Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has launched the Ghana Building Code to, among other things, regulate the country’s building and construction industry. The 1,700-page document, in 38 sections, covers all essential areas necessary for the smooth and safe operation of the building and construction industry.
It sets out requirements and recommendations for efficiency standards for residential and non-residential buildings and covers planning, management and practices in the construction of buildings.
Speaking at the launch yesterday, the Vice President expressed delight that finally, after decades of effort, a standard document to regulate the activities of the building and construction industry had been produced.
The production and launch of the Code was expected to bring to an end, the virtual ‘free-for-all’ in the building and construction sector and set standards to ensure that Ghana’s construction environment was safe and meets international standards.
“Ghana has been operating without a comprehensive building code since independence. Essentially, it has been a free for all in the building and construction industry with no clearly defined standards.”
“Today is a very significant day in the annals of the history of this country. For the first time ever, through the collaborative efforts of different agencies, Ghana has a comprehensive Building Code. The Ghana Building Code, GS1207 of 2018 is a document that is long overdue but which has finally been delivered,” he said.
Vice President Bawumia emphasized the importance of the Building Code, describing it as a key component of President Nana Akufo-Addo government’s determination to formalise the Ghanaian economy and ensure value-for-money in public construction works.
“Building Codes are critically important in all countries. They specify the requirements needed for all aspects of building and construction.”
“They also ensure value for money by providing a yardstick against which all construction-related procurement can be measured. In this regard, I will like to emphasize that the Ghana Building Code being launched today should be a game-changer as far as ensuring value-for-money in public construction in Ghana,” he said.
Vice President Bawumia indicated that after the gazetting of the Code, materials used in construction, buildings, schools, roads, hospitals and all types of public construction works must use materials that are in line with the standards specified in the Ghana Building Code.
That, he said, would make it possible to have fairly accurate and uniform costs for all types of construction in the country, and provide safety guarantees.
“This is definitely expected to provide satisfactory costs for construction projects and ensure achievement of value-for-money. The Ghana Building Code will make Ghana safer.
“With the launching of the Code and the passing of the necessary legislation, we can provide relief to the people of Ghana from collapsing buildings as well as assuring the safety of private, public and industrial buildings,” he said.
Vice President Bawumia urged all local government authorities and training institutions to get copies of the code and expressed government’s appreciation to the 22-member Technical Team which worked on the Code.
The Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, urged the regulators to ensure that the code was rigorously enforced to eliminate the “free for all” system.
He further entreated the regulators to make the choice between the construction of a three-bedroom cement unit, clay and bent brick house or a pozolana constructed facility to determine which was cost effective for the country.
BY LAWRENCE VOMEFA AKPALU AND YAW KYEI