In an attempt to prioritize protection against uncertain occurrences of the two most common natural disasters in Myanmar: earthquakes and strong winds, the Ministry of Construction (MOC) and its technical partner the Myanmar Engineering Society (MES) have been working towards developing and enforcing proper and stricter building codes through the Myanmar National Building Code (MNBC) project. The ministries are drafting the code in accordance with ASEAN building standards to bring Myanmar in line with neighboring countries and improve the structural elements of the buildings in the country.
The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) is leading this project and has selected various regional and international experts and institutions to review the different sections of the code. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) together with the technical assistance of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) through AIT Consulting, were tasked to review the section on wind design criteria, seismic design criteria, and other criteria relating to concrete, steel, masonry, and design.
To further expound on the changes and benefits of the code and collect feedback for additional content from various stakeholders, a consultation workshop on Incorporating Environmental Sustainability and Disaster Resilience on Myanmar’s National Building Code, was held at the MES Hall in Yangon, Myanmar on 14-15 March 2013. The workshop was jointly organized by UN-HABITAT, UNESCAP and AIT through AIT Consulting. Representatives from the MES involved in the MNBC Thematic Working Group, as well as representatives from UNHABITAT and UNESCAP participated in the workshop.
The objective of the workshop was to provide feedback on the proposed incorporation of disaster resilience information and the recommendations on incorporation of environmental sustainability into the MNBC draft.
The two-day workshop was divided into four sessions, which also included plenary discussions with moderators from the Thematic Working Group, UNESCAP, Ministry of Construction, and the MES.
The workshop served as a venue to convene on the provisional code, a draft National Building Code, which is being proposed on a tentative basis until the final code has been fully drafted. It was decided that the code will be launched to various stakeholders by mid-April and will be available for feedback.