The Buildings Department which functioned as Public works Department (PWD) was established in 1969 being an independent organization responsible for Building and Infrastructure development. From the very inception, this department was considered as the sole authority and the advisory body in the field of building works and related Infrastructure works. It was called upon to provide expert advice on building works to the government and semi-government institutions in the implementation of their building programmes.

The Functions of the Department were broadly set out in the Financial Regulations and various Treasury Circulars. However, these functions have taken different forms with time, and were modified to suit the requirements of client organizations, change in the Building Industry, and also to be in keeping with government policies, which were introduced from time to time. The Department play commendable role in the national development and in the preservation of the public building assets.

Buildings Department, which was restructured with the introduction of 13th Amendment to the constitution, has existed for more than 4 decades as a pioneer government organization having the authority and responsibility for the design and construction of public buildings in Sri Lanka. Buildings Department is accredited with ISO 9001:2008. The department also redefine its role to cater the present trend in the construction industry carries a specific reference to project management and technical accountability.