New building regulations coming soon
The Namibian Standards Institutions is making significant progress in the adoption of new building regulations.
Speaking on the proposed Standards and Building Regulations that could be adopted for the country, Namibian Building Construction Regulations, General Manager for Standards and Development, Ueritjiua Kauria said that approximately 89 institutions have been consulted thus far on formulating the National Quality Policy which began in 2012.
The SES expert Prof. Karl-Heinz Bosman presented his observations and recommendations for improved building construction regulations to representatives from key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Works and Transport; Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Rural Development; the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the National Housing Enterprise and the City of Windhoek at an event held in Windhoek.
Prof Bosman said that the plan is to develop, adopt and implement new Building Regulations within one year. “The existing gap of Regulations and Standards opens chances for the adoption of newer and more consistent rules with future benefits expected,” he said.Said Kauria, “Technical Regulations are not clearly aligned to Acts of Parliament and many remain outdated and have not kept up with scientific and technological advances.” He added that this lack of institutional coordination for improvements and enforcement was not drafted in terms of international best practices.
“The proposed solutions is the examination of existing building construction regulations and the identification of appropriate government regulators in establishing a working group for the adoption of selected standards for the relevant Namibian Standards regulators,” Kauria added. This he said will need the formulation of building construction regulations and the enforcement thereof which will need the establishment of a Working Group to draft and adopt an Action Plan.
The adoption and implementation will follow the structural Euro-codes in time steps of two years. After this transition phase old standards will be withdrawn in order to set up the Nationally Defined Parameters (NDPs) and a set of slimmed-down versions for low cost buildings. The NSI is prepared to provide a venue and secretary for this purpose in continuing with its planed consultation. Regulators are requested to offer commitment and participation and propose the consultation approach to the relevant highest authorities in taking the lessons learned from the construction sector as a proposal in other sectors.
The consultant advised the NSI to start an early campaign of publicity, education and training of all its stakeholders. “Provide preventive maintenance and inspections of buildings now! Adopt the complementing ISO Standards step by step as well as well as evaluating the different adoption steps with regard to acceptance and efficiency,” Bosman urged.