Roles of Buildings Department
We control all private building developments in Hong Kong under the Buildings Ordinance (BO) and its allied legislations.
Any person who intends to carry out building works is required under the BO to appoint the following Building Professionals to prepare and submit plans for the approval of the Building Authority (BA):
- an Authorized Person (AP)
- a Registered Structural Engineer (RSE), where necessary
- a Registered Geotechnical Engineer (RGE) for building works at any stage involving geotechnical elements
The person is also required to appoint a Registered Contractor to carry out the building works. Consent to commence building works is required from the Building Authority before the works start.
What do we do?
A building development project involves submission of different types of prescribed plans, such as general building plans, foundation plans, superstructure plans, site formation plans, drainage plans, demolition plans, and excavation and lateral support plans, etc. We are committed to adopting a totally positive attitude towards building development and our mission is to facilitate building professionals in the approval process whilst ensuring public safety and health. With a view to enhancing efficiency, we have adopted a curtailed check system in the plan approval process, in which non-fundamental issues will not be checked and will not be raised as disapproval items. The AP/RSE/RGE should thus ensure that all non-fundamental issues have fully complied with the relevant regulations and codes of practice before commencement of the works.
Centralized processing system is adopted for building plans to ensure that all interested government departments are consulted and their comments on private development proposals are collated by the BA within time limits allowed for processing building plans. The system also serves the purpose of making the Buildings Department a focal point where issues arising from private building development precipitate.
Application for consent to the commencement and carrying out of building works
We process consent application for the commencement and carrying out of any building works shown on the approved plans made in the specified form to the BA. Under the BO, the BA may give his consent to the commencement of any part of any buildings the plans of which have been approved upon the receipt of all documents as may be prescribed by regulations and the compliance/fulfillment of any condition or requirement imposed in the approval for consent application.
Building works construction
We carry out site monitoring for building works in progress.
Other than the systematic inspections carried out by the Site Monitoring Section, we also witness site tests at critical stages of the building works and carry out quality audit to ensure that they are carried out in accordance with the plans approved by the BA with quality in compliance with the standards required by the BO.
Proof tests on foundation works
Performing proof tests on representative foundation units upon the completion of the works is one of the critical stages of works to ascertain the performance of foundations under loads. We would witness the proof tests to ensure that they are properly conducted.
To verify the quality of works, we will check the quality control documentation for the materials used, testing reports and conduct site tests to ascertain the quality of the completed works.
Completion of building works
Under the BO, no new building shall be occupied unless an Occupation Permit (OP) in respect of such building has been issued. Application for OP should be made by the AP, RSE, RGE and RC responsible for the project. They should certify on a specified form that the building has been completed in accordance with the provisions of the BO and its regulations, and the plans approved in respect of the new building, and is structurally/geotechnically safe.
Upon receipt of an OP application, we will carry out OP inspection and examine the required documents. An OP will only be issued when the building is ready for occupation.