Voluntary standards outlined for building prefabricated structures

A Costa Rican construction institute wants to improve the country’s social housing projects through a series of regulations.

Representatives from the Insituto de Normas Técnicas de Costa Rica said these standards should guarantee that these homes receive the best prefabricated construction material available. Mauricio Céspedes, the institute’s CEO, said these construction guidelines can potentially revolutionize how these family homes are made.

“The regulation is brought to better the quality of homes that use prefabricated material,” Céspedes said. “It will facilitate the taxation and control in the construction phase of the housing projects and standardize the requirements for construction companies in the buying of materials.”

Roberto Mesén, a press representative from the institute, said there is an all-encompassing list of requirements that will ensure high-quality production. These will cover quality, handling, transport, sampling, product checks, and lab analysis. There are specific outlines over the use of concrete, such as avoiding a potential contamination from moisture and mixing it only with a regulated mechanical cement mixing.

Mesén said the institute’s standards will also tighten up perceived problems with floor tiling and prefabricated columns.

They will look into better transportation and shipping methods to safely handle the parts.

He added that right now the regulations are only voluntary guidelines. Céspedes said he highly recommends them to construction companies for the sake of the population living in future prefabricated homes.

There are more than 140,000 prefabricated homes in Costa Rica, according to a 2011 census. The majority of which are located in San José, Alajuela, and Cartago.

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