Thanks to the OECS iLand Resilience, Montserrat is moving towards having its Building Code ratified and implemented by the first quarter of next year.
The Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Trade, Housing and the Environment David Osborne said this was now his government’s priority, following a national consultation which resulted in the finalization of the administrative section of the draft OECS building code.
In his speech delivered at the opening of the forum on Wednesday November 22nd, 2017, Mr. Osborne said “there is an increased need to implement Building Codes across the region to mitigate against the impacts of climate change, where storms are increasing in intensity and frequency.”
The Minister called on, engineers, contractors, homeowners and other stakeholders to embrace “this modern code which has referenced the Caribbean Unified Building Code and has elements of the International Building Code for reference.”
The one day consultation enabled the team of consultants led by Saint Lucian Engineer Allison King, to present their best practice recommendations for the implementation of the Revised OECS Building Code 2015 on Montserrat.
“[The] OECS felt that it was important that the administrative section which is the front end of the code, be designed to suit the needs of each country, so every country will have a unique administration section by the time this project is complete,” King revealed
The OECS iLand Resilience Focal Point for Montserrat, Acting Chief Physical Planner Jerome Meade described the consultation as timely, given the unprecedented 2017 hurricane season which resulted in two major storms Irma and Maria, both of which caused severe damage to OECS islands.
“A Building Code is seen to be costly to implement, but a small additional cost cannot equate to the loss of life. However, when a disaster strikes, one questions the rigorous nature of our code and whether they were adequately applied,” Meade stressed.
The building code implementation exercise is an initiative by the OECS Commission as part of its Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Sustainable Land Management (SLM) project dubbed OECS iLand Resilience.
It aims to establish a significantly improved and harmonized building code for the OECS sub-region.
Funding for the project has been made possible by the European Union (EU) under the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA).
To date, country consultations have taken place in St. Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla. Meetings are scheduled for Saint Lucia on November 24th, St. Vincent on November 28th, Grenada on November 30th , Dominica on December 4th and December 6th in the Virgin Islands.
Review the OECS Building Code 2015 here.
About OECS iLand Resilience
iLand Resilience is the brand for the OECS Commission’s Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable LandÂ Management Project. The project is managed under the OECS Environmental Sustainability portfolio and financed by the European Union & Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA).
The focal point for the OECS GCCA Project on Montserrat is Mr. Jerome Meade, Chief Physical Planner (Ag).