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The municipality has taken several steps to modernise and develop the engineering work system. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sharjah City Municipality (SCM) has undertaken a series of steps to to improve and develop the building system in the emirate, raise efficiency of buildings, and increase their quality and lifespan.

The municipality has carried out several development studies and held many engineering conferences, lectures, workshops and seminars towards this end.

Thabit Al Turaifi, Director General of Sharjah Municipality, said that the municipality is among the oldest municipalities in the country, dating back to 1927. It has a long-standing database since the first building permit was archived in 1961 that includes detailed data for each building — from the beginning of its establishment, the stages of its implementation until the stage of completion and the issuance of a certificate of completion.

The database also includes the stages of periodic maintenance for each building and the municipality procedures to ensure proper implementation. The age, condition and degree of stability of the building is verified through the information registered in the database for each building in the emirate, along with an estimate as to how long it will last.

The municipality has taken several steps to modernise and develop the engineering work system, including issuing a list of building conditions and specifications in the emirate in 2002, then updating it in 2007 and 2017. This includes the foundations and specifications of construction in the emirate according to the latest international codes.

Eng. Khalifa bin Hada Al Suwaidi, Assistant Director General of the Engineering and Buildings Sector, explained that the second Sharjah Engineering Forum was organised last year during which a group of publications for the engineering and buildings sector in the municipality was launched on the specifications of the sustainability of buildings in the city of Sharjah, along with models of heritage buildings and procedures for supervising construction projects in the emirate.

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The municipality has also launched several training programmes for structural engineers and architects. Image Credit: Supplied

The municipality has also launched several training programmes for structural engineers and architects working in the buildings sector in the emirate, in addition to students of engineering colleges in universities to develop and improve their skills and increase their expertise. The municipality has signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Concrete Institute to enhance cooperation in the field of construction and building.

Al Suwaidi emphasised that the quality of the building materials, their quality and suitability to climatic conditions and natural factors are among the factors affecting the life of the building. The lifespan of the building varies according to the structural system of the building, as concrete buildings are different from metal buildings and buildings with the load-bearing wall system or any new system.