BCA reviews engineers' inspection reports and may conduct audits too

We thank Mr Bachan Singh for his feedback (Building inspections should be properly conducted, June 27).

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has in place the periodic structural inspection (PSI) regime to ensure that building structures are regularly inspected and properly maintained.

All owners are required to have their buildings inspected by a professional engineer every 10 years for residential buildings and every five years for other buildings.

This allows structural defects to be detected and rectified in a timely manner so that our buildings remain safe for continued occupation.

Building owners, home owners and professional engineers all have a role to play in ensuring that building inspections are properly conducted.

Upon receiving the PSI notice that the building is due for inspection, building owners are to appoint professional engineers promptly, provide access to all parts of the building and subsequently carry out any required rectification works highlighted by the engineers.

An appointed engineer would visually inspect the condition, loading and any addition or alteration to the structure of the building, to identify signs of structural defects, deformation and deterioration that will affect the structural stability or integrity of the building.

If it is not possible to carry out inspection in specific areas of a building due to difficulties in access or other practical challenges, professional engineers are to identify a representative sampling of areas to ensure sufficient rigour in the building inspection.

There should be no significant structural defect or deterioration in the selected areas inspected before the engineers can make their professional judgment in assessing the entire building to be structurally safe.

Should the professional engineers detect any signs of structural distress from the visual inspection, they will have to carry out further investigation and recommend appropriate rectification measures to the building owner to carry out.

BCA reviews the PSI reports submitted by the engineers and may carry out audits to verify their findings and assessments.

Members of the public or home owners can contact us if they have concerns on possible structural defects or the way that a PSI has been conducted.

We will be contacting Mr Singh to address his concerns.

Lim Beng Kwee

Director, Enforcement and

Structural Inspection Department

Building and Construction Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2019, with the headline 'BCA reviews engineers' inspection reports and may conduct audits too'. Print Edition | Subscribe