SCOPE OF SERVICES
The range of our activity in design covers a broad spectrum from brief advice to inspection of construction and includes preparation of plans and specifications. Following is a brief summary of services which we offer:
This phase may comprise mainly an expression of our opinion based on experience and technical knowledge. Advice on the merits of undertaking further studies or a new project and on its related technical consideration may be given.
Preliminary review of past documentary information and / or meeting may be provided to exchange concepts and ideas.
The feasibility study of a proposed project is an investigation based on considering its economic as well as engineering aspects. Together with the client's concept plan, both aspects are explored to enable the client to decide whether or not to undertake the project.
Detailed studies, such as physical exploration, including soil borings, topographic surveys, and hydrographic studies, may be necessary during this phase.
Possible methods of construction, preliminary options with sketches and a master plan of the proposed project may be considered / prepared.
This phase can be subdivided into schematic, preliminary, and final designs, which enables a review with the client at the end of each stage, or the review can be continuous to enable the client to visualize the implementation of requirements and allow additions and changes to be made as the need arises, before the design is finalized.
The completed design documents consist of detailed plans and specifications and contracts for construction. Formal plan submission or submission through Minor Work Control System to the Buildings Department (the BD) for approval and consent of work is usually required at this phase.
Tendering prodedure may start after approval of work has been granted by the government authorities. Tender document for the proposed works to take construction bids and tender analysis and recommendation will be prepared.
Upon appointment of contractor, a consent to commence the site work, if required, will be applied for with the government authorities.
During the construction, contract administration from payment certification during construction to Defect List after completion of work and as-built record submission to BD are provided.
During the construction phase, periodic site inspection and site safety supervision; and / or full time site supervision may be required in complicance with different Government ordinances.
Professional site supervision is important to ensure that the construction work is executed in accordance with all approved plans and completed in high level of quality.
The services, if required, often commence at the beginning of design. They may include basic program review and analysis, design review and evaluation, scheduling, cost estimating, value engineering, bid analysis, contractor selection, detailed construction inspection, coordination of trades and separate construction contractors, cost control, and program management. Some or all of these tasks can be provided to assure the client and budgetary controls.
Any person who intends to carry out building works and alterations and additions works is required by law to appoint an AP, and where necessary a RSE and if building works at any stage involving geotechnical elements, a RGE, to prepare and submit plans for the approval of Building Authority under the Buildings Ordinance. AP, RSE and RGE have statutory responsibilities for co-ordinating, supervising and carrying out building works and submitting stability certificates and test reports. Examples of alterations and additions works to existing building are:
• constructing a new extension block to an existing building;
• adding additional floors or cocklofts to an existing building;
• constructing a swimming pool;
• linking two or more floors by removal of parts of the floor slab and/or adding internal staircases;
• combining two or more units into one by removing the partition walls;
• installing cladding or curtain wall to the facade of existing building;
• subdividing a unit into smaller units;
• adding water tanks, canopies and shelters, structural frames for air-conditioning or other plant, structural supports for advertisement signboards etc; or
• removing facilities for persons with a disability.
UNAUTHORIZED BUILDING WORK : Any building works, such as construction, repair, demolition, alteration and drainage works, without having been granted approval and consent from the BD or having followed the simplified procedures under the Minor Works Control System are regarded as "Unauthorized Building Works". Examples of UBW include metal cages, supporting frame for air-conditioning cooling towers, canopies, flat roof structures, rooftop structures, subdivision of flats, structural alterations, drainage connections that do not comply with the relevant regulations, etc. The BD may issue an Order to the owners to have the UBW removed.
OTHER ORDERS are also given to dangerous or defective buildings and advertising signs to order such buildings or structures to be investigated, repaired or demolished.
DANGEROUS HILLSIDE ORDERS are issued on the advice of Geotechnical Engineering Office of Civil Engineering and Development Department by the Department to require private property owners to investigate and repair dangerous slopes under their responsibility.
For all these Orders, AP, RSE and/or RGE proposal for rectification or improvement works is required to submit to the government authorities for approval. During the approved rectification works or A & A works, TCP (Technically Competent Person) site supervision is required to ensure the works are carried out in compliance with the approved proposal.
Application services with relevant government authorities for various permits/licences are available.
The beginning of this services is generally a visual structural inspection to the premises and review of existing documentary information to give professional advice on the intended application. If in our professional opinion, the application will possibly be successful, we will prepare and submit an assessment report to the BD or Town Planning Board for approval.
When the application involves a structural modification or loading change, formal plan and calculation or checking of structural adequacy is necessary for BD approval in the application.
Changes in use of land and premises are mainly regulated by the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap 131) and Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123) and the deeds of mutual covenant. Relevant departments will deal with cases involving changes in use of land and buildings in accordance with the relevant legislation, policies and land leases.
Town Planning Permit application for permission under Section 16 of the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131) is required by the Town Planning Department for any use or development of land, site/premises.
Restaurant License Application: AP and RSE certification of compliance with building safety requirements for licence applications for restaurant, other food business premises and places of public entertainment are required.
Under the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS) or the Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme (MWIS), owners of buildings served with statutory notices are required to appoint an Registered Inspector (RI) or Qualified Person* (QP) to carry out the prescribed inspections and supervise the prescribed repair works found necessary. For buildings, the items of inspection include the common parts, external walls and projections or signboards; for windows, all the windows of the buildings. * QP is a person who is an AP, RSE, Registered Inspector, Registered General Building Contractor or Registered Minor Works Contractor for windows.
Building inspection starts from reviewing the as-built record plan of the building followed by a visual inspection of the building to record the existing condition and defect. Items to inspect may comprise the external elements, structural elements, fire safety elements, drainage system, unauthorized building works, window in public areas, etc. Prescribed repairs may be suggested based on the inspection results. The inspection result and repair proposal will be submitted to the BD for approval and record.
During the repair, TCP site supervision is required by the BD to ensure work in compliance with the approved repair. Contract administration may be provided.
Balcony inspection may be required of individual units which have balconies or structures hanging outside their external walls. Apart from a visual inspection and review of relevant documentary information of the structures, open-up inspection and in-situ and laboratory testing of the concrete may be necessary to determine the safety of the structures. Samples taken from drilling the concrete will be tested for their degree of corrosion by carbonation tests, chloride test, rebound hammer tests, etc. Prescribed repairs may be suggested based on the test results.
Window Inspection is generally a visual inspection to determine the safety of the structures. Necessary Forms and Certificates will be submitted to the BD after the inspection. Repairs will be suggested if necessary.
ICE services is provided for reviewing the Contractor’s design and endorsing design certificates; carrying out site inspection and endorsing the certificate of completion of works; etc.