Construction developers and builders should expect new regulations when it comes to facades building anytime soon, as the Government is preparing to make these aspects tighter than before. Besides making a few adjustments to the way they will be built in the near future, some changes make reference to the fact that building manages will have to run periodic inspections to see if everything is alright with the cladding, windows, and other external elements of a building façade. In fact, the companies that activate in the real estate sector of Singapore are getting ready to face the new changes, which will require both close-up and full-scale inspections.
When it comes to a visual, full-scale inspection, a drone or a pair of binoculars will be used, so that the façade is inspected from the outside. Close-up inspections are more thorough and will require the presence of a qualified specialist, who will check for any issues in the integrity of the façade. All of these new rules were a subject of the conference that took place recently at the Marina Bay Sands, called the Glasstech Asia and Fenestration Asia 2017. Also, new “façade inspectors” will emerge soon as courses in this directions were launched by the Building and Construction Authority Academy, which will have all the knowledge and training needed to identify a façade with problems.
At the moment, there are no regulations that should push building manages to be more careful when it comes to the integrity of their buildings’ facades, which leads to cases in which some facades need immediate repairs or unfortunate situations in which pieces fell off a façade, risking to produce damages and injure people. But, in spite of this fact, manages stated that such new rules are more than welcome. They are well aware that a high number of building owners and managers take advantage of the lack of such rules and go the easy way since the present laws are making an owner responsible only if an accident happens and someone gets hurt. But, we all know that this is too late and we shouldn’t allow these things to occur.
Furthermore, Gan Geok Chua, the chairman of Singapore Glass Association, stated that all the cases in which panels made out of glass and concrete fragments fell off buildings could have been prevented with the help of periodical inspections. He also brought to light a staggering truth, mentioning the fact that many building owners are willing to accept risks because it is costly for them to check facades for problems and remediate them if necessary. Thus, they prefer closing their eyes and hoping that nothing bad will happen. So, with the help of these new regulations, accidents will be prevented and people will receive safer places to live. Unfortunately, at the moment, everybody waits for something bad to happen before they begin taking care of the existing problem, this is why these new rules are more than needed. But, even so, some think that not even façade inspectors will be able to eradicate all of the present issues.