Ensuring Legitimacy of Building Standards

Ensuring Legitimacy of Building Standards

By Douglas Saefoa

PT Editor, November 2022

(Architecture Building Management Services Department (ABMSD) team, in Honiara, Photo by PT Media)

Construction is a vital industry, creating buildings and spaces that connect communities, providing jobs, and improving society. Materials used in construction signifies structural existence. It demonstrates the presence of aesthetic sense in a design, and hence, defines the practicability of the structure. The use of building material(s)while designing a structure is symbolic of its existence in the field of architectural visualization.

The Ministry of Infrastructure Development’s Architecture Building Management Services Department (ABMSD) is responsible for maintaining building safety standards, and inspecting and scoping for identification of maintenance needs. They also conceptualize designs and carry out technical evaluation and recommendation.

According to the Director of ABMSD Mr. Phillip Baura, his department has very limited resources and capacity yet play a key role within its umbrella Ministry to ensure longevity and quality of government structural assets whilst ensuring building standards.

The ABMS Department is responsible for planning, designing, building and maintenance of all government buildings and assets nationwide.

According to Mr. Baura his department has a total of 14 personnel whom most time are out in the Provinces thus they have limited operational capacity.

Basically, each government Ministry have their own building projects to deliver according to their development plans. ABMSs’ role is simply to assess and advise procurement teams on standards and best practices usually before a tender is released and during the tender evaluation stage.

“Sometimes we outsource tasks like architectural design since we have limited capacity so and we focus specifically on Project management,” Baura Said

So, if a Ministry wants to build a new office building in the province, they will request the ABMS team to do the scoping of the said project. Once done they will then outsource the architectural design work to a private contractor to assist us. Once a design is ready, they will submit the documents to the respective Ministry to approve and facilitate the tender process.

Under Mr. Baura supervision at the Ministry he has come to realise that a lot of government buildings situated in the Provinces are very old and can no longer withstand continuous repairs.

“Ever since I started looking after this department, I have seen a lot of aging government buildings especially in the Provinces, some have not been repaired for almost 10-15 years leaving them vulnerable to termites and asbestos. The only logical call I usually make is to demolish and rebuild,” the Director said.

Currently the ABMS team operates on two separate budgets, a development budget and a recurrent budget.

The ABMS team is currently working on 3 major projects, two with the Ministry of Agriculture and Development and another with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.

The two MAL projects include the new provincial office building at Buala, Isabel Province which is just over ninety percent completion and the country’s first ever Biosecurity Quarantine facility.

The New agriculture office complex at Buala, Isabel is being built by Dikei Constructions.

The New Biodiversity Quarantine facility at Henderson, Central Guadalcanal is being constructed by Jiemie Constructions.

The vapor heat treatment project will cost the Government around SB$7 Million to complete and this will greatly benefit rural famers to export their end products.

Another project in which Phillip and his team will be undertaking will be for the new vehicle test lanes at the MID vehicle inspection site at Matanikau.

According to Mr. Baura a new Tender for the contract will be releases before the end of 2022 so that work can begin on the warehouse structure early next year. The technical installations for the facility will be done by MAHA group.

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