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Regional News of Friday, 18 September 2015

Source: GNA

Demand certification of building design – NADMO

The National Disaster and Management Organization (NADMO) has recommended that the public request for certification for building design and construction from home owners when renting or buying a building.

It said where it is not possible to obtain such certification, they should request an audit of the building by a professional engineer before making any decision to buy or to rent, and that, the audit could be repeated periodically.

It also recommended that building materials used for construction must adhere to Ghanaian standards, especially in the selection of the appropriate iron rods for specific buildings.

Brigadier General Francis Vib Sanziri, Acting National Coordinator of the NADMO said their investigations into recent collapses of buildings revealed that people are not adhering to standards and professionalism.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on the recent collapses of buildings in the country, he said all the buildings that collapsed from 2012 to date are purely as a result of neglect of laid down building procedures and regulations.

He attributed the collapses to foundation failure; poor designs, which includes inadequate structural design, inadequate architectural design, lack of inadequate geo-technical input, poor soil and site investigation, sub-standard detailing; poor construction management, use of unqualified or unskilled building personnel for the design.

Others, he said, include poor quality supervision of building projects, poor quality control, building usage, and retrofitting and renovations, where one storey-buildings are converted to multi-storey buildings and change of original designs without providing the requisite structural details.

Brig. Gen. Sanziri therefore advised the public to use buildings for the purposes for which they were designed and if they intend to change the use of a building or to retrofit a building, they should consult qualified engineers to ensure safety.

“For public buildings, display certification from professional engineers, as described above in a prominent position at the entrance of the building to reassure persons using the building of its safety as we well as encourage other developers to use appropriate personnel when constructing buildings.

“Consult structural engineers for an assessment of all cracks in structural members such as columns, beams, slabs, among others, as these cracks may be indicative of impending structural failure,” he added.

He said with the proliferation of multi-storey buildings in the country, there is a possibility that more buildings will collapse if no urgent action is taken and advised all occupants of buildings, especially those occupying multi-storey structures, to appraise themselves of the recommendations.