JIS News

The Westmoreland Parish Council has taken the initiative to educate its staff on all information and regulations governing the International Building Code, which Jamaica is expected to adopt soon. Among other things, under the Code, buildings will be made safer for all, and more accessible to disabled persons. At present, Jamaica does not have a mandatory up to date building code as the current building code is based on a 1902 London code. As such the Bureau of Standards and the JIE recently undertook the adoption of the International Building Code (IBC) as a base document for which an appropriate application document will be developed. The application document will incorporate special construction practices peculiar to Jamaica. The new Code will require a new compliance system, as the compliance system presently used by all parish councils is not compatible with the Code. Furthermore under the new Code design evaluation will now have to cover the architectural, structural, mechanical, fire, energy efficiency and electrical aspects of each building project.
As part of the sensitization thrust, the Council recently sent former Superintendent of Roads and Works, Albert Stewart on a two-week course to Miami, Florida, which was coordinated by the Jamaica Institute of Engineers (JIE). The course focused on areas such as; fundamentals of the Building Code, the fire code; the mechanical code; the plumbing code; structural plan reviews; and train the trainer guide.
Participants in the course included representatives from JIE, the University of Technology (UTech) and a number of Superintendents of Roads and Works from Parish Councils across the island.
In presenting the Westmoreland Parish Council with a collection of books during the monthly council meeting in Savanna-La-Mar, yesterday (May 10), based on the course, Mr. Stewart said that adopting the International Building Code was the way to go as all structures would be designed and built to international standards of acceptance.
“This course was very good as it dealt with all aspects of construction. There are a number of areas that Jamaica will have to adopt and which will benefit the country, with all the levels of construction now taking place. Even in public buildings the disabled must be afforded greater accessibility and there must also be provisions for fire escape and other safety measures, according to the international code,” Mr. Stewart told JIS News.
Mayor of Savanna-La-Mar and Chairman of the Westmoreland Parish Council, Delford Morgan told JIS News that the aim of sending Mr. Stewart on the course was for him to be trained to the point where he could in turn train the Council’s work overseers and technical officers on the intricacies of the new code. “I think that the knowledge acquired by Mr. Stewart on the course, should be shared with Council members, hence today’s gesture was the first in a series of consultations, which would take place between himself and staff members of the Westmoreland Parish Council as he seeks to impart some of that knowledge gained,” Mayor Morgan told JIS News.

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