Author of Yearning For Justice: A Mother's Musings To Her Future Child  
ISBN10: 0901931217  
ISBN13: 9780901931214  
Fund Contribution: POSB savings 279-12328-0

What has BCA got to say about the JEM ceiling collapse?

I had just completed writing the following article on the BCA, when I saw the news of the JEM ceiling collapse. In this regard, I would like to ask the BCA a few questions.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development of the Singapore Government. It was established on 1 April 1999 through the merger of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and the Building Control Division (BCD) of the former Public Works Department.

Why would construction demand projected increase if there is slower growth?

BCA expects private sector construction demand to moderate to $12-15 billion in 2013, in light of slower domestic economic growth and continued global economic uncertainties.

For 2014 and 2015, the average construction demand is projected to be $20–28 billion per annum.

What is the government’s standard of “buildability” and “constructability”? What are the improvement in “standards”?

BCA said: “To set a benchmark for the rest of the industry to follow, the government will take the lead by requiring public sector projects to adopt buildability and constructability standards higher than the new minimum requirements.”

Why is the public not involved in deliberating these standards?

What criteria are being used in regards to quality, management, capability and innovations?

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) gave out 31 awards for construction excellence this year. Comprising 18 awards and 13 certificates of merit, this is the highest number in the 27-year history of the award.

Shouldn’t all HDB contractors be qualified for Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Award too? If HDB contractors did not receive such awards, what does that mean? Does that mean HDB flats built by these contractors are not good enough?

Is that why some HDB flats have ceiling leaking and piping problems as reported in the press from time to time?

What has BCA got to say for JEM mall ceiling collapse?

Three people were injured after part of the first-floor ceiling at the new JEM shopping mall in Jurong East collapsed.

How can the ceiling of a newly built shopping mall collapse? This is almost unheard of in Singapore.

On Wikipedia, it said:

“BCA ensures that buildings in Singapore are designed, constructed and maintained to high standards of safety through its building regulatory system. The system oversees the approval of building and structural plans, periodic structural inspection for existing buildings, and regulation of excavation works, civil defence shelters, exterior features of buildings, and outdoor advertisement signs. Furthermore, BCA enforces regulations on dangerous buildings and unauthorised building works. It is also responsible for licensing builders and specialist builders, to ensure professional standards of construction works.

And according to BCA’s own web page, it said, “We ensure high safety standards and promote quality excellence in the built environment.”

You call this “high safety standards” and “quality excellence” with ceiling of a shopping mall crashing down and hurting people? Furthermore, we are not talking of a mall that is 100 years old. It’s a newly constructed mall just launched this year!

What has BCA got to say about this?


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