Do more to ensure safety of buildings

The recent case of a row of glass panels falling off the fifth floor of a relatively new condominium ("Loud shattering sound as condo pool's glass panels crash down"; last Saturday) raises concerns about the standard of buildings in Singapore.

As more small developers sprout up here and foreign players enter the industry, what has been done to ensure that their developments adhere to the safety standards? Who ensures that developers do not cut costs at the expense of safety to maximise their margins?

Currently, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has the Quality Mark and Conquas to assess the quality standard of developers. However, both schemes are voluntary, and many developers do not apply to be assessed.

For those assessed, more than one in four developments does not meet the merit grade.

Although buying a property is a private issue, the safety of a development is a public one, as its failure can result in injuries, and even death.

More should be done to regulate the developers. Let's not wait for construction disasters that cause injuries and death to happen before the authorities step in.

Lai Wai Mun (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'Do more to ensure safety of buildings'. Print Edition | Subscribe