KINGSTON — The Government is moving apace to have the island's National Building Act approved, says Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton.
"The first draft of this Act has been completed and reviewed by the broad based Building Code Implementation Steering Committee. The comments from the Committee are to be submitted to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for deliberation in moving the Bill forward," he said.
Dr. Tufton, who was speaking at the opening of Engineers’ Week 2011, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston, on September 19, said the Government is committed to completing the process and moving forward.
"We (the Ministry) have been working with you, in terms of the New Building Code. I am told that $40 million, through the Bureau of Standards, for the development of the new building code has been allocated and spent to ensure orderly, safe, energy efficient construction. There is another $10 million that has been made available for the 2011 calendar year to continue that process,” the Minister said, adding that the Jamaica Institute of Engineers has played an important role in terms of the implementation of the building code.
In the meantime, he encouraged the engineers to continue playing their part for the development of the nation.
Dr. Tufton argued that engineers have a critical role to play in the development of the Vision 2030 plan, “in advancing some of the critical challenges which will confront us over that period of time."
The goals of the National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica – seek to position Jamaica to attain developed country status, and make it the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.
Engineers’ Week is organised by the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) under the theme: ‘Caribbean Engineering – Building Regional Development’. It will last from September 18 to 25.
President of the JIE, Lenworth Kelly, informed that week is designed for engineering and related professionals to address critical issues, adding that passage of Jamaica’s National Building Code is an important part in the process.
“Our physical infrastructure faces a myriad of challenges, and we see attempts are being made to address them. We seek to focus on factors influencing site selection, hazard mapping, zoning and standards. The JIE is currently reviewing its infrastructure standard for housing development, with a view to promoting its wider use. It is noted that currently, no common standard exists for general use,” he said.
During the week, the JIE will be hosting three major conferences that will focus on Caribbean Infrastructure, Energy Sustainability as well as the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) Contract Law.
The Energy Conference, under the theme ‘Developing a Sustainable Energy Future’, will end on September 20, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
The Caribbean Infrastructure Conference, under the theme, ‘Developing Sustainable Infrastructure,’ takes place on Wednesday, September 21 and Thursday, September 22 at the same hotel.
The FIDIC seminar will be held under the theme, ‘Local Development in a Global Perspective,’ on Friday, September 23, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter