Construction regulations too fragmented, architects warn

Chamber of Architects says Planning Authority should focus less on controlling development and more on drafting strategic plans 

Malta's construction laws are too fragmented, the Chamber of Architects have warned
Malta's construction laws are too fragmented, the Chamber of Architects have warned

The Chamber of Architects have urged the government to review Malta’s construction regulations, warning that they are currently too fragmented to be effective. 

In a statement, the Chamber said that the fragmentation was the result of a lack of knowledge by politicians about the building industry, which leads them to fail to distinguish between building regulations and the planning process.

“This lack of knowledge has led to indifference about the need for building regulations, until of course a tragedy occurs and they are forced into a knee-jerk reaction,” it said.

It noted that sanitary regulations fall under both the Planning Authority and the Health Department, while fire safety guidelines fall under the Civil Protection Department, lifts regulations under the MCCAA, electricity regulations under Enemalta, drainage regulations under both the Health Department and Water Services Corporation, excavation and construction regulations under the Building Regulation Office, accessibility issues under the Commissioner for People with Disabilities, and health and safety issues for construction workers under the OHSA.

Moreover, it criticised the Planning Authority for focusing most of its effort on controlling developments, rather than coming up with strategic plans and visions, designing masterplans and local plans and promoting sustainable development.

“In the absence of state support for modern building regulations, professionals have no other option but to rely on foreign standards for construction in Malta,” the Chamber said. “The standards are often applied arbitrarily, without any certainty as to whether they are appropriate in a Maltese context.” 

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