Wind speed, cost concern

January 24, 2024 4:33 pm

Issues were brought up in a recent consultation on wind load standards regarding the escalating wind speeds and their impact on construction expenses.

Permal Construction Ltd Senior Structural Engineer Roveen Permal says the square root factorization of the rising wind speed leads to a significant 25 percent increase, posing financial implications for construction projects.

Permal highlights that the building industry has already seen an increase in material costs.

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“Construction materials have increased in the range of 40% to 400% pre-COVID to post-COVID. I’ll summarize it on the next slide. Construction costs also increased by 6% from the VAT change. So if I am putting my house for $300,000, I have to focus on $18,000 to cover VAT only. This is on top of the range at cost price increase.”

Permal warns this may lead to families choosing non-engineered buildings posing a risk to society.

Engineered Designs Principal Engineer Vijay Krishnan, states that practicing engineers have an obligation to prevent burdening the public.

“It has to be affordable, it has to be justified and the only way we can do that is to look at and assess properly the cyclone damage and the cost involved in the past.”

As discussions on wind load standards continue, the engineering community faces the challenge of finding solutions that strike a balance between increasing structural resilience and keeping construction accessible to a wide range of the society.