There have been ongoing amendments on the construction bill with the latest amendment proposal citing increase of the cost of professional services in building. The proposed law seeks to add to the list of consultants needed in building projects.

The amendments reflect mainly on the Architects and Quantity Surveyors Act which proposes to recognize construction project managers, environment designers, landscapers and interior designers as mandatory service providers. The current law only recognizes architects, engineers and quantity surveyors as primary service providers with contractors having a leeway to sub-contract the secondary tier professionals.

If enacted, property developers will have to pay more professional fees to engage the services of multiple experts in the building sector. Quantity surveyors estimate that professional fees to cater for services such as conveyance, land change of user, environmental impact assessment design and consultancy works account for up to 15 per cent of the total project cost.

The bill also empowers the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyor to monitor building projects and enforce standards in the industry, widening its mandate to include regulation. Experts say the proposals would minimize infiltration of the industry by quacks that have been blamed for the collapse of buildings.

The bill also provides guidelines on the fees to be charged by the professionals. The architects’ fee will be reduced from six per cent to five following their reduced role. The architects have been viewed as the master builders but will now be given specialized tasks to other parties.

The bill, currently awaiting parliament approval for submission to parliament, was last revised in 1948.Among the amendments made include the formation of a National Construction Authority whose officials were appointed mid this year and given powers to register and award certificates of proficiency to contractors, skilled construction workers and site supervisors.

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