26 Dec A new inspection committee for Sharjah
A new inspection committee is to be set up in Sharjah to check that high rise towers do not have the type of aluminium cladding that was a key element in the fire which caused extensive damage to the Downtown Address Hotel in Dubai and The Grenfell Tower in London.
Sharjah Civil Defence issued safety regulations in 2016 which said no tower over 23 metres tall should be dressed in the flammable cladding but the ruling has never been strictly and thoroughly enforced.
However, a forum organised by the Sharjah Municipality, decided the new inspection committee should now be set up to look at residential, commercial and industrial buildings in the Emirate.
Khalifa bin Hada Suwaidi, an assistant general director of the civic body said: “”The municipality would facilitate procedures and requirements in coordination with concerned departments for the building owners to help them replacing aluminium sheets or re-finishing the façades with non-flammable materials while preserving the distinctive aesthetic form of Sharjah City.”
He added: “The safety of buildings remains the top priority of the engineering and building sector in the municipality. The forum aimed mainly to involve consulting offices, contracting companies, suppliers and specialised expertise houses.
“Involving the companies would encourage them to adopt safer methods and systems other than ‘cladding’ used in the facades of buildings, which entails a heavy financial burdens on real estate.”