Insignificant Building Works
Building works that do not require building plan submission to BCA are termed “insignificant building works”. Homeowners who are interested in renovating their homes can learn more about the types of building works that are considered to be insignificant building works to prevent costly rectification work in future.
Carrying out building works without an approval from BCA is an offence under Section 20 of the Building Control Act. Those found to have contravened Section 20 of the Building Control Act may incur a fine of up to $200,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.
"building works" means —
(a) the erection, extension or demolition of a building;
(b) the alteration, addition or repair of a building;
(c) the provision, extension or alteration of any air-conditioning service or ventilating system in or in connection with a building,
and includes site formation works connected with or carried out for the purpose of paragraph (a), (b) or (c).
Clearances from other Relevant Authorities
The homeowner is responsible for checking if clearances from other relevant authorities (e.g. the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)) are required for any building work that will be done. Homeowners should also be mindful of other laws with which they have to comply (e.g. caveats, MCST by-laws, etc.).
We advise homeowners to engage a Registered Architect (RA) who specialises in architectural services and/or a Professional Engineer (PE) who specialises in the field of civil and structural works to advise on the clearances required from BCA and other relevant authorities for the building works that will be done.
Types of Insignificant Building Works
You may find out more about the types insignificant building works for each building type / building works in the following pages.
What will happen if I do not remove the unauthorised additions and/or alterations to my property?
Unauthorised building additions and / or alterations to your property may be a safety hazard if the structures are not properly designed by a Qualified Person (QP). Building owners who are found to have unauthorised building additions and/or alterations will have committed an offence under the Building Control Act and will be subject to the appropriate enforcement action.
How do I identify the unauthorised building works on my property?
Building owners can compare the as-built condition of the existing building works on your property with those in the approved plans to identify any unauthorised building work on your property.
How do I obtain a copy of the approved plans of my property?
Building owners can fill in the BCA Plan Purchase Application Form. We will contact you when the plans are available to arrange for an appointment to view and purchase the plans at BCA Service Centre at 200 Braddell Road, BCA Campus Singapore 579700.
What should I do if I intend to keep the unauthorised building works on my property?
The building owner should engage a Qualified Person (QP), who is the project architect or Professional Engineer (PE), to act on your behalf and submit the plans of the unauthorised building works to the Commissioner of Building Control for approval. The appointed QP shall also obtain all other necessary approvals from the relevant authorities, such as the URA.
I am a potential buyer of an existing property. What should I do to ensure that the property that I will be purchasing does not have any unauthorised building works?
A potential buyer of an existing property should engage a competent person, such as an architect, engineer or building surveyor, to investigate, inspect the property for any unauthorised building works and compare the as-built condition of the existing building works with those in the approved plans.
A legal search is one of the checks that should be routinely completed by a conveyancing lawyer. This search will only yield those unauthorised structures that had been brought to BCA’s attention and does not guarantee that the property does not have any unauthorised structures.
I am the owner of a new property. What should I do before I proceed with any addition and/or alteration to my new property?
Owners of new properties may proceed with minor addition and/or alteration to their properties if these building works are insignificant building works under the Building Control Regulations. You may refer here for the Building Control Regulations and here for a guide on insignificant building works.
We advise owners to check with the developer and project architect or Professional Engineer (PE) before proceeding with any major addition and/or alteration works.
Owners who are found to have not obtained the necessary approvals for the additions and/or alterations works to their properties that require approvals and have proceeded with the building works, can have the issuance of their Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) delayed.