DCA needs more staff – architect says

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Local architect and vice president of the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Architects, Colin John Jenkins, said the Development Control Authority (DCA) should not shoulder all the blame for buildings not reflecting building codes.
“I can’t really blame them for it and here is why. They will approve [your plans] and at times they will come to your site to see what is happening. Now you have to appreciate that they have a certain amount of staff available and Antigua is a certain size and there are any number of projects taking place at any given time. So, I would say that they need more staff,” Jenkins explained.
He added that stakeholder involvement is just as important to the adherence to building codes as DCA monitoring. He stated that the people hired as consultants on a project must make sure that what they state they will do on paper is being executed.
The vice president recommended that those looking to build, hire unbiased administrative personnel during the construction process to ensure that everything is running smoothly. He reiterated his earlier point that the DCA is not the only body responsible in guaranteeing that building codes are followed but the people hired also carry that responsibility.
He revealed that it is because of this responsibility that there is a push within the construction industry to have individuals taking out some form of indemnity so that they can be liable for anything that may result from their negligence.
He pointed out that there are many examples from around the world where there have been building failures for any number of reasons and the people responsible for the non-adherence to building codes have to answer for their negligence.
He said that building codes can cover everything from the screws that you use on your roofs, to the silicone that is used to seal different elements, to the paint that you use on inside spaces because there may be issues of air quality.
He concluded that building codes speak to a combination of factors that make whatever is being built safe and sound in its entirety and it is not just the physical large elements that make up the structure.
The issue of building codes came into the spotlight in the wake of the unprecedented devastation caused by superstorms Irma and Maria throughout the Caribbean and more specifically in Barbuda in September 2017.

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