Developers briefed on building safety legislation

National 1 minute, 50 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi) is looking to improve the Building Control Order to ensure buildings in the sultanate are safe for use.

During a closed-door meeting yesterday, representatives from ABCI and Town and Country Planning Department (TCP) discussed about the development approval procedures in the Order with architects, engineers, draughtsman and contractors.

Under the Order, only qualified persons appointed by the developer may submit plans, and qualified persons and builders are responsible for ensuring the building works comply with the regulations and standards.

The legislation defined a qualified person as someone who is registered as an architect or engineer under the Architects, Professional Engineers and Quantity Surveyors Order 2011.

ABCi Head of Development Control Section Hjh Sarbiah Hj Burut said the law applies to private developers and government-funded projects.

She said private developers should pay for the periodic inspection of buildings.

Hjh Sarbiah was responding to a question by a private developer who asked about the absence of a fixed amount of money that needs to be paid for inspection.

The real estate businessman said the Order did not mention how much private developers have to pay every five years when conducting the inspection.

In response, Hjh Sarbiah said the ABCi will look into the matter and try to iron out the problems.

In an interview after the meeting, a local engineer who did not want to be named said some sections in the 2014 Order were “confusing”.

Under Section 5 of the Order, a letter of endorsement must be done by a qualified person for building works.

The local engineer said a lot of building work projects in Brunei are joint ventures between foreign and local consultants.

He said more clarification is needed on who is responsible in certifying the building’s safety as many of the buildings were designed by foreign consultants.

The engineer suggested the ABCi revise the Order to make it clear on who is responsible for the building inspection and which party will bear the cost of the inspection work after five to 10 years.

In a press statement, ABCi said the Order was enforced last November aimed to ensure the safety and health of the public.

The Brunei Times