Minor works control in Hong Kong: a preliminary evaluation

Johnny Kwok Wai WONG (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.)
Ringo W.H. Shum (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Publication date: 7 April 2015



This study aims to understand the impacts of the Minor Works Control System (MWCS) on the performance of minor works contractors following its implementation in 2011, and specifically the initiatives adopted by minor works contractors in response to the new building control regime. Suggestions are made for the further improvement of the MWCS. Like many Western countries and Asian counterparts, Hong Kong has recently implemented a new building control system (the MWCS), which aims to restructure the building proposal approval process and shift the responsibility for building control from the public to the private sector. The effectiveness of the MWCS has been strongly questioned by the industry and the public.


A mixed method including a questionnaire survey (quantitative) and focus group discussions (qualitative) was adopted to provide an initial evaluation of the impact of the MWCS on practitioners and the industry.


The results suggest that implementation of the new control system has helped increase safety awareness and the technical capacity of minor works contractors. Despite these benefits, registered contractors are encountering challenges under the MWCS, such as manpower arrangement problems and higher business operating costs. Initiatives that include maintaining a sound financial background, an adequate in-house supervisory staff and a safe working environment are considered critical by practitioners to maintain their competitive edge under the new control regime.


This study is one of the first studies in Hong Kong to evaluate the impact of the new building control system. The feedback and suggestions provided by the practitioners and experts during the research provide valuable insights for the government on how to provide support to practitioners under the MWCS to achieve a better built environment in Hong Kong.



WONG, J.K.W. and Shum, R.W.H. (2015), "Minor works control in Hong Kong: a preliminary evaluation", Facilities, Vol. 33 No. 5/6, pp. 320-336. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-01-2013-0006

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