Fri | Jul 19, 2019

Building code can buffer earthquake, hurricane damage - JIE president

Published:Tuesday | September 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Dwight Ricketts (centre), president of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE), welcomes Professor Fitz Pinnock (right), president of the Caribbean Maritime University, to the JIE Engineers’ Week opening ceremony at The Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, on Monday. At left is Senator Ransford Braham, chairman of the Urban Development Corporation, who represented Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the ceremony.

Strict adherence to Jamaica's proposed building code can be a significant buffer against earthquake and hurricane damage, Dwight Ricketts, president of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE), said.

He was speaking at the official opening ceremony of the 2018 JIE Engineers' Week yesterday at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

Noting that engineering "continues to be a driving force for economic development, Ricketts said, "the word 'engineer' carries a rich history from our foreparents, and so we cannot be short-sighted in our quest to achieve sustainable development, with particular interest in our food security and the environment."

Referencing a forecasted active 2018 hurricane season that has already affected some parts of the United States, and the 4.6 magnitude earthquake in Jamaica on Sunday, Ricketts said that his membership hoped for a speedy enactment of the bill for "a modern building" code, for which the New Building Act passed earlier this year has paved the way.

Ricketts said that the new building code is even more urgent now given "Jamaica's increased vulnerability to natural disasters including earthquakes".

Noting that the JIE "had the honour of contributing to the development of the Building Act", he said his membership "is fully committed to the practice of engineering at the highest possible standard."