NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA Institute of Architects (ZIA) is concerned that a number of internationally-funded projects are being designed abroad despite being executed in Zambia, without the involvement of local architects.
ZIA honorary secretary Bwalya Masabo said in an interview last week that the practice is illegal and urged all such project developers to engage the institute to receive guidance on joint ventures.
“The institute is able to give guidance on how joint ventures with local architects are established so that such projects are designed with consideration of local conditions and are well managed at construction stage,” Mr Masabo said.
He also bemoaned the infiltration of the profession by unregistered and unqualified individuals whose designs are a threat to occupants of such structures.
Mr Masabo said the buildings designed by these individuals are a threat because structures may not respond to the basic design principles and requirements thereby posing a danger to occupants.
“The major challenge the institute is facing is the practising of the profession by individuals who are not registered and not qualified architects whose designs are a danger to the public,” he said.
Mr Masabo said the genuine architects are registered and are issued with a seal and an annual practising licence by the institute as proof of registration which the unscrupulous individuals do not have.
He, however, said the only challenge is for all the councils to ensure applications that are granted planning permission are done by registered architects.
“The local councils and planning authorities in the country are aware of this and are not granting planning permission to applications for development done by unregistered entities,” Mr Masabo said.
He has therefore called on the public to engage services of local registered architectural firms that have diverse and experienced architects to carry out any magnitude of building projects.