Enhancing wind load standard to suit cyclone intensity

January 23, 2024 4:25 pm

[Source: Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communications/ Facebook]

To make Fiji’s buildings more resilient to severe tropical cyclones, the Department of National Trade Measurement and Standard is working on improving building standards.

During a meeting about wind load standards, Permanent Secretary for Trade, Saheen Ali emphasized the urgent need to strengthen Fiji’s buildings due to the rising wind speeds.

The PS for trade says disasters have an economic cost, and it depends on each and every one of us to take action to reduce it.

Article continues after advertisement

“The annual asset loss is over $500 million, equivalent to 5 percent of our GDP. And that’s the cost of these disasters, $500 million and 5 percent of our GDP.”

Ali says the goal is to ensure that structures can endure severe tropical storms and are resistant to the impacts of climate change.

Dr. Geoffrey Boughton, Associate Professor at James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station in Australia, reiterates that when air and ocean temperatures rise, the intensity of tropical cyclones is anticipated to rise.

“So, in keeping with what we in Fiji are looking for, which is resilient communities and sustainable infrastructure, we need to have that as part of our thinking in terms of but we can do something about how we are prepared for setting these levels. Preparing the nation for a future climate is inevitable, we can’t do anything about it. It will happen.”

The outcome of these discussions is expected to pave the way for a strong and resilient framework that ensures the safety and sustainability of Fiji’s buildings in the face of future climate change events. The two days workshop is being attended by architects and engineers.