#Nassau, September 27, 2018 – Bahamas – With a view to transform and modernize the services of the Ministry of Public Works (MOW), the Bahamas Society of Engineers in conjunction with the MOW hosted a seminar on Building Code Adoption and Upgrading, Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at the Department of Physical Planning.
The Bahamas presently uses Third Edition 2003 of the Bahamas Building Code (BBC). The purpose of the code is to provide certain minimum standards, provisions and requirements for the health, safety and welfare of Bahamians. The two major code bodies are the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council.
Antoinette Thompson, Permanent Secretary, said the government is pursuing a number of initiatives including e-procurement, ease of doing business, review and a harmonization of the laws as relates to this industry.
Robby Dawson, Regional Vice-President, NFPA, gave an overview of NFPA, the Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem, and how it protects lives and property through the proper adoption and enforcement of building and fire related codes.
Mr. Dawson said some of the codes in the BBC use standards that are outdated or do not exist, and if enforced are not using the latest technology or latest construction standards to be most efficient and effective. He said use of newer editions of the BBC may improve safety in The Bahamas. New technologies that exist, and addressed in the codes, may allow construction to take place on a safer basis, to allow new technologies to be used.
“Some jurisdictions and countries would take certain provisions out because they’re not really applicable, things like snow modes are not a big concern to The Bahamas. Wind loading from hurricanes, that’s more an impressive concern here so The Bahamas may look at strengthening those codes,” said Mr. Dawson.
Sessions were also held on The Life Safety Code, Code Adoption Process and the BBC.
By Kathryn Campbell
Header: Staff of the Ministry of Works are pictured at the Bahamas Building Code Adoption seminar.
Insert: Robby Dawson, Regional VP, National Fire Protection Association, addresses the seminar.
(BIS Photos/Derek Smith)