Building Control Act
(CHAPTER 29)

(Original Enactment: Act 9 of 1989)

REVISED EDITION 1999
(30th December 1999)
An Act to consolidate and amend and to make further provision concerning the law relating to buildings, and for matters connected therewith.
[1st May 1989]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Building Control Act.
Interpretation
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“accredited checker” means a person who is registered as an accredited checker under section 16, whether acting on his own behalf or on behalf of an accredited checking organisation;
“accredited checking organisation” means an accredited checking organisation registered as such under section 16;
[26/2000 wef 01/09/2001]
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“amendment plans” means the plans showing any deviation from, or any amendment or addition to, any plan of building works approved by the Commissioner of Building Control under section 5(3);
[18/2003 wef 01/01/2004]
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“analyst” means an analyst approved by the Commissioner of Building Control;
“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 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 A under a contract entered into by the builder with A;
“builder’s licence” means a general builder’s licence or a specialist builder’s licence granted under Part VA;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“building” means any permanent or temporary building or structure and includes —
(a)a hut, shed or roofed enclosure;
(b)an earth retaining or stabilising structure, whether permanent or temporary;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
(c)a dock, wharf or jetty;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
(ca)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; and
(iii)is or is to be permanently moored;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
(d)a culvert, crossing, bridge, underpass or tunnel;
(e)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;
(f)a shelter provided under the Civil Defence Shelter Act (Cap. 42A); and
(g)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 and Construction Authority” means the Building and Construction Authority established under section 3 of the Building and Construction Authority Act 1999 (Act 4 of 1999);
“building regulations” means any regulations made under section 49;
“building works” means —
(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 paragraph (a), (b) or (c);
“certificate of statutory completion” means a certificate of statutory completion issued under section 12;
“Commissioner of Building Control”, in relation to this Act or any Part or provision of this Act, means any Commissioner of Building Control appointed under section 3(1) to be responsible for the operation of this Act or that Part or provision, as the case may be;
“common property” has the same meaning as in the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act 2004;
[47/2004 wef 01/04/2005]
“competent authority” means the competent authority appointed under section 5 of the Planning Act (Cap. 232) in respect of the development of land;
“developer”, in relation to any building works, means the person for whom or on whose behalf the building works are carried out;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“earth retaining structure” means any structure, structural system or other means used to maintain the shape of excavation during construction, earth filling or cutting;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“exterior feature”, in relation to any building, means any of the following features that is permanent and is installed on, forms part of or projects outwards from the roof or exterior of the building:
(a)any air-conditioning unit, including any window air-conditioning unit and any condensing equipment of an air-conditioning unit;
(b)any window, with or without movable parts;
(c)any grille or shutter, with or without movable parts;
(d)any tile, cladding, curtain wall, siding, plaster, bracket or cornice;
(e)any gutter, rainwater down-pipe, or part of the roof;
(f)any awning or sun-shading device;
(g)such other feature that is permanent and is installed on, forms part of or projects outwards from the roof or exterior of any building as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, declare to be an exterior feature for the purposes of this Act;
[34/2004 wef 01/10/2004]
“flat” has the same meaning as in the Land Titles (Strata) Act (Cap. 158);
[34/2004 wef 01/10/2004]
“general building works” means any building works other than specialist building works;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“geotechnical aspects”, in relation to any underground building works, means —
(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 ground-water 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;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“geotechnical engineer” means a professional engineer who is registered under the Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) as a specialist professional engineer in the specialised branch of geotechnical engineering;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“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;
“insignificant building works” means such building works as are prescribed under section 4(d);
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“key structural elements” means 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” means such building works as are prescribed for the purposes of section 7(1)(b);
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“limited common property” has the same meaning as in the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act 2004;
[47/2004 wef 01/04/2005]
“limited liability partnership” has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Limited Liability Partnerships Act (Cap. 163A);
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“major building works” means building works other than minor building works;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“minor building works” means building works (not being underground building works) that are prescribed in the building regulations as building works the plans of which do not require a certification from an accredited checker for the purposes of section 5 or 5A;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“occupier”, in relation to any building, means the person in occupation of the building or having the charge, management or control thereof, either on his own account or as agent of another, but does not include any lodger within the building;
“owner”, in relation to —
(a)any premises or building, means the person for the time being receiving the rent of the premises or building, whether on his own account or as agent or trustee or as receiver, or who would receive the same if the premises or building were let to a tenant and includes a mortgagee in possession;
(c)the common property of any subdivided building, includes the management corporation having control of the building, or the person receiving any rent or charge for the maintenance of that common property or any body corporate constituted under an order made by the Minister under section 3 of the HUDC Housing Estates Act (Cap. 131);
[47/2004 wef 01/04/2005]
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
(ca)the limited common property of any subdivided building, includes the subsidiary management corporation established under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act 2004 having control of the limited common property, or the person receiving any rent or charge for the maintenance of that limited common property;
[47/2004 wef 01/04/2005]
(d)the common property of residential and commercial property in any housing estate of the Housing and Development Board, means that Board; and
(e)the common property of any building which is not subdivided, includes any person receiving any rent or charge for the maintenance and management of that common property;
“person responsible”, in relation to an exterior feature of a building, means —
(a)the owner of the building which the exterior feature is installed on, forms part of or projects outwards from, unless otherwise provided by paragraph (b), (c) or (d);
(b)subject to paragraph (c), where the exterior feature is part of —
(i)the common property of any housing estate of the Housing and Development Board — either that 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; or
(ii)the common property or limited common property of any other land (whether or not comprised in a strata title plan) — the owner thereof, unless otherwise provided by paragraph (d);
(c)where the exterior feature is a window, grille or shutter that is part of a flat —
(i)in the case 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); or
(ii)in the case of any other flat — the owner of that flat; or
(d)such other person as may be prescribed under section 22C as the person responsible for the exterior feature;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“plans”, in relation to any building works —
(a)includes drawings, details, diagrams, structural details and calculations showing or relating to the building works; and
(b)if prepared in electronic form, includes the medium in which the plans of building works have been stored;
[18/2003 wef 01/01/2004]
“premises” includes buildings, lands, easements and hereditaments of any tenure;
“qualified person” means a person who is registered as —
(a)an architect under the Architects Act (Cap. 12) and has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act; or
(b)a professional engineer under the Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) and has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act;
“repealed Act” means the Building Control Act (Cap. 29, 1985 Ed.) in force immediately before 1st May 1989;
“retrofit”, in relation to an exterior feature, means to modify or re-install the exterior feature as if installing the exterior feature for the first time;
[34/2004 wef 01/10/2004]
“short-lived materials” means any building materials which are, in the absence of special care, liable to rapid deterioration or are otherwise unsuitable for use in the construction of permanent buildings;
“site supervisor” means a person appointed (whether alone or as a member of a team of site supervisors) under section 10 to be a site supervisor in respect of any small-scale or large building works;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“small-scale building works” means such building works as are prescribed for the purposes of section 7(1)(c);
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“specialist accredited checker” means an accredited checker who is registered under section 16 to undertake the work of an accredited checker as regards the geotechnical aspects of any underground building works;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“specialist builder” means any person who is licensed under Part VA as a specialist builder;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“specialist building works” 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 stabilisation 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;
(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;
(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; and
(g)such other building works as the Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, declare to be specialist building works;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“structural elements” means those parts or elements of a building which 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 but does not include doors, windows and non-load bearing walls;
[34/2004 wef 01/10/2004]
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“structural works” means works in relation to the structural elements of the building works;
[18/2003 wef 01/01/2004]
“temporary building” means —
(a)any building or structure constructed of short-lived materials; or
(b)any other building or structure permitted to be used by the competent authority or Commissioner of Building Control for a period not exceeding 36 months, or such other period as may be prescribed (if prescribed) in the building regulations,
but does not include any bridge, any decking for a bridge, or any earth retaining structure;
[47/2007 wef 01/10/2008]
“temporary occupation licence” means a temporary occupation licence issued under section 8(1) of the repealed Act;
“temporary occupation permit” means a temporary occupation permit granted under section 12(3);
“unauthorised”, in relation to a building or building works, means any building erected, or any building works commenced or carried out, in contravention of any provision of this Act or the building regulations;
“underground building works” means any of the following building works, the carrying out of which starts on or after the date to be specified by the Minister by order in the Gazette:
(a)any excavation or other building works to make —
(i)a tunnel with a diameter, width or height of more than 2 metres; or
(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;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“value”, in relation to any building works, means —
(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 goods and services tax payable in relation to the supply of the work;
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
“ventilating system” means a mechanical system for introducing or exhausting air.
[22/91; 23/91; 18/95; 12/97; 3/98; 4/99; 36/99]
(2)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference to a building includes a reference to a part of a building.
(3)  The Minister may, by notification published in the Gazette, vary any of the following referred to in the definition of “underground building works” in subsection (1):
(a)the diameter, width or height of any tunnel;
(b)the depth of any caisson, cofferdam, trench, ditch, shaft or well;
(c)the depth or height of any earth retaining structure in or for a trench, ditch, shaft or well; or
(d)the number of storeys in a building.
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
(4)  Any reference in this Act to a person being an associate of a developer or builder of building works shall be 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.
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
(5)  Where —
(a)by or under any provision of this Act or any subsidiary legislation made thereunder an act or thing is required or directed to be done within a particular period or before a particular time;
(b)failure to do that act or thing within the period or before the time referred to in paragraph (a) constitutes an offence; and
(c)that act or thing is not done within the period or before the time referred to in paragraph (a),
the obligation to do that act or thing shall continue, notwithstanding that that period has expired or that time has passed, until that act or thing is done; and if the failure to do that act or thing within the period or before the time referred to in paragraph (a) is an offence, a person shall be guilty of a separate offence in respect of each day (including the day of a conviction for any such offence or any later day) or part thereof during which the person continues to refuse or fail to comply with that requirement or direction.
[47/2007 wef 15/02/2008]
Authorised officers
3.—(1)  The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint such person or persons as he thinks fit to be the Commissioner of Building Control responsible for the operation of this Act, either generally or for any particular Part or provision of this Act or for any particular regulations made under this Act, and may in the notification specify the extent of and manner in which that responsibility is to be exercised.
[4/99]
(2)  The Commissioner of Building Control may generally or specially authorise, by name or office, any of the following persons to exercise or carry out, subject to such conditions or limitations as the Commissioner of Building Control may specify by directions, all or any of the powers conferred or duties imposed on the Commissioner of Building Control under this Act:
(a)any public officer;
(b)any officer of the Building and Construction Authority;
(c)any officer of such other public authority constituted by any written law as the Minister may approve for this purpose.
[Act 2 of 2012 wef 01/03/2012]
(3)  Any person who is authorised under subsection (2) to exercise any power or carry out any duty of the Commissioner of Building Control under this Act shall —
(a)when exercising that power or carrying out that duty, comply with the directions of the Commissioner of Building Control;
(b)be deemed to be a public servant for the purposes of the Penal Code (Cap. 224); and
(c)if the person is an officer referred to in subsection (2)(b) or (c), be deemed to be a public officer for the purposes of this Act.
[Act 2 of 2012 wef 01/03/2012]