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FAQs on Specialist Builder

Q1: What are the works that involve the need for Specialist Builders (Structural Steelwork)?

Licensing covers all projects that require BCA's approval. The works that require Specialist Builders are:
(a) fabrication of structural steel element;
(b) on site erection work for structural steelwork such as site cutting, welding and bolting;
(c) installation of steel struts for underground building works

Q2: Are there any minor works that are exempted from the need for Specialist Builders (Structural Steelwork)?

The following works are exempted from the need for Specialist Builders (Structural Steelwork) and can be carried out by a General Builder :
(a) landed residential buildings;
(b) structures with cantilever length ≤ 3 m;
(c) structures with clear span < 6 m;
(d) plan area of works ≤ 150 m2 and
(e) minor building works that do not require the certificate of an accredited checkerfabrication of structural steel element;

Q3: Do works involving railings require Specialist Builders (Structural Steelworks)?

Works involving railings may be carried out by either a General Builder or a Specialist Builder (Structural Steelwork).

Q4: Do curtain wall and facade installations require a Specialist Builders (Structural Steelworks) licence?

No. As curtain wall submission does not require an Accredited Checker, any general builder is allowed to carry out the installation.

Q5: My company carries out fabrication only. We leave all the design matters to main contractors and PEs. Do we need a licence?

Yes. Fabrication of steel structures is considered specialist building work that requires builders to have a Specialist Builders (Structural Steelworks) licence.

Q6: Where can we find out the list of licensed builders?

The list of licensed builders can be found at BCA's website at this


Q7: If structural steel fabrication is carried out outside Singapore (including Malaysia), does the fabricator from these other countries require to be licensed as Specialist Builder (Structural Steelwork)?

The builder licensing scheme cannot be applied to builders who carry out works such as structural steel fabrication outside Singapore. However, builders that carry out erection of these fabricated steel in Singapore need to be licensed as a Specialist Builder (Structural Steelwork). In addition, it is advised that for major structural steelworks, SSSS Accreditated Steel Fabricators and Independing Testing Agencies (ITA) be engaged to ensure the quality of steelworks, whether or not the fabrication is carried out here in Singapore or overseas (please refer BCA's "Advisory on measures to enhance safety of structural steelwork" dated 14th July 2008).

Q8: Does a steel fabricator who has been accredited under the Singapore structural Steel Society Steel Fabricator Accreditation Scheme still require licensing under the builder licensing scheme as a Specialist Builder (Structural Steelwork)?

Yes. The Building Control Act requires any builder carrying out general or specialist building works in Singapore to be licensed as a General Builder or Specialist Builder respectively.

Q9: If the steel fabricator and the erector who are separate firms for a particular project and both these firms are based in Singapore, do we need both the companies to have licensing as Specialist Builders (Structural Steelwork)?

If these 2 separate firms are appointed by the developer or General Builders as Specialist Builders for the fabrication and erection of the steelworks respectively, both the companies need to be licensed as Specialist Builders (Structural Steelwork). However, if the developer or the General Builder appoints only one of these 2 firms as a Specialist Builder (Structural Steelwork) to carry out either fabrication or erection of structural steelworks, there is an option for this appointed Specialist Builder to engage the other builder involved in the steelworks as his sub-contractor. In such cases, only the appointed Specialist Builder needs to be licensed and will be overall responsible for both the fabrication and erection of the structural steelworks.

Q10: Who can be the Technical Controller for my company?

Any person possessing a recognised civil or structural engineering degree with 5 years of relevant experience in structural steelworks will qualify as Technical Controller.

Recognised civil or structural engineering degrees are:
(a) those recognised by PE Board or BCA for RE registration (see


(b) those recognised under the Washington Accord (see

Q11: Where can I get more information about Licensing of Builders?

A11 : You can visit this website:


Q12: If the General Builder engages a company A to carry out the structural steelwork fabrication and erection which in turn engages a sub-contractor, company B to carry out the actual steelworks, do both these company A and B need to be licensed as Specialist Builder (Structural Steelwork)?

If the General Builder also holds a specialist builder licence for structural steelwork, the General Builder will be responsible for the structural steelworks carried out by Company A and Company B unless the General Builder explicitly notify BCA of the appointment of a licensed specialist builder for these structural steelwork. If the General Builder is not a licensed Specialist Builder (Structural Steelwork), it is to appoint one to be responsible for the structural steelwork and notify BCA of the appointment. In this case, the General Builder should notify BCA of the appointment of Company A. Company A should be a licensed Specialist Builder (Structural Steelwork) and will be responsible for the structural steelworks carried out by both Company A and Company B.

Q13: If in a project, the structural steelwork fabrication or erection is carried out by two companies in a joint venture contractual agreement, is it acceptable if only one of these two companies is licensed as a specialist builder (structural steelwork)?

The company that carries out the specialist builder works has to have the specialist builder license. In a joint venture (JV) contract arrangement between two companies, either the one who carries out the specialist work has to be licensed as a specialist builder or both can be licensed, if they choose to do so.