In early September 2003 the Singapore Parliament passed the Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2003. The bill amends the existing Building Control Act to allow for the implementation of certain changes. Among the changes made is a move to improve the design and build procurement method.

At present, design and build contracts are carried out by a team comprising a builder/contractor working together with architectural and professional engineering firms. The Singapore government believes that multi-disciplinary 'one-stop shops' can better carry out design and build contracts.

To facilitate the formation of multi-disciplinary firms and to allow better integration of activities across the construction value chain, the bill makes it easier for multi-disciplinary firms to be set up.

Previously, multi-disciplinary firms had to have a chairman who was a licensed professional, and two-thirds of the board of directors also had to be professional engineers or architects. The chairman now need not be a licensed professional, and only a simple majority of the board of directors need be professional engineers or architects.

This is to encourage builders/contractors to form licensed corporations to offer the full range of services from design to construction. Builders/contractors can also offer architectural and professional engineering services, provided the services are carried out by a professional engineer or registered architect. Architectural and professional engineering practices will also be allowed to provide construction services.

For further information on this topic please contact Lawrence Teh or Paul Wong at Rodyk & Davidson by telephone (+65 225 2626) or by fax (+65 225 1838) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).