A respite for private people building houses

Apart from accountability, quality, and professional service, Certified Contractors will reduce the burden faced by private people, says CAB president

Quality of infrastructure remains a concern in Bhutan and private individuals without any experience in construction are sometimes left in the dark, not knowing what to do. Unable to rely on contractors and workers, house owners spend the entire day monitoring the work.

This will be a thing of the past with the introduction of Certified Builders in the country, which is “intended to achieve specialization, mechanization, improve quality, and create employment opportunities in building constructions; leading towards professionalization of the overall construction sector.”

According to the Construction Development Board (CDB), this would also ensure hassle-free construction for the homeowners (potential) as the Certified Builders will be undertaking the construction of private buildings henceforth, who will be given the certification, after evaluation.

Any contractor who fulfills the criteria set by the CDB can become a certified contractor. The requisites are minimum human resources, which consists of one project manager, and one project engineer, with both requiring a bachelor’s degree in their own fields and a site supervisor, who can be a graduate in any technical field.

Meanwhile, President of the Contractors Association of Bhutan (CAB), Trashi Wangyel said potential homeowners who wish to construct a house will have more advantages if they avail themselves of the services of certified builders as all the services will be provided by them without, burdening the potential homeowner.

“The homeowner will not have to worry about in-availability of raw materials, skilled worker, among others, as this entire burden will be looked upon by the certified builders,” said the President, adding that all services will be availed directly from the certified builders.

He added that a reason for the government to introduce certified builders is, a lack of experts. “Currently most of the contractors depend on skilled workers called Thekedars, who may not have skills but have experience.”

According to the President, the system of certified builders will help streamline those contractors who lack the professionalism that will lead to timely construction, and also enhanced quality of work.

Trashi added that certified contractors will be legally bound. On the question of a few certified contractors, he said that if there are more private building owners looking for certified builders, then there will be more certified builders in the future.

On costs, Trashi Wangyel said, “there won’t be much difference in cost incurred between the certified builders and the contractors because the contractors will negotiate the cost of building the house with the potential house owner, just as certified builders will also have the same room to negotiate with the potential house owner,” he said.

The President said that the profit margin for both the regular contractors and certified builders will be almost same as both of them will keep a certain profit margin depending upon the present market situation.

he said that if certified builders are involved, there will be advantages over quality services, timely completion and legal backings.

However, a potential house owner can choose either a certified builder or a contractor who is not a certified builder to build their house.

A corporate employee looking forward to build a house said that the concept is very good. “We have been hearing about some real estate agencies not delivering flats and duplexes in time. I do not have experience in construction and have been wondering what to do. I may now go for the services of a certified contractor,” he said.

Ministry of Works and Human Settlement, minister Dorji Tshering launched Certified Builders and the online registration system for the Certified Builders on September 21, 2022.

The ceremony was attended by the Resident Representative of the World Bank country office and other dignitaries. Lyonpo also awarded a certificate of registration to three registered Certified Builders – M/s. Rinchen Barwa Builders, M/s. Mountain Valley Home Builders and M/s. Dralion Builders. 

“The institution of Certified Builders is intended to achieve specialization, mechanization, improve quality, and create employment opportunities in building constructions; leading towards professionalization of the overall construction sector. This would also ensure hassle-free construction for the homeowners (potential). The Certified Builders will be undertaking the construction of private buildings henceforth,” according to the CDB.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu