Nikoloz Abashidze, the development sector specialist explains that the country does not have the corresponding code that would regulate architectural-planning and firefighting issues.
«Government has decided to reject oviet principles, but when you reject one, oit should be replaced by another. We have the law on Architectural Activity, which was refused as an outdated one, but it was not replaced by a new one. Firefighting and architectural-planning part are not regulated. The code is being developed for 14-15 years and we could not adopt it as a law. There are no leverages in this field. It is the Government’s responsibility, when similar tragedies happen. Therefore, it is necessary to make amendments to the law on Architectural Activities.
As to technical regulations on Firefighting Rules and Conditions, they are applicable for firefighters. Only regulations cannot resolve problems, without expert studies. Previously, this expert evaluation component was removed from both firefighting and architectural-planning part. Nobody was making expert evaluations on the performed work. All regulations become useless without due expert studies», Abashidze said.
As to whether the existing regulations are fulfilled and whether fulfillment process is controlled, Abashidze said that he had not information about these aspects.
«Inspection should be carried out once a year by the 112 service and Emergency Management Agency. Corresponding recommendations should be issued and the construction supervision office should be requested to control fulfillment of these recommendations. I have no information whether the mentioned office controls this process. The technical regulations are not perfect. They only determine where to put this or that device and equipment, how many fire extinguishers should stand in the building and what distance should be between them. As to fire-fighting staircase, technical regulations do not regulate this issue, but it is included in the architectural-planning part in general forms indicating that fire-fighting staircase must exist», Abashidze noted.
Under the international practice, all projects must have a responsible architecture, while in our country nobody bears responsibility for the mentioned issues, Nikoloz Abashidze said.
«When somebody implements the project, it is necessary that a certified architect join the project designing process and the latter must be responsible for protection of the applicable regulations. This issue is not regulated in our country. Therefore, we do not have prepared and responsible bodies, who would fulfill the regulations. We do not know who are responsible, who are to inspect the project. Previously there were main architects of the project and main engineers, who used to carry out planned expert studies. Today we do not have even certified engineers. As I have noted even the planning expert evaluation has been abolished. After this decision the control mechanism was to move to domestic bodies and even architecture offices could conduct similar type of expert studies.
Similar offices carry out only external inspection of facades, balconies, windows, construction coefficients, how they fit the city planning part and so on, but they do not inspect internal planning part, regretfully.
Since the designing process lacks for regulatory components, young architects fulfill these project at cheap rates and they do not know regulations. The project is agreed without expert conclusion into planning part and nobody inspects it. If the project is designed by a professional, these details may be taken into account in the project, but these aspects are not requested and nobody inspects them», Nikoloz Abashidze said.
It is difficult to conclude what specific factors have provoked fire at LeoGrand hotel and how the hotel had protected the firefighting standards, before completion of investigation. It will be difficult to identify the responsible body in this case, Abashidze said.
«Before the investigation completion, we only hear available reasons that could provoke fire and similar tragedy. Some versions say that smoke penetrated the hotel staircase cell and elevators and then the electricity shut down. In this case alternative power supply must have been switched on in the firefighting and safety systems. However, the building could not have similar systems if they had not been designed from the very beginning. In this case, we cannot determine even the responsible body. This is our misfortune», Nikoloz Abashidze said.