Thailand's Ministry of Interior issued a Ministerial Regulation ("Regulation") on 29 October 2009 to expand and amend the list of controlled-use buildings.
Controlled-use buildings are buildings which, because of their intended use, are subject to inspection and certification before they may be used. This requirement applies to newly constructed buildings and buildings changing their use. The Building Control Act B.E. 2522 (1979) ("Act") places the onus on the owner or whoever is in possession of the building to arrange for the inspection or apply for a change of use permit.
Previously, the following buildings were listed as controlled-use buildings:
- Places of treatment (hospitals, clinics, etc.)
- Commercial buildings
- Buildings used for industrial purposes
- Buildings used for educational purposes
- Conference halls
- Offices and places of business
As a result of technological and economic developments, a number of buildings have been built or modified to accommodate purposes which did not exist at the time the Act and previous regulations were passed. The new Regulation was enacted to bring building regulations in line with the current situation.
Four new types of controlled-use buildings have been identified, as follows:
- Buildings used for retail and/or wholesale of consumer products with an area of business operation of 300 square metres or more
- Dormitories which are considered large buildings (having an area exceeding 2,000 square metres or a height of 15 metres or more)
- Residential buildings which are considered large buildings
- Buildings used for storing hazardous substances under the Hazardous Substance Act
In addition, the following three existing controlled-use buildings have been amended:
- Commercial buildings - the business area has been changed from 80 square metres or more to 300 square metres or more.
- Buildings used for industrial purposes - while previous regulations only took horse power into consideration, the new Regulation widens the scope to include buildings which have five or more workers or a production capacity of at least 5 horse power.
- Buildings used for educational purposes - under the new Regulation, all buildings used for educational purposes under the National Education Act are classified as controlled-use buildings, regardless of the size or operational area.
The Regulation clarifies that the area of operation includes hallways, restrooms and bathrooms.
The penalties for failing to comply with the Regulation are imprisonment of not more than three months, a fine of not more than THB 60,000, or both. The owner or person in possession of the building will also be fined up to THB 10,000 daily throughout the period of violation and the local authority may suspend the building's operations.
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