SINGAPORE: Some building owners will soon be legally required to appoint trained personnel to inspect building facades to ensure that they are well-maintained, announced Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Tuesday (Mar 6).
Speaking in Parliament during his ministry's committee of supply debate, Mr Lee said that the regime change will focus on buildings taller than 13 metres, and older than 20 years as they "pose higher risks".
The inspections must be carried out once every seven years, with the expected lifespan of common facade materials and facade deterioration in mind.
They would allow for detection of facade deterioration to facilitate timely repairs, Mr Lee said.
The inspection regime is aligned with the typical length of Repair and Redecoration (R&R) cycles for HDB estates and the majority of condominium developments, he said.
The requirement comes on top of the Building and Construction Authority's (BCA) existing inspections which looks at the structural design of facades such as curtain wall and external cladding under the Building Control Act, as well as the maintenance of building exteriors under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act.
Under the legislative changes which will be finalised by year end, BCA will also introduce inspection guidelines and strengthen its R&D efforts to look into more effective and productive ways to carry out facade inspections.
"Building owners will be given about one year's lead time to prepare, before the requirement comes into effect. BCA will continue to engage stakeholders on implementation details, to minimise cost burden," he said.