Fire safety, RWH to be must for new buildings in urban areas

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Bengaluru: The state government intends to make fire safety mechanisms, rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems, risk management and green building concepts mandatory for all new buildings coming up in urban areas of Karnataka.

The draft common building bylaws prepared by the Urban Development Department stipulate that big builders hire a town planner-on-record, architect-on-record, structural engineer-on-record, structural design agency-on-record, geotechnical engineer-on-record, construction engineer-on-record, quality auditor-on-record and quality audit agency-on-record.

Green buildings

The government has mooted the concept of green buildings that demonstrate reduction in energy and water consumption by eliminating construction and operational waste through recycling.

Buildings coming up on plots measuring over 100 sq metres (1,000 sq ft) will have to comply with the green norms. The green buildings should have proper water conservation and management system, RWH, low water-consuming plumbing fixtures, water recycle and reuse, solar energy utilisation, usage of LED devices, waste management, segregation of waste and organic waste management.

The draft rule states: “All buildings on various plots ofsizes above 100 square metres shall comply with the green norms and conform to the requirements mandatory for sanction.”

Rainwater harvesting

The government has proposed that any building above 1,000 sq metres must have the RWH system. To monitor and enforce the effective implementation of the RWH mechanism, the government has proposed to constitute a rainwater harvesting cell. The cell will employ qualified persons well-versed in the interpretation of building bylaws and responsible for enforcing and monitoring the functioning of the RWH system.

Completion and occupancy certificates will be issued and service connections such as water, sanitation and electricity connections will be provided only after the cell issues the No Objection Certificate (NOC).

The cell will also monitor the implementation of RWH norms in public spaces such as parks, playgrounds and government buildings. The government proposes to take the help of residents’ welfare associations, community building organisations and nonprofit organisations.

The cell will ensure budgetary allocation for creation and maintenance of rainwater harvesting structures in public spaces owned and maintained by them, such as parking spaces, parks, plazas among others. The municipalities have been authorised to decide incentives and penalties on rainwater harvesting.

Fire safety

Fire safety norms have been made mandatory for buildings taller than 15 metres (approximately 50 feet). These encompass institutions, commercial buildings, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, underground complexes, industrial storage, meeting halls, banquet halls and hazardous occupancies.

The owner of the building should engage a competent professional-on-record for preparation of plans for NOC from the Fire and Emergency Services Department. S/he should also have a professional-on-record for supervising the works.

L Shashikumar, the director of Town and Country Planning Department, told DH: “The Central government had proposed a common building bylaw, which is applicable to all states. We have adopted it now. Fire safety regulations, rainwater harvesting, green building concept will be made mandatory.”


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