[WATCH] Architects present proposal for consolidation of construction industry regulation

The Chamber of Architects has launched a detailed reform proposal looking to reform the construction industry and amend various ‘outdated’ regulations

The public consultation paper looks to tackle out dated regulation surrounding the construction industry
The public consultation paper looks to tackle out dated regulation surrounding the construction industry

The Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers is proposing the consolidation various fragmented pieces of legislation, bodies and departments regulating the construction industry under one legislative and administrative umbrella.

The proposal is the result of detailed reform proposal by a working group set up by the chamber in 2017. It is being put forward in order to bring the local industry in line with modern practice and standards, as well as to ensure the protection and sustainability of the investment made when properties are constructed.  

“We are look to consolidate the fragmented pieces of legislation regulating the industry,” Chamber president Simone Vella Lineker said at the launch of a consultation on the proposal.

The reform proposal, she said, was instigated by “the countless illegalities regularly reported on building sites”, adding that the industry was in “dire need of greater awareness regarding on-site health and safety”.

Vella Lineker said that before submitting an architectural plan, architects need to go through up to 26 different regulators, including the Planning Authority, the Commissioner for Police, the Malta Tourism Authority and the Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with a Disability, to name a few, a situation she described as ridiculous. 

The chamber’s council member on Building Regulations Andre Pizzuto said the reform also hoped to address a number of outdated regulations, some of which date back to the 19th century. For example, she said that the sewerage systems are regulated by the Code of Police Laws and subsidiary legislation which was published in the British Colonial Period.

“They are largely ignored by the industry today due to their obsolete requirements for iron or glazed stoneware pipework, privies, cesspools, and stone seats instead of toilets,” reads the 96-page document. 

The chamber said that while the details had not yet been fully discussed with the government, its intention of having a new and centralised building and construction authority appeared to be aligned with what the reform was proposing.

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