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Legal Update

The Deadline Is Approaching For New Building Inspection Requirements

17 July 2007
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update


Under a new building inspection regulation enacted by the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, specific types of buildings and structures including high-rise buildings, hotels, and condominiums must be inspected by December 2007.

Full Update

The Building Control Act B.E. 2522 Section 32 (bis), requires building owners to conduct a building inspection and submit a report on the inspection to the competent Local Municipality Officers, the details of which are prescribed in the related Ministerial Regulation. The Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, a sub-government office under the Ministry of Interior, issued the Ministerial Regulation on identifying the qualifications of inspectors, rules for registration by inspectors and revocation of registration, and rules for building inspection, B.E. 2548 (the"Regulation"). The Regulation prescribes the minimum criteria for building inspections. Building inspections as set forth in the Regulation are classified into 2 types, being a Grand Inspection (to be conducted every 5 years) and an Annual Inspection. The first and most comprehensive inspection of a building under the Regulation is the Grand Inspection. This must be completed and a report should be sent to the Local Municipality Officers within 2 years from the effective date of the Regulation (December 2005), but by no later then the deadline December 2007.Buildings which must be inspected under the Building Control Act and the relevant Ministerial Regulation are classified into 9 types, namely:

i) high-rise buildings (buildings with a height of 23 metres or more);
(ii) extra grand buildings (buildings with a combined area on every floor in the same building totalling 10,000 square metres or more);
(iii) heavily populated buildings (community buildings with an area of 1,000 square metres or more, or with a capacity of 500 people or more);
(iv) buildings which are used by the public such as theatres;
(v) hotels (with 80 rooms or more);
(vi) entertainment complexes (with an area of 2,000 square metres or more);
(vii) condominiums and residential buildings (with an area of 2,000 square metres or more);
(viii) factories (one storey or more and with an area of 5,000 square metres or more);
ix) and, structures such as billboards (with a height of 12 metres and an area of 50 square metres, or billboards installed on the roof or on any part of a building with an area of 25 square metres).

These inspections initiated by the Thai government and associated authorities resulted from a renewed focus on enforcing and maintaining the health and safety standards of public buildings and structures.

Benefits from inspection include the following:

  1.  The safety of the building

    This inspection focuses on the condition and structure of the building by inspecting the sturdiness of the building and ascertaining whether there is any damage to the building structure or a collapse of the buildings' foundation.
  2. The safety of building facilities

    The purpose of this inspection is to examine the buildings' facilities such as elevators, escalators, air-conditioning system, fire prevention and extinguishing systems, fire ladders and fire escape systems, emergency exit signage, electrical power supply and fire alarm systems.
  3. In the interest of public health

    This is an inspection to monitor the health standards of the building relating to the water supply system, water drainage, waste water treatment system, refuse disposal system, ventilation system, and air and noise pollution control system in the interest of the health and well-being of building occupants.

The Regulation does not specify the requirements for the condition or the quality of buildings and their facilities. However, such standard criteria are prescribed in the following:

  1. The Building Control Act, related Ministerial Regulations and government agency standards; and
  2. Codes outlined by the Engineering Council and the Architectural Council.

Therefore, in preparing for these building inspections, building owners should be aware of the laws or standards which apply to their specific building type.

If building owners fail to comply with the Ministerial Regulation, they will be subject to punishment which may include a term of imprisonment for up to 3 months, a fine of Baht 60,000, or both. Failure to conduct the inspection in a timely manner will result in a fine of Baht 10,000 per day until the inspection and the subsequent report as required under the Building Control Act and the Regulation are performed and submitted.

Therefore, building owners in Thailand are recommended to examine their structures to ensure compliance with the building standards relevant to their specific building type. Also, inspections are to be conducted by December 2007, as required by the relevant authorities, in order to avoid fines and penalties.

For further information, please contact:

Phone: +662 677 7585
Fax: +662 677 7599

Phone: +662 677 7555 ex167
Fax: +662 677 7599

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