New building regulations 'makes properties more expensive'

Responding to figures released by Statistics SA, the Building Industry Bargaining Council estimates that a large part of the increase in building costs are actually due to the change in building regulations, which came about during 2011.

"Based on the latest Industry Insight report, which showed a 15 percent increase in building costs, as well as the feedback received from other industry experts, we believe the new regulations increased building costs by around 7 percent over and above normal material and labour increases.

"We think this will possibly put a restraint on an already struggling industry," says Arnold Williams, secretary for the Building Industry Bargaining Council (BIBC - Cape of Good Hope).

According to Andries Koch, of Koch Consulting, his firm did some calculations to estimate the effect of the new building regulations on construction costs and it appears that, in the case of the new BIBC offices, a 7 percent increase in building costs due to the new regulations is correct.

"This increase will vary depending on the type of building - residential, commercial, office space, industrial - as well as other variables such as the footprint, number of levels specified and construction materials," says Koch.

According to Statistics SA, the average building cost of projects completed increased to R7 550/m in January 2013, compared to an average of R6 014/m2 in January last year. Compared over a running 12month period, building costs have increased by 15 percent.

(Weekend Argus Saturday Edition)

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