Strengthen permit systems for buildings

…to enforce implementation of building code

To effectively enforce the implementation of the Ghana Building Code, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) Samuel Amegayibor has indicated that the country needs to strengthen the permitting systems in the development of buildings.

According to the town and country planning department, the development permit procedure only requires that, any person or organization that wants to put up a building, transform an existing building, or demolish an existing structure, should apply to them.

In an interview with Goldstreet Business on implementing the Ghana Building Code, Amegayibor said, “when applying for a building permit, it should be required that the person seeking for permit consults an architect, who would have a better understanding of the Code. But the problem arises when you don’t consult the architect, as most people consult road side drafts men.”

The permitting system in Rwanda, for instance, is such that an individual who is not a building professional cannot apply for a building permit. The permit has to be applied for by an engineer and an architect, jointly for the person who wants to build.

Building Code

To easily implement Ghana’s Building code, it would be much more effective dealing with groups such as GREDA, the Building and Civil Engineer’s Association, Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS), among others.

However, currently in Ghana, much of the housing development permits are granted to individuals who are not professionals base, and so how to get the various individuals to appreciate the new Building Code and to work with it, is where focus needs to be placed, at least pending when direly needed new legislation is introduced to bring in building professionals at the permit stage.

“So definitely, we need to get to a stage where will you need an architect and engineer before you can apply for building permit,” he insisted.

“We have to do the same thing in Ghana, to ensure that at least the private individuals who are doing their own projects would necessarily get an expert, and by that implication they will get abreast with the code,” Amegayibor said.

GSA

According to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), it would seek to collaborate with district assemblies to inspect and certify buildings under the new Building Code. The inspection and certification of structures will cover new buildings under construction and on-going renovations on old houses.

By Joshua W. Amlanu