Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Over 200 out of 648 districts are multi-disaster prone in India

The concerns of the consumers have been rightly captured. The issue of compliance to all safety requirements - Structural safety, Fire safety, Health safety, Public safety and Life safety  - should normally be in the building regulations framework by  having specific provisions in the Building Byelaws  directly or by reference of National Building Code (NBC) and accordingly ensure compliances  before issuing  the building permit. This is majorly the responsibility of the builder and then professionals such as Architects and Engineers associated with the planning, design and construction as well as the Enforcement team of the Municipal Corporation or Municipality or Development Authority, under whose jurisdiction the building is coming up.

Make a safe choice. Ask your developer for seismic smart structures.

Discerning and reputed builders with competent teams do advertise compliance to earthquake safety and other safety features being incorporated in design and construction. The confirmation and certificate to the effect has to come from both builder and Architects/Engineers.

That will give additional confidence to customers and credibility to the builders. Of course, in the past, the aftermath of any natural calamity led to the awareness of customers  which resulted in them asking for information from builders as well.  If the customers are aware that the project is located in an earthquake seismic zone or high wind/cyclone exposure area or landslide vulnerable area, then the customers could be proactive. There is a need to create increasing awareness on the risk perceptions from safety point of view for each of the cities.

It should be noted that out of the 648 districts in the country, more than 200 are multi-disaster prone.

The provisions of the NBC are for buildings of all heights and not limited to 30 storeys . Since the Building Byelaws are not regularly updated with the changing dynamic skyline needs, reference to NBC’s latest versions will provide for the right regulatory framework on all technical aspects of building design and construction. After the 1970 version, the NBC was updated in 1983 and in 2005  and its revision of this year has now become a priority which will help to deal with the more increasing urban challenges. Some progressive states and cities are aware and have revamped the local Building Byelaws and Development Control Rules in line with the NBC latest provisions. This is more an exception than a rule.  Change in paradigm is needed and things have to change.

India's additional building construction in the next three decades will be double of what has been built over the last two millennia. Let the governing framework change to provide for Safe and only Safe Built Environment as it has been in Seattle and many other developed countries.

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