The updated national building code has proposed creation of an independent regulatory body to ensure construction of safe and environmentally friendly buildings across the country, technical experts said at a discussion yesterday.
The new version puts emphasis on energy efficiency, rainwater management, stringent fire safety, daylight harvesting, and use of bamboo as a construction material, said ASM Ismail, ex-chief architect of the Department of Architecture and convener of the BNBC updating steering committee.
House Building Research Institute (HBRI) jointly with the National Alliance for Risk Reduction and Research Initiatives organised the discussion to share the updated version of Bangladesh National Building Code with relevant professionals.
A new chapter has been added with a proposed "Bangladesh Building Regulatory Authority" to ensure implementation of the code without exemption, said Ismail, also author of the BNBC chapter on administration and enforcement.
Though the code was made legally binding in 2006, only four development authorities in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna follow it in the building approval process through a building construction committee under the Building Construction Act.
The proposed authority will appoint a building official along with technical officials, who would give approvals to buildings at divisional, district and upazila levels, he said, adding that they might be attached with municipalities, city corporations, and the public works department.
The body will be comprised of a civil engineer, an architect, a planner, a lawyer, and a representative from civil service.
The armed forces authorities should also incorporate the code into their relevant laws to make sure the code is evenly enforced all over the country, said Ismail.
The code has hardly been implemented since its formulation in 1993, thanks to lack of an enforcement mechanism, said Mohammad Abu Sadeque, HBRI director and member secretary of the BNBC steering committee.
Public Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain, among others, spoke at the programme.