Ministry of VROMI finalizes New Building Codes and Environmental Norms; Receives Build Back Better Products

September 13, 2021 1:44 am


GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Members of Association of Dutch Municipalities VNG-International handed over final reports of Building Codes and Technical Norms to Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs and Minister Hon. Ardwell Irion, on behalf of the Minister of VROMI Hon. Egbert Doran, the Cabinet of the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI), said on Friday.

After Hurricane Irma many Dutch municipalities donated funds to support Sint Maarten in its reconstruction. Shortly after the fundraising, the international branch of the Association of Dutch Municipalities, VNG-International, partnered with the Government of Sint Maarten to define ‘Build Back Better’ products including the management of the projects. This was done in close collaboration with various Ministries and the Government of Sint Maarten.

The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (VROMI) was already familiar with the association and the working method of the VNG-I through previous excellent experiences. A few specific projects for VROMI emerged where extra support was welcomed in the context of the slogan "Building Back Better" which included new, hurricane resistant building and environmental regulations. These projects ended in July 2021.

The practical and pleasant cooperation, resulted in concrete changes in the field of building codes, environmental standards and assistance to the Permits and Inspection Departments within the Ministry of VROMI.

The Cabinet of the Ministry of VROMI on behalf of Minister Doran, would specifically like to express its gratitude for the associated results in the 'Building Back Better' program and for the initiative. The practical and committed involvement of VNG-I has certainly contributed to this.

The new building and environmental norms will be introduced after Governmental decision-making is finalized. In both cases the new norms will go into effect only after elaborate communication and trainings has taken place with the relevant stakeholders.

This education and awareness process will be free of charge, and it is essential so that everyone is aware and understand the new norms to be practiced in time. This will contribute to ensuring a smooth transition of the regulations.

The new building norms are necessary to ensure that future buildings will be more resistant to such natural disasters as hurricanes or earthquakes. The previous norms as stated in the Building Code related to the Building Ordinance has not been updated since it’s conception in 1935.  The previous norms dating back from 2007 were to ensure sustainability of the environment so the updating of these were also necessary.

In both cases, the norms were drafted after a number of consultations with various stakeholders. The norms were drafted with the general point of departure that they should be fair, reasonable, and executable.

More information will be published in a timely manner. Only after the education awareness period the norms will go into effect. The basic education trajectory will be offered free of charge for those who are in need of this information.

An email address will be made available for which, during a certain period of time, anyone may pose technical questions or ask advice related to the new norms. 

PHOTO CUTLINE: Members of VNG-I hand over final reports of Building Codes and Technical Norms to Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs and Minister Hon. Ardwell Irion on behalf of the Minister of VROMI together with relevant staff.