Baguio residents, bizmen urged to comply with building standards

AN OFFICIAL of the Baguio City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) urged owners of residential and commercial buildings to strictly comply with the building standards to ensure safety of their structures and of the public.

In her report before city officials and employees last week, Engineer Nazita Bañez said that while CBAO imposes only the minimum requirements and guides through the issuance of building permits, the responsibility of ensuring the structural soundness of their buildings still rests with the owners and the contractors.

“The National Building Code and the Civil Code of the Philippines place the responsibility and the accountability to the owners and their contractors to build their structures safe for occupancy,” Bañez said.

She said CBAO will be strict in imposing safety requirements in line with the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP), the Fire Code of the Philippines, the Mechanical Code and the Environmental Code of Baguio City.

Bañez said the NSCP requires the structural design of buildings to withstand 6.5 magnitude earthquakes.

As per the Environment Code, soil tests and slope stability tests should be conducted to determine the holding capacity of the lot, while the Fire Code and Mechanical Code require buildings to have fire alarm systems and fire fighting equipment.

Any additions or alterations of buildings should not be allowed unless reviewed and certified by an accredited structural engineer, Bañez added.

She said based on their monitoring and inspections, the most common violations found in city buildings are the non-provision of fire protective systems and the conversion of parking areas to rentable spaces.

CBAO will file cases in court against erring residential and commercial building, Bañez added.
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