Substitution of By-Law 28: “Offences”
 28(1) Where the principal submitting person fails to deposit a copy of the
certificate of completion and compliance or partial certificate of completion
and compliance, as the case may be, and the Forms G1-G21 within the period
stipulated in paragraph 25(3) with the local authority and the Board of
Architects Malaysia or Board of Engineers Malaysia, as the case may be, he shall
be guilty of an offence.
 28(2) Where the principal submitting person or submitting person fails to
comply with the notice issued by the local authority in respect of the
rectification of any failure to the building or non-compliance with these By-laws
in accordance with paragraph 25(4), he shall be guilty of an offence
5. Other Amendments

Amendments to By-Laws 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 16, 17, 20, 29, 48, 77, 249 & 258
consequential to changes of the term submitting person to principal submitting
person.

6. AMENDMENTS TO SECOND SCHEDULE

The Second Schedule of the principal By-laws is amended by deleting FORMS C,


D and E by substituting for FORM F with the new FORM F and F1 and FORMS G1-
G21

The FORMS under CCC are as follows:


1. FORM A
o Certification of Buildings / Structural Plans [for endorsement of plans
submitted for approval],
2. FORM B
o Notice of Commencement / Resumption of Building Operations
3. FORMS G
1. Form G1
o Stage Certification : EARTHWORKS [on Approved Plans]
2. Form G2
o Stage Certification : SETTING OUT [on Approved Plans]
3. Form G3
o Stage Certification : FOUNDATIONS [on Deposited Plans]
4. Form G4
o Stage Certification : STRUCTURAL [on Deposited Plans]
5. Form G5
o Stage Certification : INTERNAL WATER PLUMBING [on
Approved/Deposited Plans]
6. Form G6
o Stage Certification : INTERNAL SANITARY PLUMBING [on
Approved/Deposited Plans]
7. Form G7
o Stage Certification : INTERNAL ELECTRICAL [on Submitting Engineer’s
Endorsed Plans]
8. Form G8
o Stage Certification : FIRE FIGHTING (PASSIVE) [on
Approved/Deposited Plans]
9. Form G9
o Stage Certification : FIRE FIGHTING (ACTIVE) [on
Approved/Deposited Plans]
10. Form G10
o Stage Certification : MECHANICAL VENTILATION [on Submitting
Engineer’s Endorsed Plans]
11. Form G11
o Stage Certification : LIFT / ESCALATOR INSTALLATION [on Submitting
Engineer’s Endorsed Plans]
12. Form G12
o Stage Certification : BUILDING [on Approved Plans]
13. Form G13
o Stage Certification : EXTERNAL WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM [on Approved
Plans]
14. Form G14
o Stage Certification : SEWERAGE RETICULATION [on Approved Plans]
15. Form G15
o Stage Certification : SEWERAGE TREATMENT PLANT [on Approved
Plans]
16. Form G16
o Stage Certification : EXTERNAL ELECTRICAL SUPPLY SYSTEM [on
Approved Plans]
17. Form G17
o Stage Certification : ROAD AND DRAIN [on Approved/Deposited
Plans]
18. Form G18
o Stage Certification : STREET LIGHTING [on Approved/Deposited
Plans]
19. Form G19
o Stage Certification : EXTERNAL MAIN DRAIN [on Approved Plans]
20. Form G20
o Stage Certification : TELECOMMUNICATION [on
Approved/Deposited Plans]
21. Form G21
o Stage Certification : LANDSCAPE [on Approved Plans]

4. FORM F
 Certificate of Completion and Compliance
5. FORM F1
 Partial Certificate of Completion and Compliance

An overview of the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 & the Amendments 2007 [Part
4/5]

3.3 ESSENTIAL SECTIONS IN THE UBBL

3.3.1. PART I - Definitions and interpretations used in the by-laws [By-Laws


Sections 1 - 2],

3.3.2. PART II - The procedures for submitting plans to the Local Authorities for
their approval for permanent and temporary buildings, advertisement and
perimeter hoardings [By-Laws Sections 3 - 29],
 Clause 3
o Submission of plans for approval [By a qualified person / principal
submitting person] FORM A
 Clause 5
o No erection or continued erection of a building shall take place
unless the qualified person undertakes the supervision of the erection and the
setting out
 Clause 7
o Withdrawal or change of qualified person / principal submitting
person [With the agreement of the authority] No work to commence until
another qualified person takes over.
 Clauses 8 – 12
o Submission procedures
 Clause 13
o Special permission to commence building operations early
 Clauses 14 & 15
o Submission procedures
 Clauses 16 & 17
o Submission of structural drawings and calculations
 Clause 18
o Permits [May submit sketch plans for minor erections and minor
alteration]
 Clause 19
o Temporary permits [Erections of a sheds for shows or builders, place
of worship, building materials, scaffoldings, staging or hoarding on streets]
 Clause 20
o Advertisement hoarding [Erection of hoarding subject to an annual
temporary permit]
 Clause 22
o Notice of commencement or resumption of building operations.
FORM B
 Clause 23
o Notice of completion of Setting Out of building. FORM C [Not
Applicable for CCC]
 Clause 24
o Notice of completion of Excavation for Foundation. FORM D [Not
Applicable for CCC]
 Clauses 25 - 28
o Certification of Fitness for Occupation [CFO] / Certificate of
Completion and Compliance [CCC] and offence occupying a building without
CFO / CCC.
 Clause 29
o Refer to First Schedule for Payment Rates for Submission of Plans
3.3.3. PART III - The required space [dimensions], light and ventilation to be
provided in buildings [By-Laws Sections 30 - 47],
 Clauses 32 – 34
o Open Space and Plinth ratio for buildings abutting a street and a
backlane in relation to a lot size and Setbacks
 Clause 36
o Requirement for a Splayed Corner for a building erected at a
junction
 Clause 37 & 47
o Building abutting a street allowed a Projection over Street over the
building line
 Clause 38
o Width of footway and requirements for steps and pedestrian ramp.
To refer MS1184 & MS1185 in conjunction with this clause.
 Clauses 39 - 42
o Requirements for Natural Lighting and Ventilation according to
building use. Rules on Air Wells dimensions, Mechanical Ventilation and Air-
Conditioning
 Clauses 42 & 43
o Minimum areas and dimensions of rooms in buildings
 Clauses 44 – 46
o Height controls for rooms in buildings
3.3.4. PART IV - The required temporary works during construction [By-Laws
Sections 48 - 52],
 Clause 48
o Requirements for Project Signboard & Hoarding [To obtain
Temporary Permit]
 Clause 49
o Responsibilities of person granted temporary permits
 Clause 51
o Control of vehicular access to site by the Local Authority.
 Clause 52
o Rising mains for fire fighting facilities to be installed progressively for
buildings designed to exceed 18.3m [Refer Clause 232]
3.3.5. PART V - Structural requirements and considerations e.g. dead,
superimposed and dynamic loads and, structural materials and elements [By-
Laws Sections 53 - 80],
 Clause 53
o Building materials use
 Clause 54
o General requirement of loading [Dead loads, imposed loads and
winds load considerations]
 Clause 55
o Dead and imposed loads [Provisions for loads]
 Clause 56
o Dead loads calculated from weight of materials used [Based on
BS648 or actual known weights and as laid out in Fourth Schedule]
 Clause 57
o Weight of partitions [To include in dead load calculations]
 Clause 58
o Contents of tanks and other receptacles [Treated as dead loads]
 Clause 59
o Imposed floor loads [Methods to allow for imposed loads i.e.
distributed or concentrated loads]
 Clause 60
o Mechanical stacking [Special provisions in the design of the floors]
 Clause 61
o Imposed loads on ceilings skylight and similar structures [Methods to
allow for these loads]
 Clause 62
o Reduction in total imposed floor loads [Methods to allow for these
loads]
 Clauses 63 – 67
o Imposed roof loads, Curved roof, Roof covering, Internal suspended
loads on primary structural members, Amount of suspended load [Methods to
allow for these loads]
 Clauses 68 – 69
o Dynamic loading, Crane gantry girders
 Clauses 70 – 71
o Parapets and balustrades, Vehicle barriers for car-parks [8km/hr for
access ramp and up to 32km/hr for downward travel for a representative 1.5
metric ton vehicle]
 Clause 72
o Basement walls and floors [Provisions for lateral pressure and
buoyancy/hydrostatic pressure]
 Clauses 73 – 79
o Foundations [Provisions to transmit load to the ground], Foundations
of building not exceeding four storey, Reinforced concrete foundations, Strip
foundations, Brick footings, Foundations below invert of drains, Foundations
under external and party walls
 Clause 80
o Structure above foundations
3.3.6. PART VI - Constructional requirements e.g. site preparation, constructional
materials, method of construction and, architectural and related Structural and
M&E requirements [By-Laws Sections 81 - 132],
 Clause 81
o Building site [Erection of suitable land]
 Clause 82
o Drainage of subsoil
 Clause 83
o Protection against soil erosion.
 Clause 84
o Prevention of Dampness
 Clauses 85 – 89
o Definition of Wall Thickness, Party Walls & Openings in Party Walls,
Recess, Chases [Party Walls extended vertically 230 above roof surface &
Minimum wall thickness of party wall left 100mm etc]
 Clauses 91 – 92
o Materials for Coping & Projections in brickwork
 Clauses 93 – 96
o Rules on Use of Internal & External Wall Materials of 100mm thick
 Clause 97
o Rules on Intrusion of Timber built into Party Walls [100mm spacing for
timber in party walls and separated with cement or brick]
 Clause 98
o Control on Fences and Boundary Walls [1.8m max solid and 2.75m
max impervious to air and light]
 Clauses 99 – 102
o Rules on cooking areas
 Clause 103
o Timber floor [Use of hardwood or treated timber, specifications for
trimmer joists]
 Clauses 104 - 105
o Bearing for joists [Min 100mm bearing on wall, Support on
continuous corbelled brickwork, At least 100mm of fire- resisting material on
party wall between adjoining timber structures].
 Clause 106
o Rules on Staircases [Risers max 180mm & Tread min 255mm, Width
Refer Clause 168, Landing no less than stairs width]
 Clause 107
o Rules on Handrails [4 risers & more min 1 handrail, wider than
2225mm to have intermediate handrails, except residential width 1100mm &
more handrail to be both sides of staircase at max 100mm from wall, between
825-900mm height measured from nosing step & no less than 900mm at landing]
 Clause 108
o Maximum Flight [residential stairs landing no less than 1.8m depth
every 4.25m height; other buildings no more than 16 risers between landing]
 Clauses 109 – 113
o Various Rules on Staircases
 Clauses 114 - 117
o Timber Roof, Roof Covering, Railing at Flat Roofs, Access to Roof
Spaces
 Clauses 118 - 122
o Refuse chutes & alternative means for refuse disposal
 Clause 123
o Pipes and service ducts requirements [risers / cabinets]
 Clause 124
o Lifts - non-residential buildings more than 4 storeys to be provided
with a lift
 Clauses 125 - 132
o Public Swimming Pool requirements
3.3.7. PART VII - Passive fire protection requirements [By-Laws Sections 133 - 224]
 Clause 133
o Interpretations and Definitions on Fire Requirements
 Clause 134
o Designation of Purpose Group of every building [Fifth Schedule]
 Clause 135
o Rules of Measurements for Height, Areas, Cubic Capacity of
Buildings
 Clauses 136 – 137
o Fifth Schedule _ Provisions of compartment walls and floors_ floor
area exceeds relevant height e.g. floors in building exceeding 30m in height, or
volume of space exceeds relevant cubic capacity to be constructed as
compartment floor
 Clause 138
o Fifth Schedule _ Walls and floors to be constructed as compartment
walls or compartment floor under Purpose Group II [Institutions],
flats/apartments, between different Purpose Groups and floor above a
basement of area exceeding 100sqm.
 Clause 139
o Separation of fire risk areas from areas of occupancy.
 Clause 140
o Fire appliance access e.g. 12m width road to support fire engine for
buildings over 7000cum of volume & minimum proportion building perimeter as
road for fire access based on building volume.
 Clause 141
o Rules on Penetrations of Pipes through separating walls and height
of separating walls at roof junctions e.g. 225mm wall extension above roof.
 Clauses 142 - 145
o External Walls Design and Materials to comply with Permitted Limits
of Unprotected Areas specified in the Sixth Schedule including Beams
 Clause 146
o Definition of Relevant Boundary
 Clause 147
o Construction of Separating Walls to be on Non-Combustible
Materials
 Clause 148
o Special Requirements for Compartment Walls and Floors
 Clause 149
o Horizontal and Vertical Barriers of the external walls to extend
minimum 750mm and 900mm respectively.
 Clause 150
o Protected Shafts Requirements
 Clause 151 - 155
o Lifts Requirements _ Ventilation, Openings, Smoke Detectors in Lift
Lobbies & Emergency Mode
 Clause 156 – 157
o Protected Shafts as Ventilation Duct and Staircases
 Clauses 158 – 159
o Stages in Places of Assembly and Open Stages _ Requirement for a
proscenium wall of 225mm thick unless suitable protection devices installed
 Clause 160
o Fire precautions in air conditioning systems
 Clause 161
o Fire Stopping Materials
 Clauses 162 – 164
o Fire Doors _ 162(2) Openings in compartment and separating walls
to be protected by Fire Doors in accordance with the FRP requirements of the
relevant walls referred in the Ninth Schedule 162(3) Openings in protected
structures to be protected by Fire Doors with FRP not less than ½ of the relevant
walls referred in the Ninth Schedule 162(4) Openings in protected corridor or
lobby to be protected by Fire Doors having FRP of ½ hour.
 Clause 165 – 167
o Measurement of Travel Distance to Exits, Condition of Exits and
Storey Exits based on Seventh Schedule _ Open plan travel distance calculated
no more than 2/3 permitted travel distance, room with 6 or less persons
measured from the doors if travel distance within room less than 15m, minimum 2
separate exits from each storey not nearer than 4.5m apart and located within
the limits of travel distance, widths of exits as specified in Seventh Schedule
 Clauses 168 - 169
o Exit Staircases _ Every upper floor to have minimum 2 staircases
except buildings lower than 12m that comply with Clause 194, Number of
Staircases should accommodate highest occupancy load under Seventh
Schedule even though one staircase is not accessible/available, handrails may
encroach into staircase width to a maximum 75mm, widths of staircases and exit
routes shall be maintained [not reduced in width] throughout & door swings
should not encroach the access width. Also refer Clauses 174 – 177, 181 – 182,
190 & 191.
 Clause 170
o Egress Conditions for Mezzanine Floors and Open Staircases
 Clause 171
o Conditions for Horizontal Exits
 Clause 172
o Conditions for Emergency Exit [KELUAR] Signs
 Clause 173
o Conditions for Exit Door
 Clause 174
o Arrangement of Storey Exits to be not less than 5m apart with direct
access to [1] a final exit [2] a protected staircase to a final exit [3] an external
route to a final exit. Basements and Roof Structures for services need not have
alternative egress.
 Clauses 175 - 177
o Calculation of occupancy load, capacity of exits, exit widths and
number of staircases to refer to Seventh Schedule. At least one staircase should
be a minimum of 2 unit widths [552mm x 2 = 1104mm wide] except 900mm
allowed where total occupancy of all floors less than 50. Refer Clauses 168 – 169,
181 & 182
 Clause 178
o Exits for institutional and places of assembly to be located to avoid
undue danger from fire originating in other occupancy (areas)
 Clauses 179 – 188
o Classifications of places of assembly, space standards for
calculating occupancy loads, exit details for places of assembly, seating,
gangways, exit doors and travel distance
 Clause 181 - 182
o Calculation for width of means of egress and rate of discharge _
552mm per unit width with ½ unit width = 300mm, no exits less than 700mm [clear
width of opening], rates of travel per floor are [1] 60 persons per minute
horizontally (doors & level passage ways) and [2] 45 person per minute vertically
(stairs)
 Clauses 190 - 191
o External Staircases may used as exit staircases provided they
comply with requirements of internal staircases and separated from the interior
of building by walls and fire doors and no openings next to the staircase within
2m distance horizontally and 9m vertically below except ventilations for toilets or
other protected areas.
 Clause 192 - 193
o Moving Walks and Power Operated Doors may be considered as
egress
 Clause 194
o Residential or Office Buildings permitted to be served by a Single
Staircase when top floor is 12m high or less [except Ground Floor may be Shops
or Car Parking], stairs separated from Ground Floor with fire rated walls, wall
enclosing staircase is returned no less than 450mm from Ground Floor Shop or
Car Park, maximum travel distance 12m from exit door to any point in the area.
At Ground and First Floors, if there are windows with opening lights possible for
emergency escape the maximum travel distance may be 30m.
 Clause 195
o Buildings over 30m high to have all staircases used as mean of
egress extended to roof level as access.
 Clauses 196 – 197
o Smoke Lobbies accessed via fire doors, Smoke Lobbies for
Staircases, Protected Lobbies for staircases in buildings higher than 18m without
ventilation through external walls, Pressurised Lobbies for buildings higher than
45m

 Clauses 198 – 202
o Ventilation for staircases at each floor or landing with a minimum
1sqm opening per floor. In building less than 3-storeys staircase may not be
ventilated if access via ventilated lobbies at all floors except the top most and; if
buildings 18m high or less with top most floor ventilated at top most with 5% of
area of enclosure. Buildings higher than 18m to be mechanically ventilated if
not naturally ventilated at every floor or landing.
 Clause 203 – 207
o Restriction and Classifications of Spread of Flames _ Reference to
Eight Schedule and definitions of Class O and Classes 1 – 4 of materials.
 Clauses 208 – 212
o Reference to roofs, Reference to buildings, Construction of roofs,
Roofing materials, Category designation for fire penetration and spread of
flame on roof surface.
 Clause 213 - 214
o Fire resistance [on elements of structures] no less than as specified in
the Ninth Schedule
 Clause 215
o Definitions on Height of Buildings
 Clause 216
o Conditions on fire rating of structures for Single storey buildings
 Clause 217
o Fire resistance of structural member [a minimum fire rating for
frames applicable based on the wall they support]
 Clause 218
o Conditions on fire rating of walls for flats or maisonette
 Clause 219
o Application of these by laws to floor [ceilings do not attribute to fire
rating other than those in Ninth Schedule]
 Clause 220
o Definitions on Floor Area and capacity of buildings and
compartments
 Clause 221
o Test of fire resistance [Method of testing based on BS 476: Part I]
 Clause 222
o Fire resistance for walls
 Clause 223 Fire resistance for floors above ground floor
 Clause 224 Fire resistance for any element of structure [based on Ninth
Schedule]
3.3.8. PART VIII - Active fire protection requirements [By-Laws Sections 225 - 253]
and
 Clause 225
o Every building to have [1] means of detecting and extinguishing fire,
equipped with fire alarm and exit signs based the Tenth Schedule and [2] a
minimum one Fire Hydrant not more than 91.5m from nearest fire brigade access
 Clause 226
o Automatic fire protection system for hazardous occupancy to suit
hazard
 Clause 227
o Portable extinguishers provided based on relevant codes and sited
prominently and visible along exit routes
 Clause 228
o Sprinkler valves to be located on exterior walls accessible to
Firemen and alarm electrically connected to nearest Bomba station
 Clause 229
o Buildings with top most floor higher than 18.3m to be provided with
means of access and fighting fire from within building via fire fighting access
lobbies directly accessible from outside, staircases, fire lifts in protected lobbies
or staircases or corridors and dry or wet risers. Fire fighting lobbies at every level
no more than 45.75m from furthermost point.
 Clause 230
o Dry rising system to be provided in buildings with top most floor more
than 18.3m but less than 30.5m.
 Clause 231
o Wet rising system to be provided in buildings with top most floor
more than 30.5m. Wet riser to be provided to every staircase which extends to
the roof. Each stage of wet riser to be no more than 61.0m except in cases may
be permitted to 70.15m
 Clause 232
o One Wet or Dry Riser to be installed when a building is under
construction reached a height above fire brigade pumping inlet and located
next to a useable staircase within 2 floors of the topmost construction
 Clauses 233 - 234
o Foam inlets to be installed for windowless buildings, boiler rooms
and structures/storage areas below ground where automated extinguishers not
installed
 Clauses 235 - 236
o Fixed installations via total flooding or unit protection system may be
required e.g. for places with special hazard
 Clause 237
o Fire alarms to be provided base on Tenth Schedule with premises
exceeding area of 9,290sqm or higher than 30.5m provided with two-stage
alarm system
 Clause 238
o Large or tall buildings over 30.5m require Command and Control
Centre to be located at designated floor with direct telephone connection to
Bomba
 Clauses 239 – 241
o Two voice communication systems to be provided [1] Bomba
communications [2] pa system between control centre and public areas. Floor
or zone of area over 929sqm of nett area to be provided with electrical isolation
switches within staircases. Special visible fire alarm systems to be installed in
addition to normal alarm for deaf persons or audible alarms undesirable.
 Clause 242
o Fire fighting access lobbies to be 5.57sqm or more in area and have
openable windows or openings for ventilation or mechanically ventilated.
 Clause 243
o Buildings with top most occupied floor over 18.5m to be provided
with Bomba lifts. Bomba lifts to be provided for every group of lifts discharged
into the same protected enclosure but no more than 61.0m travel distance from
furthermost point of the floor.
 Clauses 244 – 245
o Standards required and approval of Ketua Pengarah Bomba.
 Clause 246
o Certificate of Completion to be signed on Form B in Tenth Schedule
once work is completed.
 Clauses 247 – 248
o Water storage and markings to comply with Tenth Schedule and
Bomba requirements.
 Clause 249 – 252
o Smoke and heat venting in large buildings, Natural draught smoke
vent, Smoke vents for exit safety to be designed to prevent accumulation of
smoke during evacuation and manual vents must be openable by BOmba from
outside.
 Clause 253
o Emergency Power System to be provided for power and illumination
for safety to life and property via storage batteries or generator set.
3.3.9. PART IX - Miscellaneous definitions and references and, the procedures on
reporting on building failures [By-Laws Sections 254 - 258].
 Clause 254 – 256
o Buildings to which Parts VII & VIII apply & power of PBT to extend
compliance / exemptions.
 Clause 257
o Malaysian standard specification and code of practice to prevail
over British Standard Specifications or Code of Practice
 Clause 258
o Failure to Buildings [report failure, explain cause & state remedial
action within a week]
3.4 SHORTFALLS OF THE UBBL
1. The Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 [UBBL] was established out the
need for a standardised set of building regulations for the
country. However, despite the federal government gazetting the UBBL in
1985, the reality is that until today the use and interpretation of the UBBL
are anything but uniformed. The enforcement of UBBL is governed by the
states and hence gazetted separately with slightly different versions for
each of the states.
2. As the UBBL is a state matter, many Local Authorities and Technical
Departments have their own readings and interpretation of the UBBL. The
differences in the translations between the English and Bahasa Melayu
versions also added to the confusion. Hence, there is a need to re-look
into the intents of the UBBL and persuade all state governments to agree
to a “Local Authorities’ Endorsed” standardised explanatory notes. To
that effect, the fire department had produced two definitive books on
their interpretation of the fire protection system’s requirements which had
become very useful references for designers.
3. The continual advances in constructional technologies and
sciences have made some of the by-laws within the UBBL “out-of-
date”. For instance, Malaysia has experienced rapid development over
the last two decades. Large-scale structures, like new airports, shopping
centres and mixed developments, have been built with new concepts
and design approaches. The existing UBBL and other Fire Safety codes
are not applicable to these structures. Hence, there is a need for the
UBBL to be updated to reflect the “state-of-the-art” and make allowances
for the by-laws therein to be amended to allow continual adaptation to
suit the ever-changing times. The Fire Safety- Performance Based
Approach has been officially adopted in 2002 by the Fire and Rescue
Department, Malaysia [Bomba] to solve some of these shortfalls. The
approach, which has been widely practiced overseas, is a scientific and
engineering-based method whereby the determination of type and
standard of fire safety protection systems required specific testing and
research.
4. There are by-laws within the UBBL which had not been referred to
by professionals and/or found to be irrelevant. As an example, a good
number of sections under the structural requirements have been ignored
and not referred to by structural engineers since most are using the British
Standards as their main design guide. Therefore, it is best to re-look these
sections and decide whether to have these clauses repealed or
amended to suit the times.

An overview of the Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 & the Amendments 2007 [Part
5/5]

4.0 THE APPLICATIONS OF THE UBBL & RELATED ACTS

4.1 DESIGN STAGE

As mentioned in the earlier sections of this paper, all the construction professionals
[e.g. Land Surveyors, Architects, C&S Engineers and M&E Engineers] will need to
refer to a number of Acts and regulations in order to prepare their designs. The
Uniform Building By-Laws, 1984 [UBBL] is the main reference used by all the Local
Authorities [Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan / PBT] and Technical Departments. As
such, a quick reference into the UBBL and other Acts mentioned earlier is the least
any professionals should do. Whenever practical it is best that a standard
checklist is to be drawn up with reference to the UBBL and the relevant Acts.

The Technical Departments which are of interest to C&S engineers are the
Engineering Department of the PBT [Earthwork & Sub-Structures, Roads & Drains],
JKR [Public Works Department], JPS [Department of Irrigation & Drainage],
Jabatan Perkhidmatan Pembentungan [Sewerage Services Department], Local
Water Supply Company and, JAS [Department of Environment].

4.2 SUBMISSION STAGE

Since the implementation of the CCC, all Local Authorities have implemented
One Stop Centres [OSCs] to process building plans applications. It is now
compulsory to submit all architectural, civil & structural and mechanical &
electrical plans and documentation simultaneously to the OSCs at the Local
Authorities in order to have their applications processed. Under OSC,
Professionals no longer submit direct to the relevant Technical Departments but
instead compile all applications in a combined submission to the Local
Authorities.

As such, all design drawings and documentations by all the construction


professionals must be compiled and submitted to the OSCs for review by a team
from the PBT and all the relevant Technical Departments. The OSC team will issue
written comments upon review and the professionals are expected to comply
with all their comments before submitting to the OSC for application for
approval. The OSC personnel will then distribute the “pre-reviewed” submissions
to the relevant departments. The onus is on OSC to follow up with the status of
the application at the technical departments.

At the same time, all professionals are expected to follow up with the relevant
technical departments if they wish for a speedy approval.

It should be highlighted that architects and engineers would have sworn vide a
statement on their drawings and documentation that their designs comply with
the UBBL and they would be accountable and responsible for the designs
submitted to the Local Authorities.

4.3 DOCUMENTATION STAGE

Parallel with the submission is normally the contract documentation


exercise. Since this is the normal practice in the industry, all professionals are
required to ensure that their design drawings and documentation comply with all
the requirements in the UBBL and the other Technical Departments. The danger
with non-compliance is that an incomplete documentation may result in a
redesigning of the work to suit the Technical Departments’ requirements at a later
stage.

The objective of this stage is to ensure that the documentation is complete and
consistent for tendering purposes. Any inaccuracy, error or omission may affect
the project timing, extra cost and abortive work especially if the development has
commenced. The construction professionals have a duty of care to ensure that
their documentations have incorporated all the requirements, including statutory
conditions.

4.4 CONSTRUCTION STAGE

The construction stage is where the UBBL will come in full force. At the early
stages of the work mentioned above, the construction professionals would have
already incorporated the requirements of the UBBL and other Acts in their design
drawings and documentation and sworn as such therein.

During this construction stage, all the professionals must now ensure that the
construction actually complies with the design. Legally, the UBBL now enforce
individual certification for the many stages of the work. The relevant construction
professionals are required by the UBBL to certify the construction work under their
expertise on specific Form Gs together with the builders and contractors. If the
architect or engineer is also the “Principal Submitting Person”, he will also be
counter-endorsing on all the 21 Form Gs and hence will be responsible for the
whole of the work or the development.

The duty to certify the stages of the development is enforced by law vide the UBBL
and other related Acts. Construction professionals should be aware that a
breach of this duty would expose them to claims for fraud due to wrongful
certification or economic loss arising out of the natural consequence of the
breach.

5.0 SUMMARY

THE REASONS TO KNOW AND APPLY THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

Construction professionals are expected to apply a reasonable standard of skill


and care required of their fields. Construction professionals cannot undertake
their work dutifully and properly without considering all the design parameters
which include the statutory requirements.

Among the reasons for construction professionals to know and apply the statutory
requirements, such as the UBBL, is best to quote written judgements from two court
cases in England which have been referred by the Malaysian courts in tort cases
involving construction professionals:

1. Professionals will not be judged as laymen but as persons who possess the
“standard of ordinary skilled man exercising and professing to have the special
skill.” [Mc Nair J in Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee, 1957].

2. “A professional man should command the corpus of knowledge which forms part
of the professional equipment of the ordinary member of his profession.”……”It is
the standards prevailing at the time of the acts or omission, which provide the
relevant yardstick” [Bingham LJ in Eckersley v Binnie, 1988].

It should also be highlighted that the society is becoming more litigious. Many
litigation cases involving construction professionals have put the blame on the
professionals for breaches of duty of one kind or another. Lately, there have
been a number of high profile court cases where architects, engineers and
building draughtsman have been implicated in building failures – where their
designs have been put to questions, and over economic loses – where their
certifications have been disputed.

Therefore, all construction professionals should make more effort to be conversant


with the provisions in the various Acts controlling the building industry and the
terms, and the conditions of their professional duties to all parties, be they directly
or indirectly involved.

Badrul Hisham Mohamad Said


November 24, 2009

Further Readings & References:

1. Act 133 - Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974 / Act A1286 Amendment
2007
2. Act 139 - Factories and Machinery Act, 1967

3. Act 118 - Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 / Act1289
Amendment 2007
4. Act 318 - Strata Titles Act, 1985 / Act A1290 Amendments 2007
5. Act 56 - National Land Code, 1965
6. Act 341 - Fire Services Act, 1988
7. Act 514 - Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1994
8. Act 520 - Construction Industry Development Board Act, 1994
9. Act 127 - Environmental Quality Act, 1974
10. Act 138 - Registration of Engineers Act, 1976 / A1288 Amendments 2007
11. Act 171 - Local Government Act, 1976
12. Act 172 - Town and Country Planning Act, 1976
13. Act 418 - Water Act, 1920
14. Act 447 - Electricity Supply Act, 1990
15. Act 486 - Land Acquisition Act, 1960
16. Act 508 - Sewerage Services Act, 1993
17. Act 588 - Communications and Multimedia Act, 1988

18. Chen Thiam Leong, The Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia, 15


August 2007
19. Chong Thaw Sing & Patrick Chia, Tort in Construction – Design Liability
20. Chong Thaw Sing, “Certification in Malaysia: A Choice Between the Devil
and Deep Blue Sea” Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Seminar 2007, PAM Centre Kuala Lumpur
21. Ho Wai Ping, Building Legislation and Regulations II
22. Hussein Hamzah, Building Legislation and Regulations I

23. Ismail Omar, Rules Affecting the Land Development Process in Malaysia – A
Review on Regulation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

24. P Kasi, The Architect and Land Matters – Planning, Conversion and
Subdivision of Land

25. Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia, Certificates of Compliance (CCC),


http://www.pam.org.my/ccc.asp

26. Dalam Mahkamah Rayuan Malaysia Kuala Lumpur (Bidangkuasa Rayuan)


Rayuan Sivil No.B-02-757-98, di antara Lim Teck Kong (Pemohon), dan Dr
Abdul Hamid Abdul Rashid / Dr Khatiza Bt Haida Ali (Responden)

27. Syamsul Zuraida Zainudin , Prof Ir Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir , Prof Madya Ir Dr Nor
Mariah Adam , Zurkarnain Mohd Kassim, Future of Fire Safety for Malaysian
Housing,

28. Ibu Pejabat Bomba, Jabatan Bomba Dan Penyelamat Malaysia.-Penentuan


Keperluan Kelengkapan Menentang Kebakaran Bagi Bangunan Servis
Apartmen, Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia