Many of Romania’s current constructions are poorly built, in disregard of design regulations and sometimes even without designers at all, president of the Romanian Order of Architects Stefan Balici told Agerpres on Thursday at the opening of the ReExpozitia photo contest exhibition – an event dedicated to the subject of the effects of natural disasters on housing.
Re-Expozitia pictures the various forms of disasters that affect buildings and the human living environment, as non-compliance with design and construction regulations is a considerable cause of such disasters.
„We must get in the situation where absolutely all constructions are built in accordance with safety design standards, or, if they are already in place, they should undergo expert assessments and be brought to the required safety level, thus making sure that disasters are prevented and do not produce the consequences we see in this exhibition, wrecked homes, loss of human lives, the destruction of the living environment,” Stefan Balici declared.
He said that in the event of an earthquake, Bucharest is at very high risk, given that many buildings are classified as highly vulnerable, and went on to explain that retrofitting a block of apartments cannot be done with the tenants living there, and that „an entire set of measures related to legislation, the allocation of funds, resources, logistics and the organization of replacement housing” is required for that.
„But we must make a start, because otherwise all we do is discuss from time to time when an earthquake occurs, wonder what would happen in Bucharest, and then return to usual business, that is, nothing happens,” Balici said.
According to the architect, the retrofitting of a residential block would take approximately two years, a period including the design, approval, authorization and execution of the works.
He also said that retrofitting apartment blocks should be „a national policy goal” and that the focus needs to shift from just erecting buildings in a conveyor belt fashion.