MoWHS introduces Certified Builders system to professionalize construction industry

With the system of Certified Builders instituted, the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement is now appealing the house owners in the country to use certified builders for private construction. The ministry certified the first three registered builders today. Certified builders are a firm or a company that has been certified by the government to carry out the construction of private buildings.

From designing a house and arranging labourers to monitoring, a house owner has to manage all. But not anymore. Although optional for now, they can use certified builders to undertake the construction.

“You have to be the contractor for the construction of your own house. Henceforth, going forward, with the certified builders, because they have adequate manpower and appropriate manpower, engineering professionals, certified plumbers, certified electricians etc. All of the work that you are doing currently when you constructing the house, that will be taken over by the certified builders,” said Sonam Yangdhen, Chief Engineer of the Department of Engineering Services under the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement.

And to encourage potential house owners to use them, certified builders raised the need for policy intervention. They said most house owners might resort to the existing practice rather than using their service as it’s optional.

“If the authorities could introduce certain policies that the constructions are to be done by, executed or completed under the supervision of engineers or certified builders. It will be not just helpful to the builders but also the people and economy of the country,” said Ranjeet Sunar, the Proprietor of Dralion Builders, also one of the certified builders.

“Till now we can see that all the works and all the private buildings are built through Thekedars. And what they do is they just come, they see the drawing, they fix the rate and they start working directly. There are no safety measures, there is no proper testing and all but with certified builders, there are technically sound people,” said Jeewan Kumar Chhetri, Engineer of Mountain Valley Home Builders, another certified builder.

However, the ministry henceforth, will strictly enforce the technical requirements in the Bhutan Building Regulation such as close supervision of construction by certified engineers, certified plumbers and electricians to encourage house owners to use certified builders.

Furthermore, the ministry is also working on revising the Building Bhutan Regulation and reviewing the technical requirements for private building construction so that it’s made at par with the requirements of Certified Builders.

The new system is also expected to professionalize the overall construction sector which currently is lacking in the country.

“The construction of private buildings is plagued by several problems as of now. So first it is a lack of professionalisation. The workers that are employed in the construction of buildings do not have the technical skills. So, because they do not have the technical skills, there is every chance of approved drawings being misrepresented and the work that is done on-site to be wrong. So, that also leads to structural safety being compromised,” said Sonam Yangdhen.

Today, there are around 2,700 contractors in the country.

Samten Dolkar

Edited by Sonam Pem

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