Chapter Five: Results and Discussion
1. Locational influences:
The construction of any area is influenced highly by their existing practices. If the surrounding plots are closely alongside and do not abide by FAR regulation, it is very rare that the owner willingly construct leaving open spaces for vegetation according to the code. Even cases are found where AC outdoor units are inside flanking plot. Most of the highly dense areas in Dhaka is experiencing this type of bad practices where good practices are criticized by “fools act” or “waste of land and money”.
2. Living conditions of dwellers
Most of the time lighting & ventilation of any living unit depends on peripheral build forms, their distance and orientation. The more the distance from the buildings, the more lighting and ventilation that means better living condition i.e. healthy life of the dwellers. People living in buildings unit of inefficient light and ventilation or unhygienic condition depends basically on their economic capacity. The notion of bigger room or bigger flat affecting floor area and as well as peripheral gaps between buildings.
3. Engagement of professional:
From the field survey it was found that plan permission process starts with land use clearance and after that drawing sheet permission of RAJUK approval. These processes are so complex, lengthy and harassing that people rarely take the normal procedure of plan-permission rather prefer to go through a deal with the illegal agents by giving them extra money.
Thus, the total procedure starts with engaging illegal agents at first instead of professionals (Architects & Engineers). Moreover, after costing huge money for building permission, the developer seeks for a least budget professionals for consultancy that eventually degrades the quality of the structure and increased vulnerability of dwellers.
4. Value of money for unconstitutional and unsafe vs code maintained safer building:
It is evident that insufficient lighting and ventilated living units have to pay more for electricity and mechanical equipment. Again, health related hazards force for additional cost. The tenant does not address these hidden costs and mostly bound to resides at lower rented houses. Just for increased rent, code maintained safer buildings miss priority from low- and middle-income group.
5. Narayanganj & Gazipur town with some of Dhaka’s adjacent areas has been included in RAJUK area at 2008 act where FAR based control regulation is imposed. In planning point of view, more far fixes for more density whereas less FAR for opposite. But, at those areas the FAR is same as Dhaka Metropolitan area. This is unexpected and need further revision.
6. Most FAR abiding buildings are constructed by mainly first ranking developers of Dhaka than private owner. They ensure building regulations, safety and quality with higher price that off-limits common people; sometimes higher middle-income group. The price gradually decreased by the nether developers’ trade offing with building regulations, safety and quality. Study found by FGD and physical survey that developers (they have to sell) somehow ensures building codes at a moderate level than developed land by owner (as they rent). Aptitude level of maintaining FAR is depends upon road width & exposure also. Buildings with wider road and more exposure from road exhibits more respect to building regulations.
7. Price and quality negotiation with area (per sft rate):
8. Case Studies (current practices)
Rajuk plan approval, design & construction
Constrains & Challenges:
Most problems are associated with enforcement against the sheer volume of people for whom the standards and planning regulations are inappropriate and unaffordable. They often have no choice but to violate regulations or control measures. Arising from these phenomena, there is a lack of awareness, community support for the purposes of enforcement.
Enforcement of Law: Basically, RAJUK enforces. But lack of workforce, corruption, bribery made RAJUK ineffective.
Standards and affordability: Building code is a regulatory mechanism for reducing the vulnerability of urban areas that standardize construction and living comfort but also increases cost (Theckethil, 2006). FAR pushes for minimum footprint that increases building height and accelerate foundation cost. For these reasons, people go for short term benefit (maximize construction area, fixes height limit to avoid elevator cost detouring long term profit (leading safe, healthy living in a compliance structure).
Awareness: Moderate room size with proper lighting & ventilation can be beneficial both for owner and tenant and can mitigate emission, cost of electro-mechanical devices & maintenance cost and health related hazards. This realization is rarely found. Unaware of urban vulnerability and emergence of building safety provisions made citizens unwilling to pay more for a building that meets safety codes.
Effects of market forces: Conversion of land & building use
Associated with these changes, there has been an explosion in land values. the demand for floor space has been speedily rising. The growth of commercial and industrial activities has occurred against the objectives of the Development Plan, with a large number of unauthorized constructions in the form of extensions, modifications and changes of use, which challenge the effectiveness of the development permit, enforcement system and unauthorized construction.
Dhaka experiencing significant conversion of residential units into commercial due to more demand & rents is a regular practice. But, there are some legal bindings by govt. and cost related procedures for this. Developers find it easy and profitable without having any approval & having high return of construction costs. These changes of use not only conflict with the zoning requirements of the development plan but also have an adverse effect on the infrastructure and amenities of the surrounding area. It not only creates traffic problems on narrow roads, but also generates tremendous problems in terms of congestion, noise and accidents and other inconveniences.
Social cohesiveness and migration: Modern lifestyle is making urban life fast, easing communication and craving for the ultimate. Social interaction between dwellers are decreasing and regular shifting of residence (changing jobs, education or institutions etc.
Guidelines / Recommendations:
Nonetheless, GIS technology is one of the most powerful tools for developing A database system which covers comprehensive data on natural conditions, infrastructure, urban conditions and results of earthquake ground motion estimation and damages.
Vulnerability of urban and building structure were evaluated through analysis of: (a)New building construction or building renewal, (b) excessively high land/building use by urban development type, road density in urbanized area, narrow road ratio and availability of parks, and open space for required preliminary evacuation areas, and (c) check built-up area ratio and building coverage ratio for land availability for urban structure improvements.
This culture of non-compliance is ubiquitous in Indian cities because a system of self-regulation of compliance with building codes simply does not exist. There is agreement that site engineers, real estate developers, and builders must be held more directly accountable for compliance; however, at present the market actually penalizes builders for complying with building regulations. At the same time, the cost of developing a compliant building is higher, so developers suffer financially. It is interesting to note that because developers typically comply with building codes for public buildings, not for private.
enforcement is deficient, and structural engineers do not assume legal responsibility for code violations or building failures, cause most of the time they are absent at construction period. Builders and owners do not comply with regulations because they are complex, sometime out of date, inappropriate, and expensive to implement or monitor. Furthermore, the inadequate enforcement system makes violations difficult to detect or punish. These widespread deficiencies must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in order to establish a culture of compliance.
Risk reduction needs to be mainstreamed within local urban governance and planning and implementation processes.14 Legal and institutional arrangements with improved capacities and accountability are important for disaster risk management at the local level, and these capacities should be integrated in land use planning practices.15 Other recommendations include raising the standard of work ethics, developing a culture of risk reduction, and enabling local institutions to train and certify professionals who value investing in a resilient built environment.
the integration of development with vulnerability reduction, good governance, awareness, and capacity building. In most of developed countries, there exists established well defined acts on responsibilities of included involved person and organizations in development to make them accountable.
RAJUK approval area Check before buying any flat or rent and make it compulsory for developers and building owner:
Loopholes in the existing development regulation system should be closed.
Efforts should made to educate the public about comfort & healthy living, building code & safety for disaster mitigation. As a result, people will realize the consequences and generate willingness to pay for safer buildings sponteniously.16 It is clear that developing a culture of compliance goes beyond codes, to reforming entire legal, economic, and social systems. A well-functioning development regulation system is recognized as an effective tool to improve public safety, develop resilient building stock, ensure a safer built environment, and enforce a culture of compliance.
Enforcement is an important issue with regard to current regulations because authorities themselves perceive most building regulations to be unenforceable. Procedures to be followed before, during, and after construction are not clear, and all associated processes are complicated and lengthy. By putting the onus for compliance on the regulating authority, the existing system leaves room for corruption and does not adequately involve the professionals or share with them any responsibility for ensuring compliance.
Making the Developers Responsible
Because the legislation does not define “real estate developers” or describe their role, it is difficult to make them directly accountable for compliance. However, developers have been made indirectly accountable in several ways: first, they are held accountable by making it mandatory for them to hire listed professionals; secondly, landowners are held directly accountable in the streamlined procedures, which make the developers accountable as well; and finally, unauthorized construction has been made a cognizable offense.
The focus of Delhi’s proposed building bylaws is on delivering buildings that are legal, safe, and built to standards by engaging the right professionals, ensuring professional self-regulation, and streamlining the procedure regulations.
Making planning and building procedures easier ; more meaningful:
Inclusion of basic building code for safety in general curricula: Minimum knowledge regarding issues of mandatory peripheral open spaces (setback), building codes and safety should be included in high-school level.
Housing finance opportunities and strategies: As the land is managed through a group of people, a shared title to land and the cooperative nature of dwelling provides the possibility of eliminating the collateral aspect as an excluding barrier to mortgage facilities in the sense that builders can jointly apply for housing finances. This can also encourage cooperative housing schemes which offer several advantages. Since the land and houses are commonly owned by the dwellers, debts and liabilities are a shared expense and not owed individually.
“Insurance itself is not considered a mitigation measure because it redistributes rather than reduces losses, but a carefully designed insurance program can encourage the adoption of loss reduction measures by putting a price tag on the risk and creating financial incentives through rate discounts, lower deductibles, and higher coverage limits. However, for the defect liability, the contractors need to be insured. This insurance will function as the mitigation force. Not only the building codes but also the defect liability and insurance are effective for mitigation countermeasure.
Everyone needs to be educated in converting the built environment to one with enhanced disaster resilience. Planning activities in Turkey should focus on proven techniques for hazard reduction. These include hazard maps, concentration and decentralization of key facilities, protective land-use maps and street safety measures. The control of building quality is essential for urban disaster mitigation, and should be addressed as an overall urban protection strategy. This should best be entrusted to private design and construction supervision companies working in collaboration with insurance interests.
Dhaka, Bangladesh: unpacking challenges and reflecting on unjust transitions
Sustainable urbanization for Dhaka cannot be achieved without adequate attention to its governance structures and until actors reorient their bias towards equity and social justice issues.
Theckethil, R. (2006). Building codes: A regulatory mechanism for reducing the vulnerability of urban areas. Journal of Security Education, 1(4), 95-106.