CONSTRUCTION industry and most likely the investors in the sectors have all it entails if they want to strive for standard and quality of services offered, and the easiest way is for them to go for the Building and Construction Testing materials laboratory at the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) TBS has 150 standards for the sector, which if well used, the regular complaints on poor quality can become history, especially in high rising building and road construction, where the client, be it the government or private entities will be sure of value for money.
The Bureau Standard Officer, Kakuru Chiganga says that the contractors, consultants and clients in the construction industry need to be aware and informed about the standards and make sure whatever materials used meet the mark which has been set according to the local environment.
TBS Building and Construction standards are designed for the testing of building materials as well as building components for properties such as strength and deformation properties, tightness, composition and dimensional changes, and perform field investigations for various load tests and drilling of concrete cores from completed constructions to test for strength.
Have you ever asked yourself why do we need standards? Or, to put it in another way, what role do standards play in your daily life? Surely, to many Tanzanians in the remote villages these may sound as difficult questions since they have scanty knowledge of what standards mean and how they affect their lives.
Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) Director of Quality Management, Eng Tumaini Mtitu, says the major role of standardisation is to define requirements to be met by products, facilitate interchangeability of technical components, standards as means of communication and to facilitate fair international trade through a common trading language.
Other key roles are to build trust and market opportunities, to encourage high quality production, to improve producers’ profitability, and to protect consumers’ interests.
However, Standard Officer, Mr Chiganga says complaints by the public on poor quality and substandard roads can be resolved if the municipals and other entities in their contract have a version which will bind them to test the standard of the materials to be used under the projects, failure of which, the complaints are there to stay.
According to him, the public can have long lasting construction projects which will cater for value for money if they insist on the need to cater for material standards.
“The construction and building material standards, if sent for testing at our laboratories to check if they bear the needed standards, should not only be in major projects, but in construction of houses too, because it has been discovered that most of them do not last long” he said.
He was of the opinion that water pipes can also be tested to satisfy that they will last according to the life shelf, and in so doing save a lot of money which could be used to constantly repair the house on grounds of being substandard.
As for the road construction, he said, the standards are clear, where they can take sample for bitumen and asphalt concrete to check their standards, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that they are meant for a particular situation.
Thus he says district and municipal councils and consultants in various road construction projects in the country are advised to test the bitumen and asphalt samples of the material to be sure that they are good enough to be used.
Expounding further, the TBS Head of Building and Construction Testing materials laboratory, Eng Stephen Minja says that it is the best practice on value for money.
He said that constant complaints on substandard roads can be easily settled should the project owners and consultants test construction material samples to know if they are meant for the right vehicle weight.
“Our bitumen and asphalt testing laboratory has all the equipment to test the construction materials, and to be sure that the roads are being constructed according to agreed quality, they bring us samples for testing” he said Eng Minja said the good thing about bitumen and asphalt testing is to have in place durable roads and buildings.