Categorized | National News

Building Codes To be Updated

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister made it clear in the House of Assembly yesterday that stronger building codes must be implemented in order to ensure the safety of residents.
Bannister said that The Bahamas’ building codes are going to be amended as mandated by the prime minister in the wake of mass devastation from recent hurricanes and for that to happen no build zones may have to be implemented

“The Ministry of Public Works will either have to expand to every family island, or we shall have to increase the effectiveness of local government in each community,” Bannister said.

He said that there is a need to control the construction types in potential surge zones and the construction of the main structural frame, in timber, should be restricted as the failures witnessed in Ragged Island were partly due to non- compliance to the building codes.

“Many of our family island communities are traditional fishing villages. It is our duty to support the right of our citizens to remain in their ancestral homes; but at the same time, we must ensure that buildings meet modern safety and infrastructural needs,” Bannister said.

He added that the Buildings Control Division has initiated procedures for review of the current code’s with the view of either a revision or amendments.

He said that special emphasis will be placed on incorporating two additional components to improve the country’s environmental sustainability, and mitigation against the effects of climate change particularly recurrent damage due to hurricanes.

The proposed revisions will address sustainability or life cycle of buildings, thermal insulation in buildings (Building Materials), collection and storage of water, climate change, coastal design and renewable energy.

“These are all critical steps that every Bahamian must buy into and support if we really love our Bahamaland as much as we say we do,” Bannister said.

He said that high sea surges demand that buildings be built higher; and strong winds require that the inspection process in the construction phase is strengthened.

Bannister said that while the current building codes call for the main floor of a structure to be twelve feet higher than the known flood plain and wind design aligned with the American Society Civil Engineers there are still several shortcomings with the code.

“There is a need to introduce zonal mapping of areas affected by storm surge so as to create no build zones throughout the islands of the Bahamas,” Bannister said

He added that while some may be concerned as to how the new developments will affect some traditional communities, they ought to know that the new codes are a “quest for safety” and a choice to protect life first and foremost.

 

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Join Us on Facebook