Questions About Safety of TRNC Buildings

Tunc Adanir - KTMMOB
[Tunç Adanır – President of KTMMOB]
Tuesday, 14 February 2023

The Cyprus Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects Union (KTMMOB) has received many calls from people living in North Cyprus about how earthquake proof their homes are since the earthquakes occurred in southern Turkey last Monday, President of KTMMOB Tunç Adanır said, Yeniduzen reports.

Adanır in an interview with Yeniduzen said, “This is what we tell everybody. First of all, ask the civil engineer (project designer) whom you have the project commissioned to examine it because he has responsibility for the building. Let him examine the building there and evaluate it from a technical point of view. If he sees a potential weakness, then a request can be made from the Chamber of Civil Engineers together with the civil engineer regarding the test and analysis. And there, examinations are made, tests are taken, and a technical report is prepared for you at the end of the laboratory”.

KTMMOB President Adanır also underlined that anyone who is not a member of the Construction Contractors Association or the Subcontractors’ Association cannot undertake construction work in North Cyprus.

Substandard Constructions

He underlined that even if a visa is obtained, construction cannot be started without obtaining a licence, Adanır said, “If these processes are not carried out and the construction continues, it is an illegal construction. The authority to control it is the municipality“, he said. Sharing his opinion that illegal buildings can be found in every region in the country, Adanır said, “I don’t think there are many, but if there are, I believe it is due to the lack of effective control of the relevant municipality“.

Ground Survey

The suitability of the ground on which construction is to be made should be considered firstly, Adanır noted. Some excavation should be made and soil samples taken, he said. All this should take place in order to assess what kind of foundations are required, said Adanır.

 “No matter how safely you design the building, it still doesn’t make sense if the ground it sits on is not suitable“, said Adanır. Study reports are mandatory, he said, noting that the type of basic foundation was determined according to these reports. Adanır said, “Their design in accordance with the legal regulations at the permit stage is inspected, but how it is done on-site can be realised with the effective supervision of the engineers“.

Adanır said, “I believe and recommend that everyone who is going to build their house should have a ground survey“. This should be a matter of public awareness, he said.

When asked if the public should have their building checked for earthquake resistance, he replied that if the normal inspections were carried out during the construction process, there was no need for this, and that it could still be checked by calling a civil engineer (project manager). 

People residing in apartments can also contact the civil engineer who was involved in the construction of the apartment, Adanır said. Civil engineers and architects are registered with the municipality. Adanır also informed that the legal requirement to apply for a building permit came into force in 1981.

An earthquake measuring 6.8 in Cyprus occurred on 9 October, 1996. It was the largest earthquake to occur in the region since 1953 [Ed.]

For full text of interview click here – Yeniduzen

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