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Household and Storey Shelters

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I submit household shelter (HS), storey shelter (SS) or staircase storey shelter (SSS) plans for approval?
2. Where can I obtain application forms for shelter design consultations and submission of shelter plans and commissioning?
3. What are the design requirements and guidelines on submission procedure relating to the design, construction and commissioning of Civil Defence shelters?
4. Where can I obtain a copy of shelter technical requirements and guidelines for plan submission, construction and commissioning of shelters?
5. Besides applying for formal pre-submission consultation, is there another avenue for seeking consultation on shelter design??
6. What are the types of developments for which household/storey shelters need not be provided?
7. Are shelters required to be incorporated in A & A works to existing houses/flats or reconstruction projects?
8. Who should I consult if my development works required Civil Defence shelters?
9. What are the renovation works that are allowed in shelters?
10. What are the details required to be shown on shelter building plans?
11. After Notice/s of Approval (NOA) for HS/SS plan is/are obtained, do I need to re-submit amendment plans for approval if there are changes to household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) design?
12. Can I submit household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) structural plans for approval before the approval of household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) building plans?
13. Are shelter piling plans required to be submitted for approval?
14. When is a "Notice of Disapproval for household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) plans" issued?
15. Can I apply for waiver of shelter technical requirements if household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) design cannot be complied with?
16. What are the common information or details usually missed out in household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) plans and result in the issuance of written directions?
17. Do qualified persons (QP) need to arrange for inspection of household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) walls/slabs before casting?
18. When is a first shelter in a development project required for commissioning inspection?
19. What are the necessary works required for the conduct of household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) commissioning inspection and over-pressure air-tightness test?
20. Are there any guidelines in selecting the number of household shelters for project commissioning inspection and over-pressure air-tightness test?

1.
How do I submit household shelter (HS), storey shelter (SS) or staircase storey shelter (SSS) plans for approval?
 

Formal application for approval of HS/SS/SSS plans shall be submitted via e-Submission System (e-SS) to BCA. Every submission must be accompanied by the relevant application form.

   
2.
Where can I obtain application forms for shelter design consultations and submission of shelter plans and commissioning?
 

Application forms can be obtained from Corenet website.

   
3.
What are the design requirements and guidelines on submission procedure relating to the design, construction and commissioning of Civil Defence shelters?
 

The technical requirements and guidelines which govern the design of Civil Defence shelters are:

  1. Technical Requirements for Household Shelters (4.7Mb .pdf)
  2. Circulars issued by SCDF
  3. Technical Requirements for Storey Shelters (7.2Mb .pdf)
  4. Guidelines for Plan Submission, Construction and Commissioning of Household or Storey Shelter (159kb .pdf).
   
4.
Where can I obtain a copy of shelter technical requirements and guidelines for plan submission, construction and commissioning of shelters?
 

Here are the download links to the relevant documents:

  1. Technical Requirements for Household Shelters (4.7Mb .pdf)
  2. Technical Requirements for Storey Shelters (7.2Mb .pdf)
  3. Guidelines for Plan Submission, Construction and Commissioning of Household or Storey Shelter (159kb .pdf).
   
5.
Besides applying for formal pre-submission consultation, is there another avenue for seeking consultation on shelter design?
 

Yes. Civil Defence shelter walk-in-consultation is also available anytime during office hours between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at 7th storey, Tower Block, MND Complex.

   
6.
What are the types of developments for which household/storey shelters need not be provided?
 

New flats and houses as specified in the Civil Defence Shelter Act are required to incorporate household shelters. Examples of other residential type of developments that are not required to incorporate shelters include:

  • Any hotel registered under the provisions of the Hotel Act;
  • Serviced apartments and staff housing/quarters;
  • Institutions such as welfare homes, homes for the aged, homes for the disabled, halfway house and nursing homes;
  • All temporary buildings referred in the Building Control (Temporary Buildings) Regulations;
  • Hostels or halls of residence in educational institutions;
  • Residential clubs (e.g. NTUC holiday resorts) and boarding/guest house (e.g. YMCA); and
  • Dormitories in campsites and chalets.
   
7.
Are shelters required to be incorporated in A & A works to existing houses/flats or reconstruction projects?
 

Household sheltes are not required to be incorporated into existing houses/flats undergoing addition and alteration works. However, household shelter shall be provided for reconstruction works where the existing building is demolished under the Civil Defence Shelter Act. A confirmation in writing shall be obtained from SCDF if household shelter is not provided for reconstruction works.

   
 
8.
Who should I consult if my development works required Civil Defence shelters?
 

As the requirement of Civil Defence shelter in the residential developments is stipulated in Civil Defence Shelter Act 1997 and it is administered by the Singapore Civil Defence Force, you may consult Fire Safety and Shelter Department (FSSD) of SCDF at 1800-2800000. For record purpose, you may submit enquiry of Civil Defence shelter provision to FSSD of SCDF and obtain a formal reply.

   
9. What are the renovation works that are allowed in shelters?
 

As household or storey shelters are made up of strengthened wall, floor, ceiling and household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) door, they must not be hacked or drilled indiscriminately. Certain finishes and fixtures are not permitted as they are not easily removable and may become hazards to shelter occupants during a war emergency. Lighting, power point, telephone point and CATV outlet points are also provided in the shelter so that occupants may remain inside and communicate with external parties.

The list of permitted and not permitted work can be downloaded here:

  1. Permitted and Not Permitted Works For HS (68Kb .pdf)
  2. Permitted and Not Permitted Works in SS (14Kb .pdf)

  
10. What are the details required to be shown on shelter building plans?
 

To facilitate early approval of shelter building plans, registered architects are advised to submit these plans and details:

(a) Location and Site Plans

i. The plan shall show the location of the development.
ii. Shelter data as shown below are to be provided.
Data of Household Shelter
Dwelling Unit Type GFA of Unit (m2) No. of HS Size of HS (m2) Volume of HS (m3) Shelter Type*
           
           
           
           

* Legend on Shelter Type
HA: HS aboveground
HB: HS basement

Data of Apartment Units
Dwelling Unit Type GFA of Unit (m2) No. of Person
     
     

Data of Storey Shelter (including staircase shelter)
Storey Unit Type Total Nominal Occupancy (TNO) Area of SS (m2) Volume of SS (m3) Shelter Type*
Required Provided Required Provided
(TNO x 0.6m3) (TNO x 1.8m3)
               
               

* Legend on Shelter Type
SA: SS aboveground
SB: SS basement

(b) Layout Plans

  1. Floor plan of household shelter, storey shelter or/and non-shelter (NS).
  2. Section and elevation of HS, SS or/and NS.
  3. Storey height, internal clear height of shelter, thickness of shelter wall, floor and ceiling slab, *RC down-hang beams (if applicable), are to be indicated.

(c) Shelter Detailed Plans

  1. Area and volume of each shelter type.
  2. Location of the two ventilation openings and the position of the services (e.g. power points, telephone point, radio and TV antenna points) in the shelter.
  3. Routing and penetration of services are to be indicated.

This information can also be found in the explanatory notes attached to the application form for approval of household/storey shelter building plans.

   
11.
After Notice/s of Approval (NOA) for HS/SS plan is/are obtained, do I need to re-submit amendment plans for approval if there are changes to household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) design?
 

Amendment plans are to be submitted for approval for these changes:

  • Shelter building layout design that affects household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) setback distances;
  • Shelter building layout design that affects household sheldters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) tower;
  • Household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) clear height that affects the wall thickness;
  • Gross Floor Area (GFA) of dwelling unit that affects HS/SS area and volume;
  • Location of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) door or/and ventilation sleeves.
   
12.
Can I submit household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) structural plans for approval before the approval of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) building plans?
 

To avoid abortive structural design work, submission of shelter structural plans should be submitted after Notice of Approval (NOA) for shelter building plans has been obtained.

Structural works for household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) can only commence after receipt of "NOA for Shelter Structural Plans" from Civil Defence Shelter Engineering Department (CDSD, BCA) and "Permit to Commence Work" from Building Engineering Division of BCA.

   
13. Are shelter piling plans required to be submitted for approval?
 

Shelter piling plans are not required to be submitted for approval. However, a minimum of two piles is required to support each household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) tower if it is more than five storeys and supported by pile foundation.

   
14.
When is a "Notice of Disapproval for household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) plans" issued?
 

A "Notice of Disapproval (NOD) is issued when Qualified Persons (QP) are unable to comply with the Written Direction (WD) within the stipulated timeframe or when there are many or major con-compliances of shelter technical requirements.

To facilitate qualified persons (QP) in the design of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) and to ensure early approval of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) plans, qualified persons (QP) are encouraged to arrange a consultation session with BCA plan processing officer.

   
 
15.
Can I apply for waiver of shelter technical requirements if household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) design cannot be complied with?
 

Yes. Qualified persons (QP) who wish to apply for waiver of shelter technical requirements are to submit waiver application to SCDF via e-Submission System (e-SS).

Application form for waiver of shelter technical requirements can be downloaded from the Corenet website.

   
16.
What are the common information or details usually missed out in household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) plans and result in the issuance of written directions?
 

Household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) building plans

  • Thickness of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) walls and slabs;
  • Plan, sectional details and elevation of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS);
  • Services and/or ventilation sleeves details of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS).

Household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) structural plans

  • household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) wall thickness differs from that of the approved HS/SS building plans;
  • Reinforcement detailing;
  • Shear links and its correct orientation;
  • Sectional and plan details of wall reinforcements and shear links are not shown;
  • Details of door kerb and ventilation openings are not indicated on household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) plans.
   
17.
Do qualified persons (QP) need to arrange for inspection of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) walls/slabs before casting?
 

It is not necessary to arrange a structural inspection with BCA before concreting of Civil Defence shelter wall/slab. It is the responsibility of the qualified person (QP) to ensure that household shelter or storey shelter are constructed in accordance with the approved household shelter / storey shelter plans.

However, to facilitate BCA in the carrying out of random regulatory inspection, qualifed persons (QP) are advised to submit household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) work schedule to BCA's Civil Defence Shelter Engineering Department (CDSD).

   
18. When is a first shelter in a development project required for commissioning inspection?
 

Application for commissioning of the first shelter is not mandatory. However, if qualified persons are unfamiliar with shelter construction and commissioning, they could request for one shelter to be commissioned first. This commissioned shelter shall serve as the reference for other shelters in the same project development.

   
19.
What are the necessary works required for the conduct of household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) commissioning inspection and over-pressure air-tightness test?
 

The qualified person is to ensure that the household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) is completed with household shelter / storey shelter door, ventilation sleeves and internal fixtures before applying for commissioning inspection and over-pressure air-tightness test with Civil Defence Shelter Engineering Department (CDSD) of BCA.

The QP is to make arrangement to ensure availability of the test equipment for the over-pressure air-tightness test.

A copy of the approved household shelter (HS) / storey shelter (SS) building plans is required for project shelter commissioning inspection or first shelter commissioning (if requested by the qualified person).

   
20.
Are there any guidelines in selecting the number of household shelters for project commissioning inspection and over-pressure air-tightness test?
 

Yes. Qualified persons can refer to these guidelines for selection of household shelter sample for project commissioning inspection.

Household Shelter sample size

Table 1 enumerates the required sample size of HS to be selected in each project (or blockbasis) request for commissioning inspection and over-pressure air-tightness tests.

Table 1

Number of household shelters in each Project (or Blockbasis) request of commissioning inspections Number of household shelter samples selected for project household shelter commissioning
1 - 5 1
6 - 20 2
21 - 100 5
more than 100 5% of total units to be commissioned or up to a maximum of 10, whichever is smaller

Storey Shelter sample size

Table 2 enumerates the required sample size of SS compartments to be selected in each project (or block-basis) request for commissioning inspection and over-pressure airtightness tests.

Table 2

Number of storey shelter compartments in each project (or block-basis) request of commissioning inspections Number of storey shelter compartment samples selected for project storey shelter commissioning
1 - 5 1
6 - 20 2
11 - 25 3
26 - 40 4
more than 40 5

Commissioning Inspections

To facilitate the smooth progress of the commissioning inspections, qualified persons are encouraged the put in the request for inspection via CORENET e-Submission System at least five working days in advance. The commissioning inspection will only be carried out in the presence of qualified persons or their representatives.

In cases where the household shelter or storey shelter samples failed the commissioning inspection, a re-commissioning inspection is required after completion of remedial works.

For the re-commissioning inspections, the same number of household shelters or storey shelters which had failed in the previous inspection will be checked. The request for the re-commissioning inspection should be made by the qualified person at least five working days in advance.

The Notice of Approval for Commissioning of Project Household Shelter or Storey Shelter will be issued when all the household shelter or storey shelter samples for the entire project (or block-basis) passed the commissioning inspection.