Jamaica National Building Code Noel daCosta Jamaica Institution of Engineers 2010/12/08
Building Codes • Provisions that must be observed in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings. • Purpose is to ensure that in a disaster: • Lives are protected. • Physical damage is limited. • Structures critical to human welfare remain operational.
Building Codes • Embody accumulated knowledge of leading scientists, engineers and building construction experts, that will produce structures that are ‘Fit for purpose’. • Provide the first line of defence against damage from natural hazards and help ensure public safety.
Building Codes • Embody accumulated knowledge of scientists, engineers and building construction experts, that will ensure safe and predictable building performance. • Provide the first line of defence against damage from natural hazards and help ensure public safety. • Produce structures that are comfortable and fit for purpose.
Building Codes • Must be updated regularly to include new technological developments as well as new information after a disaster. • New Florida code after hurricane Andrew would have saved 60% of damage if available prior. • Buildings use 40% of a country's energy, so retrofitting older buildings for safety and energy use is critical.
Paso Robles (USA) December 23, 2003 6.5 Richter 2 died 46 buildings damaged Buildings were code compliant Designed / built by qualified professionals Bam (Iran) December 26, 2003 6.5 Richter >30,000 died 85% city destroyed Buildings were not code compliant Buildings ad-hoc Earthquake in two Cities
Earthquake in two Countries Haiti – January 12th 2010 • Approximately 230,000 Dead • Magnitude = 7.0 • Maximum Intensity= X • Chile – February 27th 2010 • Approximately 520 Dead • Magnitude = 8.8 • Maximum Intensity= IX
Lessons for Jamaica • Built environment is a significant % of national capital • Need to mitigate against a single disaster wiping out national physical assets. • Jamaica lies in earthquake Zone 3 and has a high probability of major damage from magnitude 6 - 7 earthquakes.
Lessons for Jamaica • 70% of buildings informal, designed and built without professional inputs. • Designs are not submitted for code compliance evaluation. • Generally more unsafe and suffer more damage in any natural or man-made disaster. • Many of these buildings are not energy efficient and are uncomfortable for their occupants.
Lessons for Jamaica • Probability of 50 yr occurrence • MMI VII – 73% (Very Strong) • MMI VIII – 44% (Destructive) • MMI IX – 30%(Violent) • MMI X – 16% (Cataclysmic) • 40 to 70% of buildings in Kingston are expected to collapse under a major seismic event. Damage from the 1907 Earthquake
Lessons for Jamaica • Jamaica does not have a mandatory up-to-date Building code. • Current legal Building code is from 1908. • Updated code published in 1983 as a policy document and is not enforceable. • Caribbean Uniform Building Code (CUBiC) produced in 1985 now 25 years old, not a legal document.
Caribbean Uniform Building Code • 46 % of engineers use CUBiC • 30 % of engineers do not know about CUBiC. • 43 % of engineers use foreign codes. BS, ASCI, SEAOC, ASTM, ASHRAE, IBC and other codes • 24 % of engineers know of CUBiC but don’t use it.
National Building Code • In 1995 extant revision of the Jamaican Building Code comprised six volumes and patterned after CUBiC. • Bureau of Standards mandated by Government to complete the revision of the code, but project stalled for eight years. • Jamaican Institution of Engineers decided in 2003, to take over the development of a Building Code for Jamaica.
National Building Code • Engineers met and decided to abandon the partially completed work and to adopt the International Building Codes (IBC) as the base document, and to develop an appropriate ‘application documents’. • Private sector stakeholders requested to fund and participate in this work.
ApplicationDocuments • Incorporate special construction practices peculiar to Jamaica. • Specify environmental and climatic conditions for Jamaica. • Incorporate local hazards • Include energy efficiency features.
Why adopt IBC? • Staying current with technological advances will be easier. • Improves quality and safety of the built environment • Best returns from limited resources • Easy access to structured training for Building Inspectors and others.
Why adopt IBC? • No need to ‘reinvent the wheel’ • The IBC covers construction designs that resist all the natural disasters which affect Jamaica. • Hurricanes • Earthquakes • Floods • Landslides • Storm Surges
Why adopt IBC? • Government requires a Jamaican Code to include: • Recent disaster experience,e.g. wind speed to move from 120 to 150 mph ( Hurricane Gilbert). • Improved access to buildings by the disabled. • Need to prevent a single natural disaster from wiping out building stock • IBC satisfies these requirements.
Updating problem solved • Updating of Jamaica’s Building Code did not occur because of limited resources. • Outdated codes used way beyond their useful lives. • Adopting the IBC means benefiting from the frequent updating of this Code.
Trade Issues • Using IBC Jamaica can get: • International accreditation for building Inspectors. • Re-insurers will consider building risks no less favourably than others within the region. • Acceptance that its built environment meets international standards.
Trade Issues • Tour operators now require that tourist hotels are built using internationally recognised building codes • Facilitates certification of construction products and services, creating easier access to international markets. • Training and international mobility for Building inspectors
Where are we now? • 11 of 14 international codes are adopted and an application document developed for each. • Application Document specifies areas of IBC which do not apply, gives alternate pathways, contains local hazard data for use in formulae and allows for local practices. • Local hazard maps (seismic, high winds, annual rainfall intensity, land slippage, flood plains, temperature zones) have been developed and inserted in the appropriate area of the codes. • the IBC plus the application document will constitute Jamaica’s building code.
IBC Codes adopted • International Existing Building Code (IEBC) • International Building Code (IBC) • International Residential Code (IRC) • International Plumbing Code (IPC) • International Code Council Electrical Code (ICCEC) & National Electric Code (NEC) • International Mechanical Code (IMC) • International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) • International Private Sewage Disposal Code (IPSDC) • International Fire Code (IFC) • International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) • International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC)
New National Building Act and Regulations • A JIE committee along with the Ministry of Local Government, prepared drafting instructions for a new Act and Regulations. • Parliamentary Counsel currently working on the first draft of the Act. • Joins a long queue
What will be different? • Code compliant designs and construction can be carried out only by legally registered or licensed professionals. • Building approval process should be much quicker if drawings, contract documents and specifications are sealed, signed and submitted by a registered engineer or architect.
Code Compliance system • The new code compliance system will be significantly different in scope and effectiveness over the extant system. • All inspectors, regulators, building officials must be ICC certified. • Local Authorities need not have all the compliance expertise needed since they can contract private sector personnel who are ICC certified.
New National Building Code (NNBC) • Recognizes that earthquakes are amongst the major natural hazards affecting buildings in Jamaica and has developed data and calculation methods which if used correctly, can result in buildings that will successfully resist powerful earthquakes.
Seismic data • The seismic data was generated from Jamaican earthquake historical data spanning more than 500 years and involving well over 600 events. • This has made irrelevant the use of data from other countries deemed similar to Jamaica, which in reality may be vastly different.
Seismic Use Group • The NNBC identifies buildings according to their Seismic Use Group. • Buildings such as schools, fire stations and hospitals have various SUG ratings, and must successfully resist structural loads up to 40% greater than other buildings, and withstand the earthquake to give service to the survivors.
Seismic Intensity maps • Modern structural designs are based on spectral response acceleration. • The NNBC gives seismic maps of both short and long spectral response acceleration values that allow the designer to specify safer buildings anywhere in Jamaica, and also prevents the costly overdesign of structures. • Jamaican values for short and long term spectral response acceleration has obviated mimicking other areas of the world, thought to approximate the Jamaican situation.
Seismic Intensity maps • The likely damage to buildings in an earthquake is based not only on the seismic intensity but also on the soil type on which the building sits. • The NNBC seismic intensity maps considers soil types, so for the first time building designers have appropriate data for building in any part of Jamaica.
Seismic zoning • In the case of the Residential/Small Building Code where seismic data is reduced to classification zones of seismic severity, Jamaica is almost equally divided into zones C and D1. • The application document has placed the entire island in the more severe zone D1. • Buildings conforming to this code should have better earthquake resistive structures.
Information and Concerns • Building code work done voluntarily by 108 Professionals at a value of US$3M, with actual costs of US$200k. • With 70% informal buildings, can the majority afford code designed small buildings? Are predesigned incrementally constructed buildings an alternative? • Now that various Hazard maps are available, insurers are using them to set rates. How can the public become informed? • Regional model Code and Act?