NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 28, 09, 2018) — The Department of Physical Planning and Environment in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), will host a one-week seminar to improve practices among contractors of small buildings, as it seeks to implement a harmonised code for construction in the Caribbean region.
Mr. Marvin Hanley, Senior Building Inspector at the department told the Department of Information on September 27, 2018, that the workshop targets small contractors and architects/draftsmen. It will be held from October 01-05, 2018 at the Nevis Disaster Management Department’s conference room at Long Point from 6-8 p.m. daily.
“The seminar is about improved practices in the construction of small buildings. It came about as a result of the two hurricanes that devastated the Caribbean last year, and so, throughout the region, the CDB and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) thought it best to try to get a more harmonised approach to building inspections, building plans and also the actual construction of the buildings, as opposed to each country having a separate code. So we are trying to go towards a harmonised code.
“We sometimes concentrate a lot on hurricane preparedness, so the seminar would also look at earthquakes and other hazards as opposed to just one hazard, and look at improved practices in ensuring that your roof attachment is more secure and your walls are more secure, in terms of what we normally do,” he said.
Mr. Hanley noted that at the end of the seminar, the department expects the invited participants – 34 builders and 10 architects/draftsmen – would appreciate the updated information they would receive. Among the areas they will be exposed to are concrete mix proportions and the types of steel work that is needed for buildings of different magnitudes.
He said the department also plans to move into the accreditation of architects, engineers and draftsmen as well as licencing of contractors, electricians and plumbers, among others.
Mr. Hanley explained that the workshop would be one of several as a means of getting the information to the relevant parties involved in construction.
“We are thinking of having a workshop for prospective homeowners that would allow them to get a feel of what the contractor should do, in terms of asking or requesting inspection at different stages of their building.
“We realise sometimes it is a challenge. Sometimes the owners do not know what is required with regard to their contractor contacting the Physical Planning Department. So it is a way of getting the information out,” he said.