The Ghana Standards Authority on Wednesday unveiled a 1700-page Ghana Building Code to provide guidance and standard requirements for the construction of private, public and industrial buildings.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who launched the first-ever Building Code at a ceremony in Accra, said it would be a game-changer in the country’s building industry and ensure value for money.
He said it would provide a benchmark against which all construction related procurement could be measured and guarantee quality and durability of building materials used in constructing schools, roads, hospitals and all types of public infrastructure.
The Vice President noted that building codes worldwide were essential components in the construction industry because they ensured uniformed cost for all types of constructions in the private, public and industrial buildings.
He said the outdooring of the Code and subsequent passage of the necessary legislation would address the issue of collapsing buildings due to shoddy works and make the country safer.
He charged the Ministry of Works and Housing to facilitate the passage of the Legislative Instrument (L.I. 1630) to enable the Code to work effectively and efficiently, saying that the country’s building construction industry must be regulated appropriately to guarantee public safety.
The Code covers the essential areas for the smooth and safe operation in the building construction industry by ensuring conformity of standards in the built environment, public safety and structural and environmental integrity.
The Code, drafted by a 22-member Technical Committee from diverse professional backgrounds, and chaired by Mr Seth Bright Attipoe-Denyah of Apro-Plan Consult Limited, was under the auspices of the Ministry of Works and Housing.
Vice President Bawumia said: “We continue to look unconcerned when the structures in the industry are put up without paying attention to the required rules and regulations.”
As the years go by, the building industry becomes characterised by complex constructions, therefore, it is important the necessary regulations are put in place and enforced to ensure sanity and bring about progress”.
Dr Bawumia noted that the Code had come at an opportune time following the Government’s recent forum on “Value for Money,” which would provide standards for the construction of roads, hospitals and schools as well as ensure effective process for financial management of construction of projects.
“We will, therefore, ensure the availability of the Code throughout the country and at all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, training institutions and technical universities for training and education,” the Vice President said.
He commended members of the Technical Committee for their dedication to duty and selflessness in coming out with the Code.
Mr Seth Bright Attiope-Denyah presented an overview of the Code, noting that the Committee took six months to compile it, starting from November 10, 2017 to April, this year.
He said the Committee made reference to a number of local and international codes to come up with the Code so as to reflect international best practices.
A building code is a body of standardized technical knowledge and best practices of rules and regulations for construction and ancillary structures, he noted.
Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister of Works and Housing, who chaired the function, noted that the Code is a world-class document, which is fit-for-purpose and underscored the need to strengthen the enforcement regime to derive the required benefit.