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The Cayman Islands construction industry is set to change in 2014. 03 October 2013 

The Cayman Islands construction industry

Above picture, Cayman Islands Health City Construction team.

In 2014 the Cayman Islands Government will set new building rules in order to move away from the outdated “Southern Standards” into a new international building code.

Whilst some of the new building regulation changes may increase costs, in other aspects costs will also be reduced. Currently the construction industry in the Cayman Islands is the third-largest sector to the Cayman Islands economy.

The change in the building code is being amended, In order to update the 14-year-old Southern Standard Building Code Congress International, many provisions are no longer relevant to the building industry.

The Cayman Islands Director of planning Haroon Pandohie said “We have been using the SSBCCI since about 1999, I don’t think, actually, it exists anymore.”

He went on to say that the new and improved building code will combine a touch of three US legacy codes, the National Building Code, developed by the Building Officials Code Administrators International and used on the East Coast and Midwest of the US; the Uniform Building Code, developed by the International Conference of Building Officials and used on the West Coast and much of the Midwest; and the Standard Building Code, developed by the Southern Building Code Congress International and used across the southeast U.S.

The new code will allow people to “tailor construction with local amendments”, the code will also feature 14 sets of international codes which will cover plumbing, fire, gas, energy conservation, mechanics and other sections which relate to the building industry.

The Cayman Islands Department of Planning have advised, that they are looking to implement the new building regulation in February 2014, Mr. Pandohie advised that they have already started staff training, and they are focusing on staff and their professional development in order to get prepared for the implementation next year.

The training will help members of staff who will all be required to sit quarterly certification exams, ensuring familiarity with the – and consistent application of the codes.

The new code is likely to be accompanied by a new effort to activate the old builders law which was originally passed in 2007, and was set for implementation in 2008 but never promulgated because of dissension within the industry and a lack of uniform regulations.

Both Mr. Pandohie and president of the Cayman Contractors Association Heber Arch are hopeful the dual events would help spark a recovery in small builders the sector.

“We are going to have a new building code, probably in February,” Mr. Arch said, vowing to reach out to smaller contractors who had felt left out of the Builders Law. “Once [the new code] is in place, I think the contractors will fall into place.”

Source of information, Cayman Compass

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