Economy, Business And Markets

Mandatory Quality Assurance for Buildings

Mandatory Quality Assurance for BuildingsMandatory Quality Assurance for Buildings

The Ministry of Roads and Urban Development has sent a proposal to the government requiring builders to assure the functionality of their buildings for the first ten years. The plan would make a “quality assurance” – issued by an insurance company--necessary for any home deals and requires builders to compensate for any mishap in the functionality of their structures.

The ministry is seeking to counter the dominance of unscrupulous builders in the market, and give more space to companies with official qualifications for building homes and buildings, Financial Tribune’s sister daily Donya-e-Eghtesad reported on Thursday.

Guaranteeing buildings would automatically remove the “jerry builders” from the key construction industry simply because insurance firms would not write policies for those  builders who cannot meet the necessary standards.

Quality assurance, in technical parlance, is the prevention of quality problems through planned and systematic activities. Simply put, it ensures that quality is “built in” at the frontend rather than at the backend of a project.

Builders are also required to take responsibility during the process of construction, as the proposed regulation requires municipalities to issue construction permits only to those builders holding an “authentic insurance guarantee.”

The guarantee would be in the form of a separate document which will be given  by the builders to the owners or homebuyers. The document would recognize builders as responsible for compensating any loss caused by problems in any part of the buildings during the ten-year period.

In recent years, many affluent people have entered the saturated construction industry that became more lucrative in the wake a housing bubble. Municipalities also mostly rely on fees for construction permits for their income, which has dramatically raised the number of poor-quality housing.

 Municipal Interference

Tehran Municipality and the Roads Ministry had earlier agreed to give the task of qualifying structural engineers involved in construction to the Construction Engineering Organization. However, since last week, the municipality has been selecting engineers for building projects, according to Hamed Mazaheri, deputy minister of roads and urban development.

“The municipality’s move in essence is illegal and they should soon stop interfering in the process,” ILNA quoted him as saying on Friday.

However, the Roads Ministry is trying to solve the problem by giving more voice and space to qualified engineers and construction companies.

Unconfirmed reports have it that the engineers and inspectors working for municipalities have been involved in sleaze leading to the construction of shoddy buildings, mainly multi-million-dollar public construction works. Use of poor quality construction material has also been singled out in many cases, including works related to highways, bridges and tunnels.