Bureau of Standards Jamaica
The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), through its Testing and Industrial Services (TIS) Branch, continues to lend support to operators in the construction industry.
Speaking at a recent Think Tank, Manager of the Branch, Richard Lawrence, said that a wide range of services are offered to meet the requirements of individuals and private and public-sector operators.
He noted that businesses that use the services of the TIS Branch “will have access to international experts through the BSJ. We will customise our service to meet your demands by providing access to construction standards and building codes, so that you can design and build correctly from the get-go, among other things”.
“With the BSJ serving as a facilitator of business development and trade, we are saying to the public that we are a quality assurance resource, and we are here to help you,” he said.
The TIS Branch performs testing on a wide range of building and civil engineering materials. The Branch also conducts technical assessments of building systems, on-site building defect investigations and participates in the review and the development of national and international standards, including the Jamaica National Building Codes.
It has three main laboratories – Concrete and Masonry Units, Aggregates, and Cement.
Mr. Lawrence explained that the Concrete and Masonry Units Lab is where testing is done on curb walls used along the roadside or in gardens, concrete blocks, concrete cylinders, and tiles.
“In our Cement Lab, we do tests such as setting time consistency, expansion, and compressive strength of cement samples, while we simulate what happens in the structure in terms of impact and crushing value in our Aggregates lab.”
The Branch also offers on-site testing of concrete poured by ready-mix companies.
Mr. Lawrence is encouraging operators in the construction industry to utilise the services to meet their particular building needs and ensure quality assurance and adherence to the building codes and standards to reduce the impact of disasters that impact the island from time to time.
“We promulgated the Jamaica National Building Code in 2007, and we are currently updating the Code. In the coming months, the BSJ, in collaboration with other agencies, will be launching a public awareness campaign to share the contents of the revised code,” Mr. Lawrence pointed out.
He noted that the BSJ will also provide training to regulators and professionals on the proper use of the Code.
Manager of Communication and Customer Service at the BSJ, Maxine Fagan, said there is an ongoing campaign to engage players in the construction sector and raise awareness on how the BSJ provides support to the sector and benefits to stakeholders.
She noted that the BSJ provides support to other sectors and “we invite stakeholders across industries to engage with the services of the BSJ”.