The Buildings Department is one of the departments within the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, which is one of the oldest ministries in the Malawi Civil Service. Buildings Department is mandated to provide technical support to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies on construction of projects. It is governed by various Acts of Parliament that established it giving it the mandate to provide quality, timely, cost –effective and sustainable built environment to meet the economical, technical and social needs of the nation.

It is a considered view that government needs to maintain high standards in both construction of new buildings and maintenance of existing structures. The department is therefore a hub for all maintenance work to government buildings. In fulfilling its mandate, the department provides Architectural, Buildings Services (Mechanical & Electrical), Quantity Surveying, Landscaping, and Structural and Civil Engineering Services.

The Director of Buildings heads the Department.
The Department is sub-divided into the following divisions:-
  1. Quantity Surveying Division
  2. Architectural Division including the Clerk of Works
  3. Building Services Engineering Division
  4. Structural/Civil Engineering Division
  5. Landscape Division
The Divisions are located at Headquarters with some Divisions represented
at Regional Office in Mzuzu, Blantyre and Lilongwe.
The Direct Labour Division constructs VVIP platforms and carries out small maintenance works through small-scale contractors. The Division is made up of mainly tradesmen, including carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, e.t.c
  1. Policy Formulation (Management and Direction)
  • Formulating policies in respect of procurement of civil works and consultancy services, building standards and regulations, contractual agreements .
  • Enforcement of policies, standards and regulation.
  1. Design and Supervision
( time, cost and quality......)
All the Divisions are involved in the design process
Design of Government/Public Buildings encompasses:-
  • Development of design concepts based on clients (Ministry and Department) needs.
  • Budgeting and cost planning.
  • Drawing up specification to comply with Building Regulations and Standards.
  • Tender process.
  • Contract negotiations and award. 
  • Quality Control
  • Cost Control
  • General contract administration
  1. Landscape Services
In addition to its function within the project team, the landscape section also undertakes the following:-
  • Establishment and development of landscape nurseries.
  • Maintenance of grounds around government buildings (especially Capital Hill); all other upon request.
  • Working with relevant ministries in environmental related issues.
  • Horticultural issues
  1. Maintenance of Government/Public Buildings
The Department does not budget for these services but only provides the professional services.
  • Building condition surveys.
  • Advise Ministries and Department on appropriate maintenance techniques.
  • Contracting-out maintenance activities to contractors.
  • Supervision of maintenance activities e.t.c.
  1. Research and Development
  • Research of build materials.
  • Research on building and landscape technologies.
  • Setting standards through membership of Malawi Bureau of Standards and other institutions. 
  • Development of local contracting capacity through membership of NCIC, Board of Architects and Quantity Surveyors and Board of Engineers.
  • Training of tradesmen.
  • Training of small scale contractors and professionals.
  1. VVIP Functions
  • Coordination with other stakeholders.
  • Provision of VVIP platforms through the direct labour teams under the direction of Director of Buildings.
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