“In my opinion, the proposed ‘Revised’ code cannot be understood by most builders and homeowners – it appears to be designed to be understood only by designers.”
Revised Building Code likely to increase homeowner costs by 15%
by Grenville Phillips II
June 8, 2012
Yesterday, I attended a seminar hosted by the BNSI and BCSI titled “The Revised National Building Code”. I left the seminar feeling shocked and saddened. The current building code is designed to be understood by building contractors to allow them to build a fairly stable house. Many homeowners should also be able to understand it in order to check that their builder is following this national standard.
In my opinion, the proposed ‘Revised’ code cannot be understood by most builders and homeowners – it appears to be designed to be understood only by designers. Certainly, only structural engineers can understand the Structural section of the “Revised” code, while most builders should be able to understand the structural section in the current code.
In addition, the homeowner will have to provide detailed construction drawings for Government approval. This is likely to increase the cost to the homeowner by approximately 15%. This additional cost is not due to additional construction materials, but the cost of paying designers to prepare the detailed designs.
The current building code contains most of the technical information normally provided by designers (Engineers and Architects). What is so disheartening is that all of this useful information that can be understood by building contractors and many homeowners has been removed.
For the past 2 decades, designers have endured the entirely false charge that the enforcement of national building standards will financially benefit them. What is certain is that if the proposed ‘Revised’ building code is enforced, then the designers will be the principal financial beneficiaries. I am unaware of any designer who has lobbied for this ‘Revised’ code.
Grenville Phillips II is a son, brother, husband, father, friend, employer, teacher, musician, singer, composer, author, and publisher. He holds a diploma in Engineering, Bachelor of Science (Mathematics), Bachelor of Engineering (Structural), Master of Applied Science (Environmental Engineering), Master of Urban and Rural Planning. Chartered Structural Engineer (Fellow), Chartered Highway and Transportation Engineer (Fellow), Environmental Engineer, Project Manager, Planner, and President of Walbrent College.
In his spare time he writes the respected blog Weighed in the Balance
Meanwhile, Jonathan Platt of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), has issued a press release telling all how wonderful the new building code is – but lamenting that it is “voluntary” because the DLP and BLP governments haven’t bothered to pass legislation making adherence to the code mandatory. I think we’ve all heard that song before…
Barbados: Building Code on its Way to Being Published
Bridgetown – June 8, 2012 – Tragedies such as the collapse at Arch Cot in 2007 and the Campus Trendz fire in 2010, were offered as examples of calamities which need not recur, should the Revised National Building Code be put into practice. Continue reading