Physical Planner hopes Building Codes consultation addresses enforcement issues

by: Dominica Vibes News - December 4, 2017
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Physical Planner, Annie Edwards

Countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), are looking to effectively implement the Revised OECS Building Code 2015 and Dominica is not an exception.

Under the GCCA Project, the OECS Commission has taken up the task of assisting the islands on the best practices for implementation. As such a number of consultations have been held.

The Development of best practice recommendations for the implementation of the Revised OECS Building Code 2015, consultation began at the Garraway Hotel on Monday with consultant Alison King.

Annie Edwards, Physical Planner said during her welcome address that while building codes are not new to the island, enforcement of the code has been a problem faced by the Physical Planning Division.

“One of the problems we at the Planning Department really face is enforcing the Building Codes and the main reason for that is it was not legally integrated or adopted into our system,” she said.

Hence, these new codes under the OECS and subsequent implementation consultations are timely Edwards added.

“The recommendations being circulated really seek to guide us on how it can be integrated and with the passage of Hurricane Maria we realize in Dominica, that we need to have stronger enforcement, stronger practices in the construction sector,” she explained.

While the consultation was scheduled some time ago she continued, it is now even timelier.

“Hurricane Maria really exposed a lot of weaknesses in our construction sector, weaknesses related to the design of our roofs, the type of building materials we use and the type of construction practices we have. This is a very timely endeavor,” Edwards said.

She thanked the OECS Commission for this project which she said is intended to strengthen resilience in the OECS member states.