Local engineers push for building codes overhaul

Local engineers push for building codes overhaul

There is a massive push to have building codes in The Bahamas reviewed, revealed Quentin Knowles, president of the Bahamas Society of Engineers.

His comments were made during an interview with Eyewitness News Wednesday morning as the association, along with representatives from the Ministry of Works and international engineers, gathered for a one-day seminar at the Department of Physical Planning, to bring local engineers up to speed on international building code standards and how best to apply them within their scope of work locally.

“Most building codes (in the United States) are adopted on a three-year cycle,” revealed Robby Dawson, southeastern regional Director of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

“Some countries and some jurisdictions will remove certain parts of these codes out because they do not apply.

“Things like snow loads are not really applicable in The Bahamas, but things like wind loading and hurricanes; those are more impressive issues here. So The Bahamas making certain changes to provisions within those codes to make them more applicable for their work here.”

“The Bahamas building codes have not been updated since 15 years ago, but by virtue of the fact that we – from time to time – adapt international codes into our own, that serves as an update every so often,” Knowles said.

He was quick to note that there should be no need for alarm.

“There need be no need for alarm because The Bahamas’ building codes, as they stand right now, are very adequate,” he said.

“If you build any structure, following our current outlay of codes, you will have a very strong structure that can compete with comparable sound structures around the world.

“But, there is a push on our part, to the government, to have our building codes overhauled in the near future.”