Draft rules to curb skipping of floor numbers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, 12:00am

Developers may no longer skip more than two consecutive floor numbers on new projects under guidelines being proposed by the Buildings Department.

The department is consulting the property industry about the new guidelines on floor numbering for buildings and has not confirmed a timetable for implementing them.

A spokesman for the department said it had amended the existing practice note for authorised persons and registered structural engineers. 'From past experience, the industry will follow the practice notes issued by the department,' she said.

Under the new rule, it is not 'advisable' to omit more than two floor numbers in a consecutive series for a new development or assign floor numbers with major or unconventional omissions. Developers should also avoid using non-numerical names, alias names or non-consecutive numbers in assigning floor numbers.

If the developer skips a floor number, the omitted number should be substituted with the floor number of the floor immediately below it with a suffix 'A' and 'B' if two floor numbers in a consecutive series are skipped.

The floor numbers of the remaining floors should be unchanged.

For example, the 13th and 14th floors should be substituted with 12A/F and 12B/F if the developer skipped the two floors.

Although the guidelines are not compulsory, the department may suggest developers make 'appropriate amendments' to the floor plans that are not arranged in a logical sequence.

The department also strongly advises developers to adopt the guidelines 'to avoid delay in processing the building plans'.

One developer said it had already been asked to revise the floor numbers for its project this month.

'We have many projects awaiting approval from the Buildings Department,' said Tai Hung Fai Enterprise managing director Edwin Leong. 'We have been told to follow the new guidelines and did not skip the 13th and 14th floors.'

Leong believes the impact on the selling price and rental of the projects will be limited.

The amendment to the guidelines was triggered by Henderson Land Development's 39 Conduit Road residential building in West Mid-Levels. The developer omitted 48 floor numbers at the project to make it appear taller than it was and to be able to include lucky floor numbers such as 68 and 88.

Real Estate Developers' Association vice-chairman Stewart Leung Chi-kin, who is also an executive director of New World Development, said the government should not over-correct the guidelines because of a single residential project.

He said the use of an A and B suffix in floor numbers would cause confusion to the postman and emergency services.

Wilson Chan Yuk-sing, a deputy director of sales at KWah International Holdings, said the company would follow the new guidelines.

Chan believed the plan would not affect selling prices of developments by the company.