Construction firms have until January 2021 to do away with the 49-year old British building codes and familiarize with the European Building Codes known as Eurocodes.

The move is based on the need to open up the country to international markets, lower the cost of housing and align research and development at the local level to international standards.

Kenya Bureau of Standards M.D, Charles Ongwae, says construction firms have until January 2021 to acquaint themselves with Eurocodes which will be a common reference point for all construction workers on what materials, technology and design to use.

Eurocodes are divided into ten segments from code zero to code 9. However, Kenya will begin by implementing only the first four codes; structural design, Actions on structures, code on design of concrete structures and the code on design of steel structures.

A National Implementation Committee consisting of 28 representatives from 9 ministries, professional bodies, training institution, manufacturers and consumers has since been formed by the KEBS to spearhead awareness and capacity building of the new standards among constructors and engineers.

Training Institutions and higher learning centres on construction will be expected to adopt the new standards in their curriculum. Ksh. 250 million will be spent in the next five years to sensitize and help local construction firms adopt to the new standards.

This comes in the wake of a collapsed residential building last week in Huruma while 5 buildings have collapsed across the country since January.

Buildings Inspectorate in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in 2016 marked more than 400 buildings in Nairobi unsafe for human occupation.