The Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) would like to reiterate that all new and existing building structures must be strictly regulated in Malaysia.
This is a reference to the recent incident where a wall collapsed in a hotel in Bukit Tinggi, Bentong where the incident resulted in an elderly man and a child being injured, and 90 hotel guests evacuated as a precaution until the authorities finish carrying out investigations.
In light of the incident, Ar. Ezumi Harzani, PAM’s president, would like to highlight that other than the requisite operating business licenses, hotels must possess a Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) or Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC),
Also that under the Section 85A of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1994 it requires buildings which are 5 storeys and above, exceeding 10 years old, to be inspected by a Structural Engineer.
In addition, hotels that have undergone renovation and additions are subjected to CFO or CCC in accordance to changes and additions carried out to the structure, walls, doors, facades, mechanical and electrical installations.
He also highlighted that as hotels are public commercial buildings, they fall into the high fire risk category known as ‘designated building’ under the Fire Services Act (FSA) which means that designated buildings are required to undergo an annual fire audit before they are issued with a Fire Certificate “FC” by Fire and Rescue Department.
Also in March 2017, the Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department reported in a local daily only 739 “Designated Premises” have been issued with FC while 321 applications were still pending.
Ar. Anthony Lee from Architect Centre Sdn Bhd noted that building owners must be wary of unauthorised renovations or alterations carried out in their properties that may result in structural deficiencies, obstruction to fire escapes, concealed fire alarms and detectors;
Emphasis are given that the onus is on building owners to avoid carrying out any structural changes without first obtaining building approvals and to fulfil the requirements stipulated in the UBBL and FSA.
Hotel owners are also to maintain and operate hotels safely and within the intended approved design, specifications, constructions as well as maintaining in good working order ALL mechanical and electrical installations in the property.
Lee also stressed upon that if the owners are in doubt of any safety issues, contact PAM or Architect Centre Sdn Bhd Building inspectors to carry out safety compliance inspections and reports.
Uniform Building By-Laws (UBBL) 1984 enacted under the Street Drainage and Building Act 1974 stipulate that all new and existing buildings that undergo alterations are required to submit plans for approvals prior to construction by a Principal Submitting Person (PSP), such as professional architects and engineers.
Part V of the UBBL stipulate the building’s structural requirements related to the design and specifications of materials, loadings, foundation and superstructure which in the case of hotels, these provisions strictly govern the design, specifications and construction of walls, floor and building structure.