Bid to upskill members

Members of the FDBA at their special general meeting held in Suva on Saturday. Picture: SUPPLIED

THESE are exciting times for the Fiji Building Designer’s Association as it plans various events to upskill and educate members to ultimately be able to offer better designed building to clients.

Association vice-president Alvin Singh said the primary goals for their calendar would be to ensure their members were well versed with the laws/ by-laws of the Town Planning Act and the Fiji Building Code.

The association held its special general meeting on Saturday whereby members proposed amendments to their constitution “Our constitution is a live document and we need to ensure that the interest of our members and all stakeholders are well protected and catered for in it,” he said.

Mr Singh said they wanted their members to have a better understanding of building materials that were specified in their drawings.

He said they wanted members to be able to design in a manner that complemented the built environment and the urban landscape and take pride in the tremendous contribution they were making in the economic boom of Fiji, particularly in the building industry.

Some of the other issues discussed at the SGM included:

  • Responsibilities of the association to its members;
  • ┬áCode of ethics;
  • Standards of practice;
  • Registration and licencing; and
  • ┬áProfessional development

Unlike the shortage of skilled labour in the construction sector, Mr Singh said there was no shortage of building designers in Fiji.

“In fact interestingly the Fiji Building Designer’s Association has members who are more than capable of taking on several projects simultaneously.

“They are well qualified and seasoned with the built environment, and possess a wealth of experience in the building design industry and have worked on several major projects both locally and internationally during their training,” he said.

Mr Singh said so far they had 54 members and more were registering with the association.

“Our association has the majority percentage of building designers in the country.”

Mr Singh said there had been much talks over the years on the syllabus of tertiary institutes in line with the building/design industry.

“We feel there must be continuity for students from their formal training days to hands-on work, during employment. We have often had to retrain graduates to become competent with the actual work required and expected of them when they commence employment.”

Mr Singh said this was a task the FBDA would embrace in the very near future.

Meanwhile Mr Singh said the association did face some challenges in their work and one of them was was trying to maintain a high standard of documentation and curb the issue of any substandard documentation that could possibly be produced by any of their members.

He said while this was quite rare in their fraternity, they still wanted members to maintain a very high level of precision and detailing in drawings that were prepared for building permits etc.

“Ultimately we want a very high standard of service delivery to clients.”

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