New building code could create over 100,000 jobs


President of the African Organisation for Standardisation and Director-General Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Prof. Alex Dodoo, has stated that the newly developed national building code and regulation framework, when properly implemented to the letter, can create much-needed jobs in the real estate sector.

He said effective implementation of the new building code – Ghana Building Code (GhBC) GS 1207:2018 which is a modified adoption of the International Building Code (IBC) that lays down the essential requirements that buildings must conform – has potential to create an additional 100,000 jobs along the building and construction value chain.

The new code takes cognisance of the country’s earthquake-prone zones and will require building owners to retrofit existing buildings to comply with new standards, as well as require new construction projects to meet the new code.

This will lead to an increase in demand for construction workers, architects, engineers and other skilled tradespeople, which could result in the creation of over 100,000 new jobs.

“The opportunities provided in the Act are enormous. These include the requirement to retrofit buildings, enforce building standards and codes, and empower regulatory authorities. These can create over 100,000 jobs for the youth graduating from our technical institutions and universities to get jobs.

“So, within every crisis and sphere there are opportunities; and as we look at the labour market information system (LMIS), we want a clear highlight of these opportunities which will save lives and create jobs,” he said.

Prof. Dodoo was speaking at a stakeholder engagement summit to develop a LMIS for the country, and mentioned that only 30 percent of the total number of buildings Africa needs by 2050 are now available.

This, he explains, implies that about 70 percent of this market is still open for grabs.

The huge market opportunities, he said, will be even more relevant in the short-term due to implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The Director-General added that implementing the new building code could also spur innovation and the development of new technologies and materials that meet standards, which could also create new business opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-ups in the construction industry.

“It is important to note that while the enforcement of a new building code could create jobs, it might also lead to increased costs for building owners and developers. However, such costs could be offset by the potential long-term benefits of improved energy efficiency, reduced environmental impact, and increased safety and resilience of buildings,” he emphasised.

The new policy’s expected impact on the real estate, construction industry and the broader economy will be great – hence the need for players to abreast themselves with the code and strive to create niche markets for themselves.

He mentioned that government is partnering with the private sector to develop clear-cut guidelines and best practices for the industry to thrive – and one of such is with the Design and Technology Institute (DTI) to develop precision quality (PQ) guidelines which enhance quality and standardisation.

About the Ghana Building Code

The Ghana Building Code (GhBC) establishes minimum requirements for buildings using prescriptive and performance-related provisions. It is founded on broad-based principles which make possible the use of new materials and new building designs.

The code is to ensure uniformity of standards for the regulation and compliance of stakeholders in the building construction industry; in terms of public health, general safety, fire protection, structural efficiency, and environmental integrity and sustainability.

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