Safety of structures dependent on owners, contractors

BAGUIO CITY – Government engineers and architects disclosed that the stability of buildings being built around the city is dependent on the owners and the contractors who administer the prosecution of their public or government projects.

            City Building Official Engr. Nazita F. Banez claimed that the issuance of the occupancy permit to building owners will not be a guarantee that their structures are safe and stable primarily because of intervening factors that should be considered in evaluating the completed buildings around the city.

            The city official underscored among those that should be considered in assessing the safety and stability of the completed structures include the use of standard and quality materials, condition of the area where the structures were built, the workmanship of the structures, and other technical matters that should have been appropriately put in place.

            For her part, Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon, chairman of the City Council Committee on Public Works, claimed that the problem with a number of structures in the city is the put up of added floors on the buildings that were previously designed for limited floors, thus, putting additional floors will definitely affect the integrity of the foundation of the structures.

            Yaranon claimed the best way to ascertain the structural integrity of structures in the city is to allow structural experts to assess the status of the buildings for them to come out with their findings and recommendations on how the owners can improve the safety and stability of their buildings for the safety of the general public.

            According to her, a thorough assessment must be done by experts in the area where the structures will be constructed coupled with the putting in place of the required engineering interventions that will guarantee the stability of the structures, especially that the city is an earthquake-prone area, thus, the need for the building owners to be mindful of overall safety and stability when still planning to build institutional or commercial structures in the different parts of the city.

            Part of the role of the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) is to evaluate and assess the plans and specifications of buildings that will be constructed in the city to ensure that appropriate engineering works will be adopted for the betterment of the general public.

            Yaranon claimed the best way to do things right is for both the owner of the structure and the contractor to make sure that they strictly adhere to approved project plans and specifications so as not to compromise the safety and stability of structures that will be built around the city that will also expose the people to danger when going in and out of such structures.

            Both city officials suggested that aside from hiring competent contractors, building owners must allow independent structural experts to asses and evaluate their buildings for allowing the same for occupancy by their prospective tenants to avoid problems in the future, especially during the occurrence of man-made and natural calamities that often visit the city.

            The CBAO is the office within the local government that issues building and occupancy permits for people interested to put up residential, institutional or commercial structures in the different parts of the city.

By Dexter A. See

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