Mechanism to implement Nat’l Building Code absent

Experts say buildings constructed without compliance pose threat to life and environment

Unnumbered buildings are being constructed in the country without compliance with the National Building Code, posing threat to life, property and environment, experts said at a discussion in the capital yesterday.

Click Here for Media Coverage link

This is happening in absence of a mechanism to implement the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC), though the code was legally made mandatory in 2006, they said.“The foremost barrier to implementing the building code is the lack of a nationally-applicable legal framework,” said M Abu Sadeque, former director of Housing and Building Research Institute.Bangla daily Prothom Alo, along with Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), International Code Council and Smart Development Engineering Limited jointly organised the discussion on ‘Application of building code and implementation strategy’ at its Karwan Bazar office.

The amended building construction rules of 2008, meant for the capital city, is also followed by Chattogram Development Authority, he said.

The BNBC cannot be enforced across the country without building construction rules applicable nationally, said Sadeque, also a technical expert on updating the code.At present, there are no authorities in the country to check whether the structural and electro-mechanical designs of a tall building are code-compliant, he said. How can the BNBC be implemented under the circumstances, he wondered.

As for the capital, M Abu Sadeque said, Rajuk too cannot enforce the code as a regulatory authority as long as it remains a development authority.

That apart, there are various authorities like PWD, LGED, Cantonment Board and public universities, including Dhaka University and Buet, that approve their respective buildings, he said. “How can the code be enforced evenly across the country?” he asked.

“Repeated building disasters overwhelmed the nation time and again due to construction in violation of BNBC,” said Brig Gen (retd) Ali Ahmed Khan, former director general of Fire Service and Civil Defense.

Noted civil engineering educator and National Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury said that tall buildings are also being constructed in rural areas nowadays, without any regulations.

So, the proposed Building Regulatory Authority has to be instituted immediately to enforce the BNBC countrywide, he said, adding that innumerable buildings will be constructed out of BNBC purview if different authorities are allowed to construct buildings at will.

While hundreds of building are being constructed at district and upazila levels, there is no obligation to abide by building code or building rules, said eminent planner-architect Salma A Shafi. Union Parshad or municipality issue a mere administrative approval for building construction, she added. “A radical positive impact may take place in the country’s building construction landscape if even the existing building code is enforced accordingly,” said SK Ghosh, team leader of Rajuk’s Urban Resilience Project. Khan Mahmud Amanat, a professor of structural engineering at Buet, said authorised professional supervision during building design and construction is a must to make sure the structural, electrical and mechanical designs of a building are compliant.

Building construction at will without a licensed contractor must stop once and for all, he said.

It has to be clearly defined immediately whether an authorised officer or a building official, as proposed in the BNBC, is to approve a building, said Md Emdadul Islam, former chief engineer of Rajuk.

Jalal Ahmed, president of Institute of Architects Bangladesh; FR Khan, managing director of Building Technology and Idea; Swarna Kazi, senior disaster management specialist of the World Bank’s Dhaka office; and Abdul Latif Helali, project director of Rajuk’s Urban Resilience Project, spoke, among others.

Prothom Alo Associate Editor Abdul Qayyum moderated the discussion.

Related Articles

Understanding the concept and rating system of ‘Green Buildings’

According to World Green Building Council, a green building is a building that in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. Elements of Green Buildings are Materials, Energy System, Water Management and Health Components. Let’s consider materials and energy system. Click […]
Read more

ইটের ব্যবহার ছাড়া বিকল্প নির্মাণ প্রযুক্তিতে পরিবেশবান্ধব বাড়ি তৈরি হচ্ছে।

ইটের ব্যবহার ছাড়া বিকল্প নির্মাণ প্রযুক্তিতে পরিবেশবান্ধব বাড়ি তৈরি হচ্ছে। ফেরো সিমেন্ট প্রযুক্তিতে বাড়ির বিম, দেয়াল, ছাদ সবই আলাদাভাবে তৈরি করে পরে একসঙ্গে যুক্ত করা হচ্ছে। এই প্রযুক্তিতে কম খরচে, অল্প সময়ে টেকসই বাড়ি নির্মাণ সম্ভব- বলছেন বিশেষজ্ঞরা।
Read more

Use new tech to curb construction hazards, speakers tell roundtable

The Daily Star and RFL Pipe and Fittings jointly organised a roundtable on “Comprehensive Proposal on Construction Hazard: Creating Awareness and Role of the Stakeholders” at The Daily Star Centre yesterday. Speakers at the programme advocated the use of new concrete materials like precast, blocks, and ready-mix to reduce construction activity-related hazards. Addressing the issue, […]
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for: