PANKAJ DHARKAR, President, Pankaj Dharkar & Associates, Ahmedabad President, Pankaj Dharkar & Associates, Ahmedabad; International President, Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI); Chairman, ASSOCHAM
My message to the government is that it must start thinking about making the NBC mandatory. Also, it should be updated regularly with the development in technology, new materials etc after every three years.
How important it is to pay attention to structural safety?
Structural safety is of utmost importance, more so because we are entering the era of high rises. I am very happy that the National Building Code (NBC) 2016 is getting implemented since last year. It’s a comprehensive document that clearly indicates all aspects of fire safety requirements for designing any structure, for instance, fire rating of each wall, staircase, fire tower design, structural transfer members specifications etc. are clearly defined. It is extremely important that builders, structural consultants and architects take prior cognizance of the specified requirements of NBC. The thickness of a fire rated wall recommended around an electrical transformer or for any specific area of fire threat has a significant impact on the architectural planning. Similarly, special treatment of transfer structure and service level imposes a challenge of special coatings for fire safety. This must be seen beyond aesthetics by architects. Fire and light safety integrated with structure be given utmost important.
How much attention is actually paid to structural safety concerns while constructing buildings?
I strongly feel that the time has come that such comprehensively written and well thought document should become a mandatory requirement backed by a government regulatory body.
What role can the government play in ensuring structural safety in buildings?
My message to the government is that it must start thinking about making the NBC mandatory. Also, it should be updated regularly with the development in technology, new materials etc after every three years. The last revision of the code happened in 2005. It was released in 2016 but there was no change made while the size of buildings, the height of under construction buildings have completely changed between this period and this will continue to happen as we are stepping in the era of bullet trains, metro trains, integrated developments of railways station etc, which need to be covered with in the code since these are special requirements for structure stability of such building covering aspects like acoustics, vibrations, fire threat etc therefore the NBC has to be dynamic and embrace the new technologies in tune with the development.