26.08.2004 General News

Architects urged to design earthquake resistant houses

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Accra, Aug. 26 - Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Minister of Work and Housing, on Thursday charged architects to come up with modern architectural designs that could withstand earthquakes. He said seismographic reports indicated that there was no way the safety of houses built along earthquake zones particularly in Accra could be guaranteed during major tremors.

Ahaji Idris, who was speaking when 10 new Architects were formally inducted into Architects Registration Council of Ghana in Accra, said if Architects teamed up to design houses that could stand earthquakes it would prevent the loss of life and properties.

He said the country was currently undergoing a rapid transformation in human settlement as a result of expansion in towns and villages thus putting pressure on the already overstretched scarce resources. Ahaji Idris said it behoves the Government to partner professionals such as Architects, City Authorities and other stakeholders to develop and execute the appropriate cost-effective and human centred policies needed to meet the increasing demands of urbanisation.

This, he said, would further inject efficiency into the government machinery and encourage private participation in the management of human settlement and to give meaning to the policy of decentralisation and local government reforms.

Alhaji Idris urged the Architects Registration Council to collaborate with the district assemblies to safeguard the National Building Regulations that developers undermined.

"With an increase in population and demand for housing and commercial space, there is a general laxity in the compliance of statutory processes of development," he said.

Mr J. S. Addo, a Former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, called on Architects to provide a one-stop-shop service for clients by taking on construction management and real estate development divisions to defray the cost of time spent on the design process.

He said most real estate companies were not up to their task and that their building projects were poor in quality, which more often was discovered after a very long period.

Mr Addo advised Architects to enter into partnership with relevant professionals to arrange and execute projects to win more contracts and influence the industry.

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