We refer to Mr Foo Chek Boon’s letter (Is there a chance of something similar happening elsewhere?, Sep 6).
Project parties have a collective responsibility to ensure construction and public safety. Under the Building Control Act and Regulations, building works, including the construction of slopes and retaining walls, must be designed and constructed in accordance with relevant building standards. These works must also be supervised by the professional engineers and site supervisors, and are subject to audit checks by BCA.
BCA is currently investigating the cause of the slope failure at Clementi. Slope failure is a technical term referring to the sudden collapse of a slope due to changes in soil strength and/or destabilisation of the slope. It can result from several factors, including rainfall and human activities such as construction.
While investigations are ongoing, BCA has reminded other professional engineers and builders to inspect slopes that are on or adjacent to their construction sites, and take additional measures to ensure the stability and safety of the slopes, if necessary. On top of this, BCA will conduct checks to ascertain that project parties have taken these measures to ensure that the slopes remain stable.
For existing buildings that are on or adjacent to slopes, BCA issues advisories annually to remind land and building owners to engage a professional engineer to inspect and maintain the slopes, earth retaining and boundary walls regularly.
Director, Strategic Engineering Project Department
Building Engineering Group
Building and Construction Authority