Stride towards climate resilient infrastructure

January 27, 2024 4:31 pm

Fiji is expected to adopt new wind load regulations tailored to the Pacific island nation’s specific environmental conditions.

Permanent Secretary for Trade Shaheen Ali says the adoption will ensure that buildings are not only compliant but also designed to withstand the specific wind conditions prevalent in Fiji.

He says it will also be a step towards strengthening the resilience of infrastructure in the face of climate change.

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The Permanent Secretary for Trade stressed the importance of these changes in making Fijian buildings more resilient.

Ali understands that the additional standards are more expensive, which is why it takes time to come to a decision.

[Permanent Secretary for Trade Shaheen Ali]

“We recognize that updating requirements for wind speeds may lead to higher building costs. We need to balance these concerns against prioritizing enhanced performance of our structures that will lead to long-term benefits for the people of Fiji.”

Senior Structural Engineer Roveen Permal shared similar sentiments, stating that people need to understand what we are getting into.

“Small change makes a big difference on the dollar value. So you’re trying to make it, we’re trying to increase development in this country. And sure, investors are coming, they develop, they spend money, and the economy runs. If you’re trying to make those changes, which will impact on that.”

The Ministry continually strives to develop a wind load standard that will provide resilient housing while remaining affordable to the public.