Saturday, 19th June 2021

Colombo needs good development plans : Architecture industry

Sri Lanka, Oct. 30 — Colombo is in need of better and controlled development plans to maintain the quality of the city, a senior official representing the local architecture industry said.

It was also suggested that Sri Lanka needs to have a proper policy towards the construction industry, aimed at creating an efficient construction industry, serving the national development needs through regulation, standardization, capacity building and facilitation.

“If we want to maintain the quality of the Colombo city, we must control the development. Hence, we need to have a controlled development plan to continue Colombo’s city status and also to develop other cities across the country,” President of Sri Lanka Institute of Architects D.H Wijewardene told at the Foxhouze Architecture Xtudio conference, held in Colombo yesterday.

Stressing the need to get the local stakeholders together to develop the industry, he said that it is also essential to improve the knowledge base of the industry to achieve set industry targets in the near future. Highlighting that Sri Lankan architects are not fully involved in ongoing or upcoming development projects, particularly in condominium development and hotel projects in Sri Lanka, Wijewardene said; “We have seen Sri Lankan architects who have built massive airports in Oman. Unfortunately, our second airport was not designed by us.

We have capable people waiting to be part of development process in Sri Lanka.”

Meanwhile, Ranjith Gunatilleke, President of Chamber of Construction Industry addressing the event said that local architects are bit sidelined in the country’s new development process and their participation in the local construction industry activities is limited and getting deteriorated.

He also stressed that at least some percentage of upcoming construction projects should come to Sri Lankan industry players to redress this issue. In addition to that, he said construction cost per unit and the cost of architects in Sri Lanka is very much higher than regional peers and according to him, construction cost per unit in Sri Lanka is supposed to be higher than countries such as Singapore, Dubai and India.

Gunatilleke also noted that the construction of 60-70 storeyed buildings wouldn’t go with the Colombo Skyline and also raised concern over the capability and facilities of fire department and other related organisations to maintain fire and safety aspects of these high rise buildings.

“I think the construction of 30 storeyed buildings would be nice for the Colombo city,” Gunatilleke said.

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