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Contact: John Emmanuel

Monday, November 11, 2002 - Architects, surveyors, engineers and other construction related professionals have begun analysing the final draft document dealing with the island’s Building Code and Guidelines. The analysis process in the form of a five-day training and public education programme at the Bay Gardens Hotel, is being conducted by a team of renowned regional experts.

The code and guidelines is the culmination of over a decade of work and will hopefully by used in the design, appraisal, construction, inspection and enforcement process. Officials of the Development Control Authority (DCA) have welcomed the new code and guidelines with chairman Cromwell Goodridge lamenting the absence of a building code and regulations in the past, to guide its decisions on building applications submitted for planning approval and building construction.

According to Goodridge, “this coupled with the inadequacies of the old procedure and policy guidelines to regulate building design and construction, had restricted the DCA’s effectiveness in ensuring best practice. When enacted, and provisions effectively enforced as it should, it will simplify the building, appraisal, inspection and enforcement process and provide a safety net in home building and furnishing.”

The five-day activity is being seen as a vital undertaking in the new thrust towards physical development control on the island. It also signals the implementation of a critical institution building component of the Emergency Recovery and Disaster Management Project of the OECS, with the aim being to strengthen the resilience of buildings both public and private, to disasters like hurricanes via the adoption of a national building code and its effective enforcement.

Minister for Physical Development, Environment and Housing Honourable Ignatius Jean noted that “the need for the building code, regulations and guidelines have been evident particularly as St. Lucia lies in the hurricane path and as a consequence has suffered extensive damage to buildings, structures and physical infrastructure from hurricane systems as well as other natural disasters.” The Minister stated that “the substantial capital cost to government in meeting the recovery effort and restoration works is often in the millions of dollars and whereas such financial resources could have been spent on new development projects and initiatives, they have to be spent on rehabilitation work to the detriment of economic development.”

The workshop, which is being funded by the World Bank, is also an exercise in capacity building for state and non-state partners.


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