a guide to building development in hong kong - HKU Libraries

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a guide to building development in hong kong - HKU Libraries

111OoMessage from Director 1Contents 2THE ARCHITECTURAL OFFICE 3Functions/Commitment 4Projects 5Multi-disciplined Team 6Architect 7Structural Engineer 8Quantity Surveyor 9Building Services Engineer 10Project Implementation 11Design Process 12Production Information 14Tender 15Construction Begins 16Construction Progresses 17Handover and Maintenance 18Other Functions 19THE BUILDINGS ORDINANCE OFFICE 21Organisation 22Branches and Duties 23Building Control 24Planning and Approval 25Centralised Processing 26Preparation 28Construction 29Completion 30Illegal Building Works 31Dangerous Buildings 32Emergency Inspection 33Dangerous Slopes/Signs 34Miscellaneous Functions 35Appeals and Prosecutions 36


MULTI-DISCIPLINED TEAMThe head of AO is the Principal Government Architectwho is responsible to the Building Development Departmentheadquarters for the work and day-to-daymanagement of the office, which is a multi-disciplinaryorganisation embracing the five professional disciplineswhich form the functional branches of AO.The first of these is Architectural Branch, whichmanages, designs and co-ordinates the buildingprojects under its control.The second is Quantity Surveying Branch whichdeals with building cost evaluation, tender documentationand provides contractual advice through thearchitect.Then comes Structural Engineering Branch whichdesigns for and advises on matters connected withthe strength and stability of projects, together with thestructural maintenance of existing buildings.Building Services Branch is the fourth of AO'sdisciplines, and although on secondment from Electricaland Mechanical Services Department and therefore notstrictly part of BDD Establishment, forms an essentialand integral part of the AO building team. It is responsiblefor all aspects of mechanical, electrical and relatedbuilding services for all AO projects.Finally, there is Maintenance Branch which, with theexception of public housing, is responsible for the maintenanceof all government property including UrbanCouncil and British Military buildings, amounting tosome 3 000 properties.In support of these five main branches is a largeforce of site supervisory staff organised into a teamsystem based on zones and districts, as well asnumerous professional, technical and clerical staff whohandle the distribution and recording of all correspondence,dissemination of technical information andcontrol of expenditure. This amounts to a total of 2 250staff within AO, 316 of whom are professional officers.DIRECTOR OF BUILDING DEVELOPMENTADMINISTRATION HEADQUARTERS BUILDINGS ORDINANCE OFFICEQLLJARCHITECTURAL OFFICEGLO 0)QARCHITECTURAL QUANTITY SURVEYING STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING MAINTENANCE *BUILDING SERVICESBRANCH BRANCH BRANCH BRANCH BRANCH7 DIVISIONS 3 DIVISIONS 2 DIVISIONS 2 DIVISIONS 3 DIVISIONSSeconded from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department.

ARCHITECTThe architect controls and co-ordinates the design andconstruction of the various types of project within AOfrom inception to completion. He uses his professionaland creative expertise in assimilating the general andspecific information related to the problem in hand,investigating the nature of the problem and its possiblesolutions and in developing and refining one or more ofthese tentative solutions, leading ultimately to a finaldesign.At the same time, he is responsible for the communicationof this design solution to the client to ensurethe brief has been met, to the associated disciplines ofthe design team to ensure their efforts are introducedand co-ordinated in the right order at the right time andto the contractor to enable the solution to be built. Oncebuilding work commences he will also supervise qualitycontrol to ensure that the project is implemented inaccordance with user requirements and statutorycontrols.m 2OThe Chater Garden.Kohima Barracks Development Plan.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERThe structural engineer is responsible for determiningthe stability of a building at as low a cost as possible,consistent with specific design requirements. He ensuresthat the structure carries into the ground the loads andstresses which result from the design, that it copes withexpansion and contraction without damage, is durablewith minimum maintenance and that the structuralmembers cause minimal obstruction to the use of thebuilding and the passage of essential services within andaround it.He also advises on the most sensible way of buildingin terms of the quality, quantity and arrangement ofcomponents and the sequence in which they are used.On site, the engineer is closely involved in inspectionand supervision of the structural work as it progressesand assists the contractor in understanding the keystructural factors affecting the building.Tsim Sha Tsui Space Museum.trLLJLLJLUccteHong Kong Coliseum under construct/on.

QUANTITY SURVEYORThe quantity surveyor(QS)advises on matters relating tocost and contracts in building and associated projects.This begins with cost advice through the feasibility,outline and design stages culminating in an agreed costplan linked with an agreed scheme design. Next comecost checking of the detailed design and productiondrawings against the agreed cost plan followed by theprovision of advice on tendering documentation andcontractual arrangements. This results in the productionof bills of quantities or a written specification to enablecontractors to submit tenders. On receipt of thesetenders the QS will examine and report on them.Once the contractor has been appointed and workhas commenced on site, the QS will be responsible forregular valuations for interim payments to the contractorand for the final account.design proposals |measurementbill of quantitiestenders invitedcctenders receivedJ_tenders assessedHong Kong International Airport.CONSTRUCTIONo

cciuLUBUILDING SERVICES ENGINEERThe building services engineer is concerned withenvironmental control, such as air conditioning, lighting,heating, etc., and also the provision of utilities such aslifts and escalators, and safety equipment, such as firefighting installations. The proportion of capital costsdevoted to services can vary widely with the buildingdesign and function. They are mostly energy consumingand this factor, together with the need to maintain allengineering equipment, makes their operating costsparticularly important.The building services engineer will therefore beinvolved in the design of a project at an early stage,advising the architect on the space provision for theservices and on the level of servicing required for theproject in hand. He is also responsible for producing thenecessary technical information to enable their installation,operation and maintenance.Solar heating.LUCO LUOLUCOC3CQSolar heating — Pik Uk Prison.10

DESIGN PROCESSDesign drawings range from brief exploratory sketchesand draft constructional details to complete projectpresentation drawings. Their form varies greatly andpreparation may be by any member of the design teamfor a variety of purposes. Design drawings express ideasat all stages of a project and need to be fluent anduninhibited by arbitrary rules. Essentially, the designprocess helps the designer to think and to communicatethese thoughts to others. Sketches may be prolificin number and may be short-lived, as the designerconstantly re-defines and refines his thoughts, leadingeventually to the final design solution.COCOLLJOOcc QLCO LUO


oIProduction information is prepared as part of the detaileddesign stage to convey precise instructions, simply andclearly, to the contractors responsible for the constructionof the building. Preparation of working drawings,schedules and specifications is co-ordinated with otherdisciplines to produce organised contract documentswith clear ordered references.Production drawings may not necessarily indicatethe appearance of the building but can be supported bythe concept design drawings to assist interpretation ofthe overall scheme. Production drawings and schedulesare essentially impersonal, and will show the practicalminimum, drawn with an agreed and uniform techniqueof dimensioning, annotation, coding and reference.Generally they are prepared in categories, startingPRODUCTION INFORMATIONCCOULooCCQ. Tuen Mun Hospital model.with layout drawings indicating the site and dispositionof buildings, then location drawings showing theelements and components of the projects, before movingon to assembly drawings showing the assembly andfixing of those components.Additionally, both the structural engineer andbuilding services engineer will prepare their own productioninformation in the same sequential manner,indicating the particular aspects of their respectivedisciplines. These will be read in conjunction with thearchitectural drawings to illustrate how all the variousaspects of a particular building are put together. Theywill also be given to the quantity surveyor to enable himto measure each individial element and produce a Billof Quantities from which prospective contractors canestimate their tender prices.•

TENDERThe tender is an offer by a contractor or supplier to carryout works or provide equipment as specified in return fora stated sum of money, and there are set procedureswhich must be followed when tendering for governmentprojects.Generally for contracts let by AO, the tenders are fora fixed sum, priced in accordance with the proposedconditions of contract. Prospective tenderers originatefrom a select list of contractors/suppliers who haveprevious experience in carrying out government projects.This list is sub-divided into groups, according to level ofcapability.Once a project is 'gazetted', i.e. tenders are invited,any of the contractors in the appropriate group cansubmit a tender. All have access to the same informationfrom which to produce their price, all have an equalamount of time in which to prepare it, and all must submittheir tenders on or before a pre-determined time andday.These tenders are then checked by the quantitysurveyor to ensure all contract conditions have been metand no errors have been made in pricing. A recommendationis then made to the Tender Review Boardas to which contractor should be appointed. This isgenerally - although not necessarily - the contractorwho submitted the lowest tender.Harbour Road Magistracy photo montage.cc111oLLJ

CONSTRUCTION BEGINSConstruction on site begins with the excavation ofbuilding foundations which have been designed to carrythe loads and stresses of the building to the ground. Dueto the geological conditions in Hong Kong, piling is themost common type of foundation although there areoccasions when alternatives may be used. Piling isusually carried out by a specialist contractor who willonly be engaged for this particular aspect. On completionthe foundations will be tested to ensure they willwithstand the structural loading required. The site willthen be handed over to the building contractor andconstruction of the superstructure will commence.CO2CDLLJOQr7>OTsim Sha Tsui Cultural Complex site works.16

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HANDOVER AND MAINTENANCEIn the final one or two weeks before a building is handedover to the client, the architect and his site staff willinspect the project in its entirety to ensure as far aspossible that any minor defects are dealt with beforecommissioning. Once these have been rectified representativesof the client department and surveyors fromMaintenance Branch are invited to take possession ofthe building.There is a defects liability period of six monthsfollowing the completion during which time any furtherdefects or teething problems are still rectified by thevarious contractors who built the project. Once thisperiod expires however, the maintenance of the buildingbecomes the sole responsibility of the MaintenanceBranch of AO - a further addition to the 3000 or soproperties already under its control.Rumsey Street Government Offices.18

OTHER FUNCTIONSAlthough not highlighted in the main organisation of theoffice, additional services and support are provided byspecialist groups within AO and on occasion externalconsultants.Consultants are engaged as and when necessary,to support the professional disciplines within the office.Appointment is generally determined by two principalfactors: either lack of manpower at a particular time, orthe need for specialist expertise in a particular field, forexample accoustic design in a concert hall. Currently,consultants are engaged on major hospital developmentsas well as several packages of urban projects.AO also gives technical advice and participates withthe private sector in joint venture developments. Theseactivities are undertaken by the Technical AdvisoryServices section of the office. Joint ventures are essentiallyprojects entrusted to the private sector for implementation.Technical Advisory Services' contributioncomprises the drafting of technical schedules which areannexed to the Conditions of Land Sale or Grant, andstate in detail the requirements of the project.The section also monitors design proposals and theprogress of a development through the various stages,including work on site. Joint ventures at presentrepresent a sizeable proportion of the total expenditureMacau FerryTerminal.LUX3

on building works. Current joint ventures include majorferry termini, markets, sports facilities, schools, quarters,social welfare facilities, multi-storey car parks, transporttermini, public toilets and refuse collection points.The increasing utilisation of computers has resultedin the introduction of a Computer Aided Design Sectioninto the office. AO has used computers for the calculationof structural and service requirements for some time.This is currently being expanded by the inclusion of acomputer aided drafting system to assist in the designprocess and the production of working drawings.Certain types of building designed by AO - schoolsand police stations, for example - are repeated indifferent locations throughout the territory. A largeproportion of the production information for such abuilding can often be the same for each location.The computer enables the professional disciplines toproduce and co-ordinate this information, modify itwhen necessary and store it for re-use as required. It isalso planned to expand the system to help in the actualdesign of projects, using its speed and power to explorealternative schemes which would take many weeks usingconventional methods, thus enabling the designer tofind better solutions to the new and different problems hefaces in the varied workload of AO.ccHIIHong Kong Harbour.


Building is the most obvious activity in Hong Kong. Fromthe 35 000 flats produced annually by the Government'sHousing Authority to the huge steel and glass structuresthat dominate the skyline, new buildings seem to bespringing up everywhere one looks.Buildings are forced skywards by the shortage ofland in the Territory, 70 per cent of which is mountainousand not suitable for building.Because of this, Hong Kong's buildings seem toreach ever higher. The Connaught Centre, for manyyears dominating the Central waterfront as the tallestbuilding in Hong Kong, has already been overshadowedby its neighbour, the newly completed ExchangeSquare, which will house Hong Kong's new united StockExchange.Only metres away the futuristic steel structure whichis the new headquarters of the Hong Kong and ShanghaiBanking Corporation dominates the Central BusinessDistrict.None of these new buildings, however, is as tall asthe 64-storey Hopewell Centre in Wanchai, currently thetallest building in the Territory.But even this tower will be topped by the new74-storey Bank of China Building. Excavation work onthe Central site for this new bank has just begun.With so much building taking place in such arestricted area tight controls on construction areBuildings Ordinance Officeessential.oI1 DCOAs the Government's Secretary for Lands andWorks, Mr Nicky Chan told a recent conference in HongKong: 'Nobody would challenge Government's right tolay down minimum standards for the design of tallbuildings. We are faced with a complex society, rapidtechnological development, and a need to make the bestuse of resources.Tall building designs today are constantly underreview in an attempt to achieve maximum constructionefficiency. This requires innovation as well as establishingstandards for design and construction.'It is difficult to maintain a balance between innovation,which by its very nature requires the acceptanceof risk, and the desire to legislate against failure byimposing stringent controls.'Charged with maintaining this balance and withensuring that buildings and builders comply with regulationsis the Building Development Department of theLands and Works Branch.It is quite a task. What started as the Good Orderand Cleanliness Ordinance of 1844 has grown intoa document of more than 360 pages known as theBuildings Ordinance and Regulations.The regulations have been drawn up over the years:To provide for the planning, design and construction ofbuildings and associated works; to make provision forthe rendering safe of dangerous buildings and land; andto make provision for associated works.'This legislation is administered by the BuildingAuthority, which is vested in the Director of BuildingDevelopment. His executive arm is the Buildings OrdinanceOffice which controls private buildings and streetworks as well as Mass Transit Railway works to ensurecompliance with building law. The Office also deals withprivate buildings and hillsides found to be dangerous, orin a potentially dangerous state.The Buildings Ordinance Office is headed by thePrincipal Government Building Surveyor and its basicorganisation is shown on next page.Boundaries of divisions coincide with District Boardboundaries to facilitate consultation with the boards.Communication with members of the public at all levelsis an essential part of the work of the Buildings OrdinanceOffice and staff are called upon to assist on manyoccasions, particularly in connection with unauthorisedbuildings.The major functions of the Buildings OrdinanceOffice are described and illustrated in the followingpages.The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank -the futuristic steel structure.22

The Buildings Ordinance Office OrganisationBranches, Divisions, and DutiesGeneral BranchGeographical and administrative divisions inHong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories,new buildingsStructural Engineering BranchGeographical and administrative divisions inHong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories,new buildingsEngineers deployed to all other Branches anddivisionsBuildingsOrdinanceOffice*HeadquartersControl and Enforcement Branch— Control DivisionEnforcement Divisionunauthorised building worksLLJI-Specialist BranchDangerous Buildings Divisiondangerous buildings and slopesQQWorks Divisionworks by government contractorSpecial Duties DivisionlicensingC/)LLJMass Transit Railway Divisionmass transit railway mattersOLitigation Unitlitigation and legislation

BUILDING CONTROLNew Building WorksDevelopment is a thriving industry in Hong Kong andeach new building erected by private individuals or bycorporations is the product of a commercial operation ora personal goal. It may rise from new land recentlyreclaimed from the sea, or from the redevelopment ofany number of older properties. Given normal conditionsthe building will have a lengthy lifespan and thus it isimportant that it is safe, functional, and environmentallyacceptable.Western F\ Old building for redevelopmento DCO oC32QCOTypical old buildings.. .

Planning and ApprovalOnce it has been decided to embark on a project, afeasibility study must be made for a suitable type ofdevelopment from the standpoint of both aesthetics andprofitability. Market forces often dictate the criteria.To assess these forces, a developer may approacha specialist consultant, or seek advice from the manyprofessionals in Hong Kong concerned with buildingdevelopment, who may have preliminary discussionswith Government. When all requirements have beendealt with, formal Government approval to the projectwill be sought. It is at this point that the BuildingsOrdinance Office becomes directly involved.Plans of the scheme must be submitted to theBuildings Ordinance Office for scrutiny. The submissionmust be made on the developer's behalf by an architect,engineer or surveyor, who is appropriately authorisedto do so under the Buildings Ordinance. He is known asan Authorised Person. The documents accompanyingthe submission confirm his appointment and formallyrequest approval of plans.The Authorised Person takes on the responsibilityfor ensuring that overall compliance with the buildinglegislation is achieved throughout the project. Hisactivities are monitored by the Building Authority in thepublic interest, by means of spot checks, to make surethat he is discharging his statutory duties properly.GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONGForm 9BUILDINGS ORDINANCE(Chapter 123)Section 4(1)BUILDING (ADMINISTRATION) REGULATIONSRegulation 29Application for approval of plans of building works and/or street works*andNotice of appointment of authorized person(*architect/engineer/surveyor) as co-ordinator;Notice of appointment of registered structural engineeras consultant to appointed authorized personGOVERNMENT OF HONG KONGForm 12BUILDINGS ORDINANCE(Chapter 123)Section 14BUILDING (ADMINISTRATION) REGULATIONSRegulation 30(1 )(a)Approval of PlansApproved«tcNOTE: As these plans have been examined only asoutlined in Practice Note for Authorised Persons andRegistered Structural Engineers 1983.99, particularattention is drawn to Section 4(3)(b) of the BuildingsOrdinance regarding the duty of Authorised Personsand Registered Structural Engineers and to Section14(2)(c) regarding possible contraventions of anyprovision of the Buildings Ordinance. This approvalshould not be taken as the authentication of anydocument required to be submitted under Building(Administration) Regulation 8(1).The plans are passed to the appropriate division of theGeneral Branch for processing and scrutiny for compliancewith the Buildings Ordinance and Regulations.This covers such diverse matters as provisions for thehandicapped, gas water heaters, refuse chutes andchambers, as well as compliance with any other alliedlegislation. The scrutiny also includes visits to thesites and consultation with a large number of otherGovernment Departments which will give advice on theirparticular areas of interest as shown in the followingdiagram:DCCLQLOCL

Civil Engineering Office(Port Works Division)Marine structuresAgriculture and FisheriesDepartmentCountry parksGeotechnical Control OfficeSloping sites, basementsGeotechnical lease conditionsWorks in Mid-levelsCivil Aviation DepartmentIlluminated signs adjoining the airportand sky signsHighways OfficeRoads, street lighting, parkingDrainage (Urban Areas)Disused tunnelsPlans INEducation DepartmentRequirements for schoolsCDZCOc/>LUOOcc Q.OLJJCOMass Transit OfficeMass Transit Railway and routeprotectionRailway Development OfficeKowloon Canton RailwayNT. Development DepartmentDrainage (Rural/NT. Areas)Registrar General (Land Office)Land title, surrenders and dedicationsLands andWorksBranchBuildingsOrdinanceOfficeCentralisedprocessingof plansPlans OUTOtherBranchesHousing DepartmentPrivate sector participation schemesClosure of dangerous buildingsDemolitionsLabour DepartmentFactoriesMarine DepartmentIlluminated signs facing the harbourLands DepartmentLease conditionsTree preservationFire Services DepartmentFire services installationsTown Planning OfficePlanning and parking proposalsTransport DepartmentTraffic management - schoolsMulti-storey car parksTraffic on large developmentsLUOWater Supplies DepartmentWater supplies, wellsWater catchment areasUrban Services DepartmentPublic Health matters

When all the views have been co-ordinated and it isconsidered that there are no major contraventions, theBuilding Authority gives his approval to the plans, copiesof which are retained for public record purposes. If theplans are not acceptable, they are rejected and theAuthorised Person must reappraise the scheme andstart the process again until compliance is achieved.Approval of the general building plans is not theend of the process and further approval of the structuraldesign prepared by a Registered Structural Engineer isrequired. Designs submitted by him are scrutinised bystaff of the Structural Engineering Branch of the BuildingsOrdinance Office who, when satisfied, approve the planson behalf of the Building Authority.Here again the Registered Structural Engineer isresponsible for ensuring that everything complies withthe Buildings Ordinance and Regulations but, in thepublic interest, the Building Authority monitors whetheror not the Registered Structural Engineer is carrying outhis statutory duties properly.Buildings Ordinance Office team scrutinising plans.1DCQ.Q_CDFoundation works commence for new Bank of China building.

PreparationBefore a new building can be started, the site itselfmay need some preparation. If it involves slopes thegeotechnical design will have already been approved,but if the demolition of some existing buildings isrequired, measures to protect both the general publicand the adjoining buildings must be considered beforedemolition starts.These measures include the provision of hoardingsand covered walkways so that passers-by are notendangered by debris, as well as proper support toadjoining buildings by timber shoring, if necessary, bothbefore and during the demolition works.Expert supervision by the contractor is specificallyrequired. If, during the course of routine inspections, it isconsidered that the way the work is being done isdangerous, then the Buildings Ordinance Office can andwill order work to stop until adequate precautionarymeasures have been taken. Hoardings and walkwaysare also provided to give protection during constructionworks.Well-protected demolition site.* LUcc,Q.Temporary protection following demolition.

ConstructionWith all site preparation completed and all approvalsobtained the developer will be able to commencebuilding, but he must first obtain the consent of theBuilding Authority and then appoint a RegisteredContractor who himself has responsibilities under thelaw to comply with all the appropriate regulations. Onceagain the Building Authority keeps a watching brief onhim just as for the Authorised Person and for theRegistered Structural Engineer.The first steps in any major site works involve theaspects governing the ground and slopes-geotechnicalmatters as they are known - together with the basicfoundations. The latter can be steel or concrete piles(bored or driven), caissons, rafts or any other type offoundation that a Registered Structural Engineer hasselected as the most suitable for the site conditionsand the type or development proposed. The RegisteredStructural Engineer (who is wholly responsible) shouldcarefully supervise this aspect but the StructuralEngineering Branch of the Buildings Ordinance Officewill also monitor the works.Once the building is 'out of the ground' the workof the Authorised Person and Registered StructuralEngineer is monitored through spot checks by both asurveyor and an engineer from the Buildings OrdinanceOffice to confirm that the building is being erected inaccordance with the approved plans, and is in generalcompliance with the Buildings Ordinance and Regulations.Particular attention is paid to the quality ofconcrete used in construction.With the completion of the structure all the internalservices such as fire services installation, water, airconditioning(if provided) and lifts can be installed,and both internal and external finishing put in hand.Drainage is laid and tested to satisfy the BuildingAuthority that it is in order and that, once covered, therewill be no potential health risks.Site format/on.oAugered piling.29

The building should now be standing on its site as it wasplanned and ready for occupation. Final checks aremade by the Building Authority to ensure that fresh waterand flushing water are available, gas safety precautionshave been followed, lifts are working and fire servicesinstallations have been completed to the satisfaction ofthe Fire Services Department.If all these checks are satisfactory and everything isfound to be in order, the developer will receive a permit tooccupy the building. He will, in many cases, also need toobtain a certificate of compliance with the lease conditions,from the Director of Lands, before he can put thebuilding on the market for sale.The work of the General Branch of the BuildingsOrdinance Office is then ended and the finished buildingcomes into a new phase of control directed to ensurethat the standards of public health and safety are notrelaxed.o oCompletionChecking of works in progress.Newly completed building.30

Illegal Building WorksDue to shortage of accommodation in Hong Kong,owners and occupiers of buildings sometimes carry outillegal alterations and extensions to their premises.Whilst at first glance minor changes may seem to causelittle problem, it is when such minor changes are multipliedthat they can become a risk to life or a hazard tohealth. So many unauthorised building works have beenand are being carried out that control must be exercisedto preserve both the safety of buildings and the environmentof those who live or work in them.The usual way the existence of unauthorisedbuilding work becomes known to the Buildings OrdinanceOffice is through complaints from the generalpublic. These are passed in the first instance to theControl Division of the Control and Enforcement Branchof the Buildings Ordinance Office. Their aim is to makean inspection of the premises featuring in the complaint,and technical officers are assigned to inspect and comparewhat they find on the site with what was originallyapproved.The more common types of unauthorised works areroof-top structures, extensions to flats, cages, filled inre-entrants or filled-in light wells, all of which couldrepresent both a danger to the building or the public orbe a health hazard. Security gates to flats also representa well known danger as they could interfere with meansof escape from the premises.In some cases a word to the owner may result in theremoval of the offending structure, but more often thannot it is necessary to serve an order on the owner givinghim a reasonable period to remove the structure. If hecomplies this is all to the good but if not, he will bewarned that unless he does so by a certain date, theGovernment contractor will be instructed to remove theoffending structure and the owner will be charged withthe actual cost of the work plus supervision charges.If he persists in building unauthorised structures,the owner will be prosecuted and, on conviction, willsuffer a fine and/or imprisonment.In an attempt to reduce the number of unauthorisedstructures, particularly in new buildings, the Controland Enforcement Branch has programmed inspectionswhich assist in detection and enable rapid action to betaken. Further, as prevention is better than cure, thepublic at large is continually being informed of what isnot permitted, through radio and T.V. announcementsand advisory posters.Staff of the Buildings Ordinance Office are alwayswilling to advise the public on what would be consideredto be unauthorised building work and it is therefore ineverybody's interest to call the office if in doubt.8 CCoCOLUUnauthorised structures.31

OTHER FUNCTIONSDangerous BuildingsNo building will remain in good condition indefinitelyunless properly maintained and with the passage of timeit will suffer general deterioration until parts or the wholeof it become a hazard to the occupants or the public atlarge.Tropical cyclones (typhoons), fires, and buildingworks on adjoining sites are all additional dangers tobuildings and can result in damage. Deterioration mayalso be the result of the use of poor materials inconstruction. In the interests of public safety, precautionarymeasures and remedial works may be necessary.Dangerous and defective buildings are usuallybrought to the attention of the Dangerous BuildingsDivision of the Buildings Ordinance Office through acomplaint from the public or a report from anotherGovernment Department of a specific incident. On receiptof the complaint an immediate inspection is made.Partial collapse of an old building due to deteriorationf/964).V)(D00

If a building is in a dangerous condition andrepresents a threat to the safety of the occupants it canbe closed on application to the courts. The time ofclosure is usually a month following the application, butin emergency cases the closure can be immediate or in afew days. Arrangements for the temporary rehousing oftenants displaced by a closure are made in co-operationwith the Housing Department. Where a building cannotbe reasonably repaired an Order to demolish it will beissued.If repair is possible and reasonable, then an Orderwill be served upon the owner stating the works thatmust be carried out. The owner will be given the appropriatetime to complete the repairs but if he fails tocomply with the Order, the works will be carried out bythe Government Contractor. The cost of the work, plus asupervision charge, is then recovered from the owner.There are still some 2 500 pre-war buildings in HongKong, many of which are in a dilapidated condition.In anticipation of further deterioration, the BuildingsOrdinance Office makes planned surveys of variousselected areas where the buildings are likely to be in aparticularly sensitive condition. Such surveys reducesignificantly any danger of unexpected collapses. Theaim of the Dangerous Buildings Division is to seek outany potentially dangerous buildings, monitor them andadvise of further deterioration, with a view to closure andpossible demolition if it is unreasonable to repair them.od LUCLLUCDDCLUInspection of fire damaged building.LU

COCDC/5LLJQ.3C/>C/)O ccLUMany potentially dangerous slopes and land supportedby retaining walls of dubious strength have beenidentified as the result of extensive surveys carried outunder the supervision of the Geotechnical Control Officeof the Engineering Development Department.Wherethese surveys involve private buildings or land, anorder to stabilise or repair them may be served on theowners, who in a large development may be numerous.The size and complexity of the works required oftenlead to difficulties in getting all the owners to agree withthe result that, in the interests of public safety, theGovernment may step in and carry out the works onbehalf of the owners. Such projects nearly always need aspecialist consultant for the design and supervision ofthe works and his charges will be included in the costs tobe recovered from the owners.(D 2§Dangerous SlopesSlope remedial works in progress.Dangerous SignsWith the thousands of signs in Hong Kong it is inevitablethat some become so neglected that they represent adanger to pedestrians and traffic, especially the largeones over public thoroughfares. Where an owner can belocated he is required to remove any dilapidated sign butin cases where he cannot be found and the sign isdangerous, the Buildings Ordinance Office arranges forimmediate removal by the Government Contractor.Slope remedial works.Dangerous signs.'

Defective DrainsNot only buildings can be dangerous, but also defectivedrains, for example, which can pose a danger to health.Where drains are clearly such a danger, a statutoryorder will be issued requiring the owner to carry outrepairs (which may be above and/or below ground) andif he defaults, the work will be carried out by the GovernmentContractor. It is of interest that where a largebuilding has a proper management committee, this willgenerally arrange for the work to be done by a contractorfamiliar with the building.The Government ContractorWhenever owners have failed to carry out works requiredby a statutory order, and where works are required foremergency reasons, they are normally carried out by acontractor appointed by the Government, who worksunder the supervision of the Works Division of theBuildings Ordinance Office. This division also liaiseswith other Government departments in such matters asthe removal of projections from buildings, which mayinterfere with the construction of new fly-overs or obstructbus routes.Mass TransitIn the case of the Mass Transit Railway, care has to betaken to ensure that development along an existingroute does not affect the railway, and similarly thatpotential developments do not prejudice any futurerailway routes. The Buildings Ordinance Office thereforecontinues to monitor both situations.LicensingLicensing covers a wide range of subjects includingschools, kindergartens, child care centres, restaurants,food business premises, cinemas, theatres and dancehalls. Although the Building Authority is not responsiblefor licensing for these matters, the Buildings OrdinanceOffice is called upon to advise the licensing authoritieson the suitability of the structure and the effectiveness ofmeans of escape in case of fire. This is done by theSpecial Duties Division, the end product being anassurance to the public that matters concerning safetyhave been properly taken care of.The licensing of oil storage installations is considerednecessary in order to protect the public from theeffects of a possible major oil spill and the BuildingAuthority is the actual Licensing Authority for theenvironmental consideration. All tanks must be inspectedat regular intervals by a qualified engineer who certifiestheir condition. Strict adherence to all the requirementsin the Building (Oil Storage Installations) Regulationsmeans that the Hong Kong public is given the maximumprotection.Although not strictly a licensing matter, the BuildingsOrdinance Office also deals with the subject of noisefrom construction sites. Normally no powered equipment,and in particular no piling, is permitted between7.00 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. on weekdays or on Sundays andpublic holidays.However, there are occasions when it becomesnecessary for works to be allowed at night and arelaxation of the restrictions may be given in certaincircumstances upon application to the BuildingAuthority. Limited mechanical equipment is thereforesometimes allowed under Permitted Works Permits whichare based upon criteria laid down by the EnvironmentalProtection Agency, the main aim being not to causedisturbance to the public. Permits are also issued inexceptional circumstances, such as where trafficproblems occur during working hours or where workmust be carried out according to the tides.Emergency OrganisationEmergencies can occur at any time or day or night andin recognition of the importance of public safety theBuildings Ordinance Office maintains a 24-hour serviceby means of a radio paging system. In response to anyemergency call (normally from the Police), an officerfrom the Buildings Ordinance Office will make an inspectionto give advice and take all necessary action inrespect of any dangerous situation involving buildings.In respect of dangerous slopes, the officer calls uponthe services of the Geotechnical Control Office whichalso maintains a 24-hour emergency service.During tropical cyclones and sometimes duringother adverse weather conditions, there may be a largenumber of emergencies, and to cope with this situationthe Buildings Ordinance Office sets up its own emergencyorganisation with teams of up to 14 staff, workingsix-hour shifts for the duration of the emergency. ThisEmergency Centre also liaises with the GeotechnicalControl Office's Emergency Centre.To deal with any particularly dangerous situation,the Government Contractor is also on full alert duty, sothat he can provide, for example,temporary shoring inorder to alleviate the danger. After an emergency haspassed, any further action is generally carried throughby staff of the Dangerous Buildings Divisions, which mayissue statutory orders or arrange for emergency works tobe carried out.COOLLCOOLLJ1LLJOCO35

COTemporary BuildingsDuring the many festivals in Hong Kong all sorts oftemporary structures, normally constructed of bamboo,are erected and the Buildings Ordinance Office givesadvice on these structures to the Licensing Authority.This duty evolved from the disastrous fire in the stands atHappy Valley Race Course in 1911, and again is yetanother instance where the Buildings Ordinance Officeis protecting public safety.Appeals and ProsecutionsLegislation, like buildings, may become out-dated or newproblems may arise requiring new legislation, whichmeans that all the laws must be kept under constantreview. In the Buildings Ordinance Office this is done bythe Litigation and Legislation Unit and changes in thelaw are sought whenever necessary.All legislation is subject to challenge and theBuildings Ordinance is no exception. Any person whoconsiders that he has been prejudiced by a decision ofthe Building Authority can put his case before an AppealTribunal which will listen carefully to the arguments ofboth sides before reaching a decision. Interpretation ofthe Ordinance can also be challenged in the courts, sooverall the public is well protected.On occasions it is necessary to prosecute membersof the public on such matters as illegal building works. Inother cases, where dangerous building practices arediscovered, Authorised Persons or contractors mightfind themselves facing charges in the courts. Whereprosecution is not appropriate there are disciplinaryboards to deal with contractors or Authorised Personswho have been guilty of negligence or misconduct. In allthese situations the Litigation Unit is the co-ordinator.The Building Authority through the Buildings OrdinanceOffice offers a protective service rather than aproduct, but it is a service that helps to ensure thatenvironmental standards (where they concern buildings)are maintained with the consequential benefits to thecommunity at large.o IōmCOo cc Q.Q5Q.Q.Mat shed for Cantonese opera.>

HKP 351-EOOab H77 L[HKP] 354.20086 H77 LHKP 35M.5DD.ab H77 L|HK. Lands and Works Branch.Information and PublicRelations UnitDate Due 1360629TOG

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