The International Code Council and the Bureau of Standards Jamaica signed a milestone memorandum of understanding to update Jamaica’s building codes. Under this agreement, the ICC will work with BSJ to produce customized building codes for Jamaica based on 10 of the International Codes, including the International Building Code, International Plumbing Code and International Mechanical Code. The ICC will also provide its expertise to help with strengthening training programs for code officials in Jamaica.
The World Bank Group, as part of its Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project, and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction & Recovery facilitated this agreement through a $30 million loan granted to the government of Jamaica to support investment in resilient infrastructure and disaster risk reduction measures.
Between 2001 and 2010, 10 major natural disasters impacted Jamaica, affecting approximately 2 million people and causing nearly $1.2 billion in property losses. This agreement is a much-needed boost to Jamaica’s efforts to address the effects of natural disasters and prevent the loss of lives and property.
The ICC’s engagement in Jamaica complements a simultaneous effort carried out by the government of Jamaica to enact a new Building Act, expected to be passed by Parliament by December. The act would considerably modernize building control processes and formally give legal effect to the adapted ICC building codes.
“ICC engagement is critical to Jamaica as it will set the stage for a successful implementation of the new Jamaican Building Code,” said BSJ Chairman James Rawles. “This will be a major step to protect health, safety and welfare and make Jamaica more resilient to natural disasters.”