Islamabad: The new building code approved by the previous cabinet is in the offing and will be effective forthwith throughout the country including AJK to ensure that future structures are seismic resistant.
All the new buildings, including residential, commercial, industrial and particularly high-rise, would have to follow the specification, spelt out in the new building code, Joint Engineering Advisor Ministry of Housing & Works Muzaffar Hussain Munjai told APP here Tuesday.
He said although a code regarding the construction of buildings was also formulated in 1986, it was not enforced practically, adding that soon after the earthquake of October 8, 2005, it became obvious that geologically, Pakistan lies in the high seismic zone and a code for the construction of future structures is imperative.
It was realised that the design and construction of buildings should be appropriate to resist the level of any expected hazard by using knowledge and technology available worldwide, he added.
To a question, he said the input of all the relevant agencies and bodies, both in pubic and private sector, was sought and incorporated while formulating the ‘Building Code of Pakistan: Seismic Provisions-2007.’
He said the Ministry of Housing & Works assigned Nespak the task of detailed seismic hazard evaluation, which in close collaboration with the International Code Council, USA formulated a quake-resistant design for buildings.
Muzaffar Hussain Munjai said as far as the intensity of any expected hazard is concerned, different areas of the country have been categorised into four zones. He said the new code would help realise the objective of making future structures in accordance with the technical specification of each category of the seismic survey.
“Islamabad and Rawalpindi are on the border of the red zone, that is why the residents have been instructed to construct new buildings according to the new code,” he added.
To a question, he said under the new code, people could build high-rise buildings after following the certain criteria, adding that all the executing agencies and provincial governments have been authorised to treat violators sternly and cancel their contracts.
About the high cost of buildings constructed under the new code, he said there might be a significant increase in the construction cost but our priority should be quality of work and the set standard.
He said the Ministry of Housing & Works with the cooperation of provincial governments held seminars to create awareness among society members and
engineering and construction sectors about the implementation of the new code.