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NCA Hosts Final Draft Building Code Forum

NCA Hosts Final Draft Building Code Forum

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The final public participation forum for the draft building regulations (National Building Code) and its regulatory impact assessment was held at the Bomas of Kenya on May 6th, 2022.

In attendance was the Principal Secretary, State Department of Public Works, Mr. Solomon Kitungu CBS, members of the NCA Board of Directors including its Board Chairman Qs. David Gaitho, NCA’s Executive Director, Eng. Maurice Akech, members of the Authority’s management, as well as other built environment professionals and contractors.

The forum was held in line with the requirements for public participation and stakeholder engagement as prescribed under article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya and Section 5 of the Statutory Instruments Act 2013.

In his address, the Principal Secretary stated that the operationalization of the National Building Code 2022 is expected to achieve a healthier, safer, more convenient built environment and promote optimal use of resources.

“The finalization of review and the enactment of the National Building Code 2022 will enhance growth and regulate and revolutionize the building sector in the country,” Mr. Kitungu stated.

In his speech, NCA’s Board Chairman, Qs. David Gaitho elaborated the Authority’s specific roles in the implementation of the Building Regulations (Building Code); “Which include the overall coordination of the implementation of the building regulations of Kenya, issuance of guidelines on aspects that relate to construction safety, construction processes, building materials and equipment; carrying out of mandatory inspections of all ongoing construction projects, quality assurance to ensure adherence to standards and continual monitoring to ensure all stakeholders participate adequately,” he said.

Eng. Akech thanked all the participants for their contributions thus far acknowledging the long journey that had brought them to that point. “The time taken and efforts made are all geared towards the achievement of an integrated and comprehensive Code that will guide the industry and render it free from the perennial accidents that have been witnessed in the past that have not only resulted in loss of property but worse, loss of life,” he stated.

The code that has been in operation in Kenya was instituted in 1968 under the now repealed Local Governments Act and had a number of noticeable shortcomings; It did not include any international standards and therefore key areas such as structural design remained uncaptured in the solely applicable Standards Act.

Secondly, the code employed the Imperial units system of measurement (inches and feet) and not the international system of units (metres) acknowledged globally. Thirdly, the code only recognized conventional building materials and so the need for a document that accounted for new building materials and technologies that could reduce the cost of construction whilst maintaining high quality standards was necessary. Fourthly, the outdated code was created to be enforced and implemented and enforced by the county government, formerly local government and not a well oversight Authority, leading to substandard buildings in the country.

It evidently lacked the effective and objective controls and enforcement mechanisms needed to steer the industry appropriately and hence the need to review, revise, contextualize and harmonize the regulations.

The Authority is mandated to streamline and coordinate the development of the construction industry, a charge it continues to work tirelessly towards through these and other efforts.

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