Final reports on Building Codes and Technical Norms were handed to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and Finance Minister Ardwell Irion on behalf of VROMI Minister Egbert Doran together with relevant staff.
PHILIPSBURG–The international branch of the Association of Dutch Municipalities, VNG-International (VNG-I), partnered with the government of St. Maarten to define “Build Back Better” products. Final reports of Building Codes and Technical Norms were presented to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and Finance Minister Ardwell Irion on Friday.
VNG-International members presented the reports on behalf of Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Egbert Doran.
Many Dutch municipalities donated funds to support St. Maarten in the reconstruction of the country after Hurricane Irma. Shortly after the fundraising, VNG-International, partnered with the government of St. Maarten to define “Build Back Better” products, including the management of projects. This was done in close collaboration with various ministries and the government of St. Maarten.
The VROMI Ministry was already familiar with the association and the VNG-I working method through previous excellent experiences. A few specific projects for VROMI emerged where extra support was welcomed in the context of the slogan “Building Back Better”, which included new, hurricane-resistant building and environmental regulations. These projects ended in July 2021.
The practical and pleasant cooperation resulted in concrete changes in the field of building codes, environmental standards and assistance to the Permits and Inspection Departments, the VROMI Ministry cabinet said on Friday.
The new building and environmental norms will be introduced after governmental decision-making is finalised, the cabinet said. “In both cases the new norms will go into effect only after elaborate communication and trainings have taken place with the relevant stakeholders. This education and awareness process will be free of charge and it is essential so that everyone is aware of and understands the new norms to be practised in time. This will contribute to ensuring a smooth transition of the regulations.”
According to the VROMI Ministry, the new building norms are necessary to ensure that future buildings will be more resistant to natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes. “The previous norms as stated in the Building Code related to the Building Ordinance had not been updated since their conception in 1935. The previous norms dating back from 2007 were to ensure sustainability of the environment, so the updating of these were also necessary.”
In both cases, the norms were drafted after a number of consultations with various stakeholders. “The norms were drafted with the general point of departure that they should be fair, reasonable and executable,” the cabinet concluded.
On behalf of Minister Doran, the VROMI Ministry cabinet would like to express its gratitude for the associated results in the “Building Back Better” programme and for the initiative. “The practical and committed involvement of VNG-I has certainly contributed to this,” the cabinet stated.
More information will be published in a timely manner. Only after the education awareness period will the norms go into effect. The basic education trajectory will be offered free of charge for those who need this information.
An email address will be made available at which, during a certain period of time, anyone may pose technical questions or request advice related to the new norms.