Construction industry members urged to ensure quality of buildings

Monday, December 11, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney, is encouraging members of the construction industry to continue to ensure that quality buildings are constructed across the island.

Speaking at a Construction Conference hosted by JSIF at Mona Visitors' Lodge in St Andrew on December 5, he noted that the quality of construction projects being executed, especially those done in partnership with JSIF, have been of good quality, and if members of the construction industry continue on this path, the country will be able to achieve its national goals regarding improvements in infrastructure.

“I want to underscore the fact that you are important to JSIF. That's why we are here. You form such a great part of our success in completing more than 1,500 projects over the last 20 years. Let us make the industry one where we can be considered the best,” Sweeney told the major construction-industry players who were present at the conference.

“The delivery of quality infrastructure requires a seamless coordinated participation of a number of building professionals, each playing an important role to ensure that the infrastructure meets the requisite standards and that it can come in on time and below budget,” he added.

The managing director pointed out that the JSIF invests close to 70 per cent of its money in infrastructure, including roads, water supply systems and schools.

Sweeney said one of the objectives of hosting the conference is to discuss the issues that members of the construction industry face, in an effort to improve the quality of buildings they will be constructing in the future for underserved communities across Jamaica.

“The conference will explore understanding building contracts and overruns; the building code, which is so important in our dialogue; health and safety in construction, and ethics,” he noted. Sweeney thanked the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for partnering with JSIF to host the conference.

“The Caribbean Development Bank has been one of our greatest supporters in terms of financing support to the construction industry in general. We've put on workshops for contractors, consultants [and] quantity surveyors; we've introduced new costing tools, all financed through the Caribbean Development Bank, so I certainly recognise their contribution to the industry,” he said.

The CIC is the umbrella organisation for the building and construction sector. It represents the views of architects, quantity surveyors, engineers, master builders and land surveyors.

JSIF has been entrusted with the mandate of improving the social and economic infrastructure of the nation's most underserved communities. Some projects that have been undertaken by JSIF include the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) and the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP).

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