One solution to reduce the vulnerability of your house is to have your foreman properly trained. I now offer a training course that will lead to participants receiving the Diploma of Walbrent College. See article on Walbrent College for further details.
Whenever I am driving through a new housing development, I habitually stop and inspect the building construction work. Sometimes I photograph what I observe. I have yet to observe a house being constructed to the minimum structural standards of the Barbados National Building Code.
It is less expensive to build a house to the standards of the Building Code than how builders are currently build houses in Barbados. Therefore, cost is not a valid excuse for non-compliance. Why then do builders build substandard houses?
Builders build sub-standard houses because they are generally unaware of how easy it is for them to actually build them properly. The reason why they are unaware is that most of them have never read the national building standards, which were published approximately 15 years ago, and is still sold by the Barbados National Standards Institute for $100. The reason why they have not read the building standards is because the Government does not require that houses in Barbados be built properly.
The new DLP administration has promised, in their manifesto, to build 500 houses in 500 days. Will they be as sub-standard as the ones built by the last administration? I have inspected houses being built for the Government last week and can confirm that so far, nothing has changed.
The photos that follow show the national misery that we are currently preparing Barbados for. This is what approximately 75% of houses in Barbados are expected to look like. They are photos taken in Grenada following Hurricane Ivan in 2004 were approximately 85% of houses were severely damaged or destroyed. Be prepared.
Grenville Phillips II – Chartered Structural Engineer
Almost total roof loss and loss of contents.
Loss of walls and contents.
Loss of roof and contents.
Total property loss
Only the foundations can be salvaged.
Neighbouring propereties can offer limited assistance.
The Governor General’s residence – loss of walls, roof, and contents.
Main Church – total roof loss and contents damaged.