Purpose - The objective is to address the major issues and suggest solutions to solve the water seepage and health related problems in residential buildings. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology relies on a literature review on water damage in residential buildings with references to the vertical spread of SARS in a housing estate in Hong Kong. Working procedures for handling seepage complaints by Hong Kong government departments and their performance are examined. Findings - The study found that individual departments have difficulties in identifying: the cause and source of seepage, and resolutions to the problem given the limited powers and legal constraints that exist. A holistic approach by individual departments is needed to address the issue. The proposed formation of Owners' Corporations, third party insurance and repair and maintenance sinking fund for old buildings would help solve the building defect and health related problems. Practical implications - The suggestions in the study would help reduce and partly prevent the environmental nuisance and, more importantly, health risk. Residents are better prepared in the future for a possible return of SARS or other infectious disease. Originality/value - Research on water damage is very scarce in Hong Kong. And perhaps this is the first of its kind. The study identifies the broader issue of maintaining and managing a high-rise residential building. The building management and health related problems identified in the study should be noted in any policy addressing housing and health issues.
- Hong Kong
- Water supply and waste systems
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Building and Construction