Builders Told to Prioritize Quality of Construction to Ensure Resilience vs. Disasters
July 4, 2015
BAGUIO CITY – Builders and owners of structures here should prioritize the quality of their constructions to ensure the buildings’ resilience against earthquakes and climate change-induced calamities.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan reiterated this advice as the City prepares to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake.
“Let us be mindful of the quality of the buildings that we are constructing. That is a big lesson that the killer earthquake taught us. Let us not forget and let us learn from it,” the mayor said.
The mayor recalled that results of post-earthquake studies showed that most of the buildings that collapsed during the 1990 temblor had structural defects or violated construction standards.
Newly installed city building official Nazita Banez in her report during the flag-raising ceremonies last Monday affirmed that the soundness of buildings lies in the hands of the owners and the private engineers undertaking the project.
“We at the city buildings and architecture office (CBAO) are on hand to see to it that the plans and programs of work are within standards but at the end of the day, the resilience of the structure will depend on the owner and the private engineers because they are the ones who actually implement the project,” Banez said.
Banez said that as part of their office’s policies in ensuring the resilience of structures, the city buildings and architecture office requires that the designs submitted by the private engineers hired by the owners conform to the standards of the National Building Code.
She said the CBAO particularly requires that structures withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake.
Soil tests are also imposed to determine the geological condition of the lot for purposes of identifying engineering interventions.
In the construction phase, the CBAO advises owners and their private engineers to strictly follow the approved plan along with the standards and specifications.
She said CBAO undertakes periodic monitoring but cannot fully supervise the construction so it is up to owners and their contractors to ensure that the approved specifications are followed.
The CBAO last year enhanced the process of securing building, occupancy and other permits required under the National Building Code./A Refuerzo