Review of the local governance building construction quality control framework in Zambia : case of Lusaka city.

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Stackson, Jere Nahum
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The University of Zambia
Building Construction in Zambia has been booming at a faster rate than ever before. Local authorities have had the challenge of pacing up in quality control with these fast developments. The integrity of built infrastructure in a city guarantees safety of occupants, minimises maintenance costs to buildings, and safeguards the economic investments secured in the infrastructure. This results in important savings which can be available for economic growth. The quality of built infrastructure in Zambia has been clearly put to the test by adverse conditions as heavy storms and floods, earth vibrations and movements, and fires. These incidental conditions are all becoming too common in Zambia, especially with the effects of climate change. The news media reports houses and buildings collapsing, roofs being blown off, and public infrastructure damage especially during the rainy months of October to March. Noteworthy also is the many reported fires to buildings, and the limited buildings resilience to fires, compromising the structural integrity of the infrastructure. More diverse is the residential building construction, which accommodates all classes of social and economic standing. It is therefore important to identify the factors affecting the quality of building infrastructure in Zambia. This research focussed on identifying these factors to the built environment with central focus on one of the fastest developing cities in Zambia, Lusaka. Key input was sought from the developers in Low, Medium, and High-cost development areas of Lusaka. The Institutional mechanisms of the Local authority on development control were also reviewed to identify gaps in the building quality control. It was evident from the research that most developers lacked the technical input into the design and construction methodology of their developments. This was further exacerbated by the inadequate stage inspections to buildings by the Local authority, prolonged timelines to obtain approvals, and gaps in the design scrutiny framework. The identified factors and gaps affecting building construction quality forms a clear basis for regulatory review. Key Phrases: Building Construction, Developers, Institutional framework
Building infrastructure--Quality control. , Building construction.