Thursday, 18 February 2021 13:26

National Building Regulations 2020 Featured

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The National Construction Authority has launched the public participation workshops for the Draft National Building Regulations 2020, also referred to as the Building Code.

The country wide workshops will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to interact with the Draft Regulations, and offer their views, opinions, suggestions and critiques.

The workshops will be held simulatenously in dual locations, starting with Mombasa and Kisumu on the 16th of February, Nyeri and Kakamega on the 18th of February.

Additional workshops in the month of February will take place at the Kenya School of Government in Embu on the 19th, North Eastern National Polytechnic in Garissa on the 22nd and Merica Hotel in Nakuru on the 25th.

The workshops will culminate in Nairobi on the 2nd of March at the Bomas of Kenya. In addition to these, the Authoruty will also hold stakeholder engagement sessions with the Council of Governors and professional associations. This will be followed by a stakeholder validation session, after which the Regulations will be taken back to Parliament…..

The Authroity has been at the forefront of agitating for a new Building Code, given that the current Code dates back to 1968, and is therefore inadequate, lacking effective and objective controls and enforcement mechanisms.

The need to review the 1968 building code arose out of the construction collapses that were witnessed in Kenya in the 1990s. In 1996, following the collapse of the SunBeam Building, a Commission led by Dr. R. G.M Mutiso examined the existing Building Laws, By-laws and Regulations and made recommendations with a view to prevent incidences similar to that collapse.

Since then, several attempts made to revise the Building Code have been piece-meal and have not met the desired results nor have they been fully embraced by various stakeholders

On 20th April 2009, the then Coalition Government launched a task force committee to review and harmonize laws and regulations governing the building and construction industry. The task force came up with the comprehensive and integrated Draft Building Regulations 2009. The regulations were never adopted nor implemented. In October 2019, the Cabinet gave direction to finalize and adopt the building code of Kenya. In this connection, the NCA Act No. 41 of 2011 was to be amended to anchor the Building Code and enforce it. This was done through The Business Laws (Amendment) Act on 20th March 2020. Unfortunately due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, public participation could not commence immediately.

The Principal Secretary, State Department for Public Works on 25th November 2019 appointed a Committee to guide the review and finalization of the draft building code. Further, the National Construction Authority was tasked to steer and coordinate the review process. Since the launch, the committee has held several workshops to review the various thematic areas and consulted key stakeholders including professional associations, Government agencies, the Council of Governors, the private sector, and other interested groups. This resulted in the endorsement of the draft Building Code 2020.

The office of the Attorney General reviewed the draft Code and has approved it for stakeholder engagement and public participation.

It is expected the operationalization of this draft Building Code 2020 in the built environment will achieve a more healthy, safe, convenient, and optimal use of resources, and is expected to lead to enhanced professionalism and the reduction of corruption, streamlined building approval, enhanced accountability and a reduction of construction claims due to clarity of roles of all parties.

Additionally, there will be enhanced collaboration and coordination among the actors. The shift from prescriptive material to a performance-based regime will enable creativity, new technologies, materials and will attract increased investors in the construction industry due to predictable framework, which will lead to industrialization of buildings.

The Draft Code also allows for revision every five years to adapt to changing micro and macro environments and provides for construction risk management in the built environment, and also applies to all human settlements in Kenya without segregation and discrimination.

All stakeholders are encouraged to read the Draft Code and submit any questions, clarifications, suggested revisions and additions. The Code can be downloaded HERE, while the full list of dates and venues for the participation workshops can be viewed HERE.

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