Building contractors could soon get their construction site stamped with a quality seal showing that they respected the neighbourhood, protected the environment and secured everyone’s safety.
Stakeholders have come together to sign an agreement that would kick off the drafting of a Considerate Construction Scheme, similar to that already implemented in the UK.
Those who sign up for the scheme need to show consideration towards pedestrians and neighbours through adequate construction site hoarding, their own workers’ safety and also prevent emissions detrimental to the environment.
Although signing up is voluntary, Malta Developers' Association president Sandro Chetcuti said he would push for the scheme to become law.
“We want a situation where you walk by a building site and you cannot even tell that construction is ongoing. The days of slapdash or third world country construction sites are over.”
According to Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, in the UK those submitting a tender for public procurement need to be part of the scheme.
In the UK, the non-profit-making organisation was founded in 1997 by the construction industry itself to improve its own image.
The Maltese authorities have spent some months in consultation with the UK’s Considerate Constructors Scheme organisation, and will implement the scheme following discussions with the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, the Malta Chamber for Small and Medium Enterprises, the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and Kamra tal-Periti.
A memorandum of understanding was signed on Monday between the transport and tourism ministries, the Building Industry Consultative Council, the Malta Tourism Authority and the Malta Developers' Association to start drafting the scheme.
Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg meanwhile insisted that development would not stop in an advancing country. He referred to the promised setting up of an agency to ensure contractors and developers abide by construction regulations.
Will the scheme also take into consideration safety and security of workers and neighbouring houses?
Rather than the scheme, a new agency, which will be a one-stop-shop for construction stakeholders, will ensure that old regulations are updated, Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market said.
These should include rules about security of workers and neighbours, ensure safe construction and monitoring during and after construction.
Mr Agius was answering questions about recent incidents where construction workers were injured while at work and a three-storey block Gwardamanġa building adjacent to construction site collapsed.
The government announced last year that a new authority will be set up to enforce construction rules, overhaul existing legislation and take over responsibilities currently under the remit of various entities and boards.
The Malta Construction and Building Authority will be set up later on this year, Mr Agius said.
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