Overview of the development and implementation of the mandatory building inspection scheme (MBIS) in Hong Kong

Wai Ming Chan, Henry T.W. Hung, Ping Chuen Chan, Tony K.K. Lo

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a concise overview of the problem of building decay in Hong Kong, the current government measures concerning dilapidated buildings and the latest development and implementation of the mandatory building inspection scheme (MBIS). A comparison of various MBISs from other jurisdictions of the world is also given. Design/methodology/approach: A desktop study of building inspection procedures, repair and maintenance policies was carried out, followed by an industry-wide opinion survey conducted by means of self-administered questionnaires. Target respondents are within the construction community of Hong Kong. The perceived benefits, potential difficulties and insightful recommendations or good practices are investigated. A comparison of the relative ranking of individual mean scores from various groups of respondents is presented in this paper. Findings: The execution of MBIS was found to be effective in enhancing public awareness of the importance of building upkeep and recognition of the property owner's legal responsibilities in this respect. Private property owners were made aware of the necessity to take holistic preventive measures to maintain the overall safety of their own buildings. A comparison of MBIS with other similar MBISs across different cities, revealed similarities as regards the inspection cycle, scope of inspection and qualifications of inspectors. The main difference related to the age rather than the height of target buildings. Practical implications: Proper inspection and maintenance is necessary to keep buildings in good condition to avoid injury or loss of life due to sudden collapse of structures or their elements such as concrete spalling and fall of window frames. The official launch of MBIS on 30 June 2012 is one of the proposed effective measures to resolve the long-standing problems of building neglect and deterioration in Hong Kong with particular regard to the existing old private premises. Originality/value: The execution of MBIS should be useful in improving the safety and health status of the dilapidated premises and in so doing safeguarding the residents and general public. To further identify the perceived benefits and potential difficulties of MBIS, and to suggest insightful recommendations or good practices for its successful future implementation, an opinion survey was launched among construction practitioners in Hong Kong between March and April of 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-89
Number of pages19
JournalBuilt Environment Project and Asset Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2014


  • Building
  • Health and Safety (H&S)
  • Hong Kong
  • Inspection
  • Management
  • Repair and maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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