The Barbados Association Of Professional Engineers (BAPE) Have Some More FREE Advice For Government~Will It Be Heeded This Time Around?


Recently, The Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE) have been in the news often. It seems that Barbados has allocated millions of dollars to educating our people only to ignore their free advice when become qualified. It is well documented that BAPE has expressed concerns about the Operation Free Flow Project better known as the flyovers only to be told SHUT-UP by Minister Gline Clarke. We have written extensively about BAPE and the flyover project. If we were engineers we would feel slighted by all that has happened. Although BAPE has been described as a spineless association by the DLP at a recent political meeting, we have to shower them (BAPE) with praise for sticking to their guns regarding the need for government and 3S Barbados to clarify some technical issues related to the flyover project.

The latest concerns that BAPE has highlighted relate to the need for Barbados to implement the much touted building code. Based on our research there is a draft building code dating back to the early nineties. Although some of our responsible engineers, contractors, architects and other professionals follow the code they are not obligated to do so. (Again, we have written several articles about this issue.) BAPE is reporting that one month after the unfortunate Britton’s Hill tragedy where part of an apartment building collapsed into a cave, a new draft building code was circulated among the relevant professionals for discussion and feedback. In a nutshell if the new building code is proclaimed into law “it would mean that all building plans and alterations, including relatively minor ones, would have to be submitted to a new authority to verify conformity with the code, causing at least six weeks delay and additional cost in obtaining approvals.” BAPE is of the view that although there is a need for a building code/authority, the current proposal will create a large and inefficient bureaucracy.

We agree!

Here is what BAPE has proposed:

Instead, the engineers want to see certified inspectors from the private sector providing independent verification of compliance with building standards. Under this regime, a new building authority would register and monitor the inspectors, resolve disputes, conduct random inspections and validate completion certificates. The engineers association gave as models the Australian performance-based building code system with ‘deemed to satisfy’ provisions based on certificates of accreditation from qualified people. There are similar arrangements in the United Kingdom and Singapore. Both are based on the concept of an approved inspectors’ building control service. It seems however that the government is determined to push on with a Bill for the new standards authority, so the issue may be thrashed out in the Barbados Parliament.
Source: icon International Construction Review

What is it about BAPE that make people just want to say to them, SHUT-UP! For whatever reason, BAPE, which is comprised of our finest engineers, have not been able to command any respect from successive governments which used taxpayers’ dollars to educate them. It seems ridiculous that on an island which is in an everlasting building boom that any government would not want to ensure that there is a system in place which enforces adequate building standards in an efficient manner. If Barbados is committed to moving the country forward on a first world footing, it must recognize that it must create a climate which is easy for all to do business. Implementing new ideas using old business models seems silly. Why don’t they listen to BAPE? Is there something that we are missing?

By circulating the new draft building code to members of BAPE there is an implied understanding that feedback is expected from them. The fact that the authority continues to ignore BAPE’s feedback suggests that the government is engaged in a token exercise. We support BAPE in their willingness to speak-out under the leadership of Roger Blackman. We call on other players in other areas of our society to do the same.

18 thoughts on “The Barbados Association Of Professional Engineers (BAPE) Have Some More FREE Advice For Government~Will It Be Heeded This Time Around?

  1. Let me now be explicit. We are heading for disaster. If we are struck by a major hurricane tomorrow, we can expect approximately 75 per cent of our houses to be severely damaged. There will be national disruption. Emergency services personnel will abandon their duties if their homes are damaged and their families are exposed. Employees will abandon their responsibilities if their homes are damaged and their families and neighbours are exposed. The economy is at risk of grinding to a halt. Mortgage companies will expect owners of damaged homes to honour their mortgage payments. Insurance companies may go bankrupt. It was all avoidable.

    Is it too late? No. Since we have not yet been struck, the Government still has an opportunity to demonstrate more leadership in this critical issue.

    Grenville Phillips II Chartered Structural Engineery

  2. It is hard to image that we will not have some fallout from the lack of a building code in Barbados. It seems that the economic consideration is many times the overriding factor which will affect the final design. We pray to our God that Barbados will not have to pay for this haphazard way of managing the building industry in Barbados.

  3. A bit late isnt it? Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
    Why were’nt they doling out advice when the Brittains Hill apartment block was built? Its not that old.
    Why werent they warning contractors in the area at the time of the cave in about the dangers of construction on a known and massive void?
    The fact is that some of those self same members of BAPE own building companies or are involved in construction.
    Hopefully they have been following their own guide lines.

  4. Mosquito,
    How are you able to always sound like an idiot?
    Have you looked at what BAPE have been saying publicly for YEARS now?
    Have you reviewed the history of their interactions with various ministers – especially Glyne Clarke?

    Why you don’t stop buzzing if you don’t have any sting?

  5. Mosquito

    Why anyone including BAPE speaks out about anything involving this Government is beyond me. Look at us! The Government does not tek on anybody. They are a law unto themselves. UNTOUCHABLES!

    The Government should have had building codes and material standards in place along with effective inspection of jobs and penalties for infractions. This is a Governments responsibility.

    In this case somebody(BAPE) has said enough is enough so let us give them credit and support. It is a start?

    What I want to know is this why has more outrage about the Brittons Hill tragedy not been evoked from the average Barbadian, the business sector, trade unions, churches etc?

    This sad and tragic accident like everything else in Barbados has been forgotten and why? It involved the loss of life of ordinary Black Barbadians and their children.

    Do you think if they had a tragedy like this in Millenium Heights, Westmoreland etc the matter would have been so casually attended to? Give me a break!

  6. A check at or even the Nation newspaper archives show that they have been agitating on several matters which should concern Barbadians. They have also put on several seminars etc. We suspect that they position on the 3S/Flyover matter will now make some people view them through partisan eyes.

  7. Bush Tea

    How are you able to always sound like an ill mannered adolescent?

    I dont know what BAPE has said on the Brittains Hill because their brass tacks discussion which I missed is not yet in the public domain.

    ‘What I want to know is this why has more outrage about the Brittons Hill tragedy not been evoked from the average Barbadian, the business sector, trade unions, churches etc?’

    No Name you are correct it is all very quiet.

  8. Can anyone please give me an update on the progress of work at the Oistins centre that was supposely to be completed by CWC I think that was held in April we are now into the end of October and I certainly know that it looks no closer to being ready now as it was in April.
    I am hearing that it is grossly over budget and grossly late in delivery, just another example of gov’t wasting and lacking oversight on these works projects.
    What is the Tourism investments role in this project?

  9. Mr Goddard wrote an excellent article over on BFP today,
    It really is a sad day when those that we pay to see after the wellbeing of our country become so corrupt that they no longer care about this rock while all they really care about is how much they can steal on each project that they award.
    Talking about mount Stinkeroo has anyone ventured along that piece of road Bucks, Wraysbury it is in the worst state that it could be it is in dire need of attention very much like our hospital but like the hospital it is not getting a cent spent on it but we have a multi million Oval complex that has attracted the largest crown since CWC for of all things a funeral yesterday, what does this say to us the taxpayers of this land?

  10. Mosquito,

    “Bush Tea
    How are you able to always sound like an ill mannered adolescent?”

    Somehow mosquito, you and No Name have the secret to tick me off… must be some kind of no name dengue or something.

  11. Jerome Hinds
    “I am scared. I don’t even go near the yard or that bedroom anymore. When I first realised the hole was getting bigger and bigger, I contacted Hamilton Lashley [Government’s Adviser on Poverty]. He sent someone to look at it, but since then I’ve never heard any response,” she added.
    Susan Greenidge…..I guess after reading page 7 of the Nation News of October 23 2007……you would now understand why Hammie La ain’t responding !
    After 8 years KILLING & DYING for Owen Arthur….Hammie La says he done with that !
    Equally revealing is the fact that on Sunday 14th October…..Owen sent a uniformed policemen in a police vehicle to bring Hammie La to a private one & one meeting at Ilaro Court…….well those within earshot were ASTOUNDED by the words & utter refusal shown by Hammie La !
    Further indications revealed that this call for a meeting by Owen had to do with comments attributed to Hammie La in the Sunday Sun of 14th October 2007 !
    Those who can get a glimpse of that paper’s edition would catch Hammie La’s DRIFT !
    So in a short space of time Owen hard to deal with…..DRIFTWOOD & HARDWOOD…!
    Those in St. Philip South wondering when he gine get ’round to DEADWOOD….!
    I have been checking the above story and reports reaching me state that yes this actually did take place and the meeting was called as a result of Lashley’s utterances on the issue of the squatters and he was taken to task and dressed down like a little boy for his pronouncements on the matter, so it will be fair to expect the same dressing down to take place with Prescod as well, because he has dared Owing and has said what he has had to say on the subject of the same squatters.
    I am waiting to hear Mottley have her say on the HARDWOOD HOUSING ISSUE AND ASSCOLL issue, I am sure she will not be singing his praise.
    She is either a spineless creature or brainless and moraless if after all the insults that Owing has thrown at her she has no fortitude to say enough is enough I will stand up on my own two feet and fight back this short runt, but instead she takes it all lying down and comes out of it looking a total servant to his needs.
    Lashley you to need to rethink your stance and remove yourself from this kind of abuse and torture, you have lost and will continue to loose the respect of the people that voted for you if you do not stand up and say enough is enough, you will gain much more respect is doing so as opposed to representing a party that is at sea with your ideas.

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  13. For a party that has what they pereceive as such a large lead according to their polls it appears to me that they seem to be doing a vast amount of damage control.
    Their actions suggest to me that they are the ones fighting to survive, their actions are such of a dying party when Owing sets about blistering the goodly gentleman Mr. Steven Alleyne why because his report may not show Owing in the best of lights but was it worth sending him to his grave in upheavel and then also to blister Hammy Lashley in curse for supporting the poor people it is a disgraceful act of what power can do for a leader it corrupts.
    I put it to you if the results of these polls are so promising and indicate the comfort by which the blp can win the next election, I wonder why the electorate are complaining about so many wrongs in this island, 3 S , DANOS, Road Works,Hardwood Holdings, The Baths, The $750,000.00 Cheque, The Holders Land Deal, Greenland, Slot Machine Deal between Owing and Hallam Nicholls,VECO The Prison,The unfinished IDC building at Newton, The cost overruns on every project that this admistration has undertaken, Mr Williams have to resort to buying a full page advertisment blasting Farley for his lack of service to get things done.
    Lets hear Mottley on the subject of Hardwood Holdings, the triple costing VECO PRISON, The DANOS, 3 S, ROAD WORKS PROJECT, these are the things we need to hear you on not the subject of same sex marriages, legalising homosexuality and prostitution.

  14. I chose this post for these comments as there were no appropriate ones.

    I have not heard anyone comment about to-days Nation News Editorial which I found quite enlightening and interesting. The discussion was about Arthur, his accomplishments or lack there of and the timing of his call for an election that would give him and his BLP party the best optimum advantage of being re-elected.

    What I found interesting was the language used in the Editorial to say in the kindest possible terms that the CWC failed miserably in almost all of the venues it was held on, based on the premise for it being a huge success.

    I believe that Arthur was so convinced that the CWC would be such a huge success that it was his intention to call an election immediately after the event came to a close and ride the results to victory. The Nation News Editorial vaguely implies this vision of the situation too. And now suggests that Arthur and his Government is running out of time to “fix what is broke”.

    Personally I think that Arthur because of the failure of CWC and not having an alternative plan to go back on. And even more importantly with his Nation facing Social and Economic inequality that the BLP Party and Arthur is disillusioned, confused and in disarray

    The only positive thing Arthur has going for him is that the Off-shore financial and Foreign Investment sectors are still reasonably good but not as good as before as the Central Bank Governor Marion Williams alluded to in the same press. These sectors are creating few sustainable new jobs nor can they do anything to reduce the high cost of living in Barbados. Quite the opposite! The benefits of these sectors are going to those who already need no help.

    Let me give you one example of this. A recent convention held in Barbados suggested what is known in all Nations of the world. I think it was called “All entitled to Food”. However the main theme was, that to combat the many diseases killing the people you needed to eat healthy diets and have them available to you. This is not a reality in Barbados nor is it going to be a reality for decades to come if ever.

    The fallacy of this situation is clear. How can you educate people to live healthy lifestyles that includes eating healthy foods when 40 % or more in Barbados say that the high cost of living is of a major concern to them with food costs leading the way?

    Housing is another concern in Barbados where many are saying land is too expensive because “foreigners” are pushing up prices. This is in my opinion not being truly and significantly influenced by waterfront real estate, but, rather by Government allowing huge tracks of land and which were former Plantations being sold inland for exorbitant prices to Foreigners. And also the indiscrimate use of such land for golf courses and condos. There has to be control or the consequences is what you are seeing.

    Golfing in Barbados will never be a viable tourist attraction. Because of the poor quality of the courses and the huge cost of playing on them. Another thing is, good golfing is far more available at better courses and cheaper prices closer to home of those travelling in the winter to pursue that recreational sport. As is accomodation and eating out.

    Does it make sense to sell a hundred acre farm to a Foreigner and have two, four, maybe six people live on it and in many cases for only three or four months of the year while thousands cannot afford a house lot?

    Arthur contrary to the belief of only fools is not an “Economist” he has failed miserably before like he is doing now in Barbados. Arthur really has no vision and goes from pillar to post and is influenced by the elite too easily. He has shown over and over again that he cannot make hard and unpopular decisions. He always takes the easy way out. This mans style of leadership and way of life has in my opinion tarnished many good BLP members that do not deserve it.

    Arthur has not only betrayed his Barbados but the majority of Barbadians he promised to look after and after 14 years he has fallen way short for keeping his promise. The Editorial has also indirectly said that.

    Personally I would not be at all surprised to see Arthur step down and not take the BLP into the next election because he has too much baggage and the people are on to him.

    The course on which Arthur put Barbados is clearly the wrong course, because there are too many Barbadians not living the dream after 14 years.

    Arthur is like a ship floundering in the dark and I am sure he is being advised to hold on the best he can until help arrives. What Arthur, Al Gilkes et al have up their sleeves in trying to create more smoke and mirrors to offset the negativity of the CWC failure is anyones guess. But you can bet something big will be created.

    Another thing that is important or it is to me was Rickie Sings column. He has chosen to address a real problem that is also directly related to and caused by Arthurs Politics of EXCLUSION. I am talking about the level of CRIME in Barbados. You cannot focus on the lifestyle of opulence and gracious living for the privileged and Foreigner only as Arthur has done while at the same time turning your back on the masses. He is now seeing the results but regrettably so are thousands of unfortunate Bajan men women and children.

  15. Why should the opulent care anything about the poor masses. After all its not their problem. You expect a theif to care about how his stealing is going to affect those from whom he steals? The amount of millions these crooks have received in drawbacks will keep them for the rest of their miserable lives. When they retired from being polytickians the problems of the country will become those of the next set of administrators. No longer there problem. I am very upset with Barbadians. I think they are a bunch of ignorant and passive people with short memories and be easily bribe. They are going to wait until the land under their foot is taken from them before doing anything about it. After all it is said that bajans are last minute people, who say alot but something that adds up to nothing.

  16. Robin Cu D

    Yes some Barbadians is as you describe them I wouldn’t say too many are ignorant but they are “passive” people and they do have “short” memories.

    But think about this, have the people of Barbados not had an uphill battle to survive from the day our Nation was discovered? Many are tired of fighting the good fight as they get no help andhave given up!

    The very Government elected by the people to serve ALL OF THE people of Barbados serves only the privileged and the wealthy. And who is this Government? a predominantly “Black” Government. If such a Government does not see the need or care to govern with the best interests and fairness of ALL Barbadians at heart who else can you turn to for social justice? Besides the Government who else do you expect in Barbados to stand up and demand that masses get their fair share? You do not even see wealthy, successful blacks mentoring the less fortunate or taking up their cause or VERY FEW DO IT.

    I think most in Barbados realize what is going on but the question is Robin how do we fix it?

    Our next window of opportunity to do so is the upcoming “election”. So as we so often say, we have to “Put it in Gods hands”.

    Let me give you an analogy of the problems in our Barbados that have obviously frustrated you like thousands of others. The problem in Barbados is somewhat like the world situation. The super powers call the shots. The weaker Nations do as they are told or are crushed. And in Barbados the same situation exists in how it is governed and how the majority are treated by their Government, the wealthy and johnny come lately foreigners.

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