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  • 1 Post By JAherbert

Assessing structural integrity of retaining wall

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    54

    Assessing structural integrity of retaining wall

    I've got a retaining wall adjoining my house where I'd like to park my car. I want it assessed to give me an idea if it's safe as is or if I need to reinforce it to support the weight of my car. If I dig behind the wall I can see some concrete behind the stone so it might be OK but better safe than sorry. It's govt land that I have an STT for but I'm happy to pay since I own the house and don't plan on moving any time soon.

    If I got a civil engineer out to assess and give a report, do they typically provide any liability with their report? I do want the engineer to give a written report though, not just someone to come over and give me a verbal "yeah looks OK I guess"... I don't need to pay anyone for that.

    Any recommendations or advice? Out in Sai Kung/Clearwater Bay area. Google gives me lots of engineering companies but all seem a lot larger scale than something domestic and one-off like this.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    2,357

    you need registered structural/geotechnical engineer pick from the list (has option by district):

    https://www.bd.gov.hk/en/resources/o.../qpsearch.html

    shri likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    861

    If structural works are involved you will need Building Authority approval. Also you better check if the dirt you are digging out, or plan to utilise is part of your exclusive area, or part of the common area of the property, or government land. If the latter, you may breach the DMC or terms of the government grant and risk re-entry of your land by the government. Better get a surveyor in that case to check the Building Plans, and DMC (if any). If you carry out any unauthorised building works, you also might have a problem when it comes to selling your property as your title would be potentially defeasible, unless there was no real risk of enforcement by the Building Authority (but very unlikely).


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    54

    Good link, thanks JAherbert.

    I hope that if there's any work to be done, it'd be only below the surface. That is, the top soil would be removed and if there's concrete or something underneath I'd be looking to replace/reinforce it before putting any top soil back in its place. The wall itself I wouldn't consider changing the appearance of. So, for what little it may be worth, any changes wouldn't result in anything substantial, obvious or cosmetic. If it did then I'd reassess the whole thing. None of it is in-deed so if I do something BA don't like I don't think it'd affect my title? Perhaps retraction of the STT and I suppose an order to 'rectify' however the govt sees fit would be the worst possible outcome.

    So surveyor + engineer? Or can an engineer check govt records as well? I still have all the documents for my lot + neighbouring lots from when I bought the house but no real details on the govt land I'm talking about. Is there some register around that shows the history of a piece of govt land like this?


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    2,357

    RSE will only check the structure, not land issues, hope you are sitting down when you get the quote. And geotech records, retaining walls, etc. are typically handled by CEDD, not BD, and government depts never talk to each other.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    54

    Any idea what kind of price I might be looking at for an engineer to come visit + report?

    Given the consequences of a collapsed wall because I didn't get it properly checked (vehicle damage, damage to property, potential injury to people), the engineer price is likely not as scary as it may seem.