Enforce building code regulations
Professor Alex Dodoo

Enforce building code regulations

Disaster presents itself as a threat to the existence of humanity in the built environment.


The consistent occurrence of disaster has necessitated the quest to provide solutions to reduce the impact of disaster inspired by natural hazards in the world.

In Ghana, the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo, has called for the strict enforcement of Ghana’s building code and regulations to build resilience against earthquakes.

He has also underscored the need for the mandated state agencies to carry out structural integrity tests on buildings, in line with the building code.

He said the devastating earthquake in Turkiye was a warning signal to Ghana to "do things right" to avert any future disaster.

This is because the loss of lives and properties from disasters are detrimental to the effort towards sustainable development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It is true that a building code provides the minimum standard for the structural safety of buildings, but the choice to strictly comply with the guidelines stipulated in the code is what ensures safety.  

For the Daily Graphic, policing the enforcement of the building code cannot result in effective compliance without providing adequate guidance on how to meet up with the compliance criteria.

Therefore, building regulators and other stakeholders must ensure that all code user understand the compliance pathways and criteria.

For us, the construction industry, the government, building regulators, in collaboration with professionals in the building industry, must initiate a training platform to educate practising engineers, technical staff of the local authorities and the entire code user community on the use of the code and various ways of achieving compliance.

In most cases, the public is ignorant of building code regulations and building planning schemes of their environment, which makes it difficult to comply with the rules.

Therefore, the public must be educated to understand the importance of compliance with building regulations in significantly reducing the impact of disasters and improving the safety of occupants of buildings.

The need to improve compliance depends on the technical support skills of building regulators and construction industry professionals.

This can be achieved when the strict enforcement of building code specifications regarding the verification of building design, inspection of building construction and monitoring is given top priority.

Building code compliance documents are written and enacted into law to be obeyed, but more often than not, many code users do not conform to the regulations as stipulated in the building code, even though the consequences are very devastating.

Initiating a compliance culture among stakeholders is a move that requires proactive sensitisation and awareness creation of the need to conform to building regulations among stakeholders and the public.

Again, many low-income countries use building codes that are mainly adopted from Western countries, without streamlining them to suit their respective countries.

Inadequate consultation among stakeholders, including local communities, before borrowing foreign building codes has enhanced non-conformity with the codes and the suffocation of local technology.

The losses of lives and properties are always as a result of negligence in conforming to the stipulated regulations in the codes.

To achieve the aim of building codes of having buildings that are resilient to earthquakes and other extreme loading conditions, compliance with the codes must be given adequate attention at all levels.


Better understanding among regulators, the regulated, the government and the public is required to enhance the compliance culture.

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