GSA vows to enforce standards in built environment

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has given the strongest indication to enforce standards within the building and construction industry, as new technologies emerge.

The Director-General, Professor Alex Dodoo, said, this was in line with implementing guidelines set out in the country’s building code launched in 2018 to among others, regulate the sector and save lives and property.

Addressing journalists at the stakeholder forum in Accra yesterday, the DG disclosed for instance, that the Authority had secured a testing equipment for concrete mixtures as means of ensuring that ‘standard’ buildings and that investors were offered value for money.

“This will help clear the excuse that there is no infrastructure for testing products like concrete and once we have this in place, we hope that people do not build in silence so that it doesn’t collapse and you lose your investment.”

“We encourage industry players and property owners to come on-site to test, otherwise, we also go onto the field so people can go on our website and contact us. Since last year, we have employed about 20 engineers to help the testing and will try to expand that capacity as we take in more concrete test,” he stated.

According to Prof.  Dodoo, the testing of concrete would be mandatory as soon as the building code came into full force, as the GSA was at the moment awaiting a legislative instrument (LI) on the policy for implementation.

Recognising the probability of sourcing raw materials for cement production locally as means of sustaining businesses within the building environment and creating jobs, the DG, said the GSA would collaborate with institutions like the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to research into the likelihood.

“We also need to set in place standard framework where new technologies can be implemented without hurdles and we at the GSA are rising to the challenge especially when there is high potential of using local products for construction in Ghana and the benefits are huge,” he added.

Vowing, however, to ensure that cement manufacturing companies met requisite standards to reduce incidence of sub-standard products in the country, Prof Dodoo called for concerted efforts among all stakeholders tokeep the industry agile in responding to the needs of the people while sustaining the environment.

Dr Wolfram Schmidt, aSenior Researcher at BAM International,one of Europe’s largest contracting companies, in delivering the keynote address at the forum highlighted the enormous potential in Africa to explore local materials for its construction sector.

According to him, products like cassava peels, maize, rice husk ‘waste materials’ in abundance on the continent could be potential bi-products for the production of cement which would not only reduce imports of limestone and clinker which emitted cardon-dioxide as the world fought climate change, but would promote job creation, sustain businesses and build a healthier environment.

“Going on this tangent is a win-win for producers, customers and climate because we are assured of better quality, less expensive products for customers and will give local producers competitive advantage.


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