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A bit of BITS

Here are a few shots from the 2009 combines Buildings and Interiors Trade Show and SIREN (HSSE) Show held at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Trinidad hosted by Premier Events Caribbean. Of course, our team was present at the CCD booth to facilitate live enquiries and introduce the magazine to new readers. Highlights included the Shell Formula 1 car at the FT/Farfan booth and various safety, equipment and technology demonstrations and product displays.

Why engage a project manager? A client’s perspective


Mithra V Rampersad, MBA B.Eng C.Eng. MICE R.Eng. DipLaw Dip.F.M.

Abstract: The use of project management as a tool for execution is quickly becoming globally accepted across many industries. While being increasingly accepted within the local and regional context, there is still a tendency for clients to adopt the traditional hands-on role for the execution of their projects in lieu of the engagement of a specialized project manager. This article seeks to highlight the various factors influencing the need for project management services.

Project management has been gaining momentum in Trinidad and Tobago over the past 15 – 20 years having been adopted by some client organisations (both private and public sector) in the execution of their projects. It is considered that signals of this gain include:

  • Buy-in by client organisations – evidenced by recent advertisements for project management services.
  • Post-academic qualifications sought by potential employers now include the PMP (Project Management Professional) designation.
  • Increased professional support by organizations such as the PMI (Project Management Institute) and its local chapter the PMISCC (Project Management Institute Southern Caribbean Chapter).
  • Recognition as a specialist field –verified by new academic programmes being offered at both the Diploma and Masters levels.
  • Availability of a number of (international) standard conditions of engagement for the appointment of project managers.

The typical local or regional client organization therefore has a relatively robust infrastructure upon which to base a decision on the engagement of a project manager and does not necessarily have to start afresh on any such initiative. Influencing Factors In the development of capital projects, the client typically has three fundamental choices to make:

  • Should the management of the project be vested with existing operational staff?
  • Should a new manager or team be employed formally and specifically by the organisation?
  • Should external project management expertise be procured under a service agreement? All three approaches have features that define their advantages and disadvantages. On the client’s side, this decision is primarily influenced by:
  • The complexity of the project
  • The availability of in-house resources
  • The expertise of in-house resources
  • The size and duration of the project
  • Economic, risk management and feasibility drivers.
  • Client organization’s history of executing similar projects

Naturally, within any organisation, some, if not all, of these factors will exist to varying degrees, and therefore the rationale for procurement of project management services will be informed by the degree of confidence which the client has in these factors.

Notably, the client’s assessment on the availability of resources should not be limited to staffing only, as successful project management is also based on the efficient use of physical, financial, time and informational resources. A typical client organisation will possess all of these in some form.

Project Parameters & Resources
Naturally, the more complex a project is by definition, the more likely it is that the client will require project management services. The choice then redounds to the source of the expertise – a previous history of similar projects executed within the client organization would have led to an accumulation of in-house expertise which can then be built upon. This then follows the model of internal project management.

If the project is one where the client organization has had no similar experience, then a case is made for adoption of externally procured project management services.

It should be noted that in theory, internal and external project management define opposite ends of the spectrum within project management procurement. In practice, most projects are executed within these boundaries, i.e. a suitable mix of both in-house and externally sourced resources.

Risk Management

The second consideration that the client organisation should address is risk mitigation.The chosen approach should be tailored to suit the risk appetite of the organisation.

Robust risk assessment and management techniques will satisfy the triad of economic, technical and financial outcomes. Typical avenues available to the client are scenario modeling, contingency planning, and risk allocation. The simple exercise of procuring external project management serves to manage risk by adoption of the risk transfer principle.

A contingent risk factor associated with the appointment of external resources is the issue of corporate confidentiality. Despite client confidentiality arrangements, the possibility exists that competitive business projects in the development stage may be compromised. Economic choices made by the client should consider two levels of comparison:

  • Whether the cost of using internal resources exceed the cost of external resources.
  • Whether the secondment costs of internal resources to the project team outweighs the opportunity cost of the productivity of those resources in their substantive positions.

In this respect, a full and objective cost-benefit analysis should be carried out, preferably using life-cycle costing techniques.

Further Steps
The client’s objectives will be the ultimate drivers for any project. Therefore, the method of project procurement and execution should be aligned as closely as possible to these objectives.

Engagement of a project manager is a critical step towards project success and it is argued that in making this decision, the client must carefully consider all factors that influence the judgment.

It should be equally appreciated that each project undertaken is different in both scope and approach. Hence, the adoption of one model on one project may not be appropriate for another, regardless of the similarities.

Where the client organisation forecasts an orientation towards several project developments, consideration should be given to the establishment of an in-house project division. Conversely, where projects are sporadic and intermittent, a more appropriate approach may be the procurement of external project management services.

There are many arguments for and against the appointment of a Project Manager. However it is clear that the opportunities to be derived far exceed the economic benefits of utilizing ‘in – house’ resources. Additionally, the risks associated with large projects can affect the overall performance of the organization.

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The role of the professional in the building industry in a developing or underdeveloped nation


Canute Edd Spencer, FRICS, FCI Arb, MRSH
Email: [email protected]

In attempting to write an article on this subject, one must first define the term “professional in the building industry”, “developing and underdeveloped nation” and perhaps one must also explain why “in the building industry”, are they the only professionals with a contribution
to make?

Last things first, given that I am practicing in the building industry as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor (otherwise known as a Construction Cost Consultant I have been exposed and involved to this industry for many years. Because of my “tenure”, experiences and encounters throughout the years, I believe that I have developed a keen understanding of the subject matter. Equally important is my belief that I cannot or should not attempt to comment on other professionals (e.g. doctors and lawyers) since I believe that there are enough of them to speak for themselves. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the building industry is the latest recognizable innovation for developing an underdeveloped country.

In my youth, the favored professions were medicine, law and religion. Engineering ran low on the required professional charts as too Architects, we still prefer to use Draftsmen not recognizing the difference, even at the so called sophisticated society social level. Interestingly, the only surveyor known in Trinidad at the time was the Land Surveyor (or “Severere” as locally pronounced).

When I arrived in England in 1959 to pursue Quantity Surveying, it was only then that I realized that there were Land Surveyors, Building Surveyors, Valuation Surveyors, Housing Surveyors, Planning Surveyors and Quantity Surveyors, all of equal importance to and in the building industry.

After completing my studies, I believed (as I do today) that our first responsibility as returning professionals is to educate our society as to our function(s) as well as the limitations imposed upon our efficiency by the sheer circumstances of practicing in an underdeveloped country. For
example, pricing a construction project depends upon an efficient system of collecting data, once the system relied upon is flawed; no amount of qualification on your part can produce correct results.

To be successful, the professional in the building industry (Architect, Engineer or whatever type of construction professional) must consider education as his priority; education of the general public, the various stakeholders within the building industry and the business and financial sectors of our society who should most benefit from our contribution, i.e. mortgagers and financiers. Our role as an educator goes beyond educating the public generally, we are also responsible for the understanding of our fellow professionals with whom we are called upon to work and produce effectively. Specialists are trained to practice within the normal daily purview of their training. In an effort to reduce or even eliminate conflict with their lesser qualified or educated colleagues they must therefore educate themselves and their colleagues on standard practices and new developments as much as possible. With this degree of sharing, the various professionals and even their professions develop daily.

Another important aspect of our education is that of research in local techniques especially since in construction one must apply and understand the theory for its application. For instance in my Construction II class, we were required to provide the solution to a certain construction problem. Out of a class of thirty odd students, only one person produced the right answer, a Trinidadian student who had some experience in the construction industry at home. When asked how he was able to solve the problem, his only answer was “Trinidad construction boy!” However, I always recall that whatever he learnt was correctly learnt and successfully applied away from the English construction climate. In our role as educators, we must also be mentors to our young graduates and craftsmen. This task is easier said than done since many of our consultants are so bent on earning a living that they are not willing to make the necessary sacrifices towards training their locals. Consequently, at the local level we have a list of skilled artisans whose skills are acquired by on the job “pick up” training, which is adequate for some jobs locally but only thus far.

Apart from education, research into our entire building industry, within the Caribbean is also vital to our success. Many years ago, some of us started compiling statistics (on labourers, concrete works, formwork etc.) to apply to the pricing items in the construction industry. However we were advised that this exercise was a waste of time or an exercise in futility since no one would either read or apply it. Sadly, we heeded the negative advice and today we have no statistics on what to base realistic pricing in the industry. In order to emphasize my point that research in local phenomenon, theorized and put in academic form can be the basis of theorizing our local industry for the application of local solution(s) to local problems, consider another example; the ITCA did a complete research study on every type of wood in Trinidad eg. cheynette, mango, cedar etc. identifying all physical characteristics and evaluating its uses, however although this research lies somewhere in our archives, few people know of its existence. Maybe, as professionals we also need to develop some system to prevent knowledge from being lost from lack of use (which could result in the said research being redone) and maintained in some permanent manner.

My era of returnees bombarded every financial institute eg. lending agencies and the general public with quantity surveying  formation. Our approach included our fellow professionals i.e. Architects, Engineers and any other group involved in planning and organizing any aspect of the industry. As a result, today we have a much more knowledgeable cadre of building professionals who should now be more efficient in servicing the general public and financial sector. However our responsibility as professionals does not end here.

Our next challenge is to replace external examinations such as City and Guilds, Clerk of Works examinations, Institute of Builders etc. with similar local programmes which are overseen by local examining board consisting of our professionals who would have designed and compiled the syllabus.

Finally, professionals must reflect a high level of integrity in not only their everyday conduct but in their professional demeanor and practice. We must earn the respect of our community both professionally and generally. Dignity is not handed to you because you are a professional. You must earn it by your general conduct and all its members must be a party and comply with the necessary requirement. Having been a member of the building industry for nearly 50 years, I strongly believe that professionals in developing countries must:

a. Educate the public and their fellow professionals as to their function.
b. Train not only your fellow professionals but all the subsidiaries in your field. It is an investment well made.
c. Conduct research in all aspects of your profession so that one’s performance and its basis must be recorded to be in a form to be passed on and
d. Finally, strive to achieve integrity in both general and professional behaviour.

When we have developed a culture of knowledge sharing and mentoring, issues like research and development as well as professional development progress naturally finally resulting in the growth and development of the building industry.

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Construction sector outlook: Finding a place in an economic downturn

kavenaKavena Ramsoobhag, MSc. Economics
Email: [email protected]

The global economic downturn has now engulfed the nations of the Caribbean and has reached the shores of the booming economy of Trinidad & Tobago. This resourced based twin island has come a long way from the 1980’s and today stands in a much better position than many of its CARICOM counterparts in withstanding the global economic slowdown. The sovereign was  given an A- rating from international rating houses, such as Moodys’, based on several factors, which included strong growth in its foreign exchange reserves, reduction in the unemployment rate, comparatively low debt ratios and is currently holding on to the position as a net external creditor. The economy has shown strong growth patterns over the period 2002-2007, growing on average of 9%. The construction sector is one of the many sectors that has benefitted significantly from this expansion.

The construction sector has grown an average of 10% over a five (5) year period, 2002- 2007, and has increasingly contributed to the growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy. In percentage terms, this industry contributed 9.4% to GDP in 2007; up from 7.1% in 2004. This comes as no surprise as the main driver of the sector has had its feet on the accelerator moving full speed ahead to attaining a ‘developed’ nation status by the year 2020.  In recent years, whilst facing supply-side constraints, the construction industry has been one of the main driving forces in the expansion of the non-energy sector. This sector has accounted for 5.2% of the growth within the non-energy sector in 2007; up from 4.2% in 2006.

Employment within this sector has been on a steady decline since 2004, declining to 9.2% in 2007 from 10.5% in 2004. One proposes that a reduction in employment within this sector would have been a result of the reduction in the supply of skilled workers coupled with rising labour costs within the industry. The Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago noted in its Annual Economic Survey 2007, that a shortage of skilled workers exists within this sector. The government of Trinidad and Tobago has attempted to address this scenario with its many training programmes offered by agencies such as the National Training Agency (NTA). However, as the economy begins to feel the effects of the slowing global growth, the government has now decided to decrease its speed towards infrastructural development. The recent reduction in the proposed government expenditure for fiscal year 2008/9, in large part, affects the construction industry. These cutbacks have been geared towards a reduction in the construction of various infrastructures such as housing, schools and hospitals. Amidst calls from the Prime Minister to “tighten our belts” one must then ask the question, “Can the construction sector survive a belt tightening?”

The answer to this question depends a great deal on the ability of the construction industry to increase its productivity, the skills of their workers and their ability to access relatively cheaper cost of funding from international creditors. In recent times, the construction sector has been forced to rely on international workers, many of whom are from the Asian continent and Latin America, to satisfy their need for skilled workers. The Asian workers are known for their unique mindset to increasing productivity and efficiency with a seemingly genuine pride for the products/services that they provide at the lowest cost (cost efficiency). Therein, lies very important lessons for all parties within the local construction industry. An understanding between all parties that increased cost efficiencies from the local contractors, lowered wastage, and an increase in the number of productive hours by workers may reduce the expenditure of the public sector. This, in turn, may result in a steady flow of revenues during this period of slow growth.

The planned expenditure for the continued expansion of the energy sector has been left untouched in the recent government expenditure cutback. This unaffected expenditure translates into a continued demand for skilled construction workers within this sub sector (those construction workers who apply their skills to the construction of plants within the energy sector) of the construction industry. The construction company that can quickly adapt its capital equipment and labour to fill this need should be able to maintain a steady flow of revenues during the slowdown. One suggests that for the companies who are unable to access credit readily in the local market, a look towards low cost credit facilities within the North American market would be beneficial. The US Federal Reserve has recently reduced their federal funds rate to a target range between 0 – 0.25%.

The construction sector has contributed to the overall growth of the economy and with the willingness to adapt to the changing economic environment one believes that the construction sector can find a place within the local economic slowdown. However, this is dependent on the willingness of all parties within the sector to commit to increasing cost efficiencies, lowering the wastages of raw materials, increasing the number of productive hours on the job and the ability to adapt itself to meet the needs of the various sectors within the economy. In essence, for the construction sector to rise above the downturn, a ‘tightening of the industry’s belt’ is not just an option but a necessity.

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TTTI Welcomes Caribbean Construction Digest

Victor Hart Chairman, Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute.

The Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) welcomes the launch of the Caribbean Construction Digest (CCD) and the opportunity to contribute to its Pilot Issue. We note the aims and objectives and identify with many of its areas of interest, particularly that of ‘procurement’. If all plans are achieved, CCD will make an important contribution to the development of the construction industry. For those of you who may not be familiar with TTTI, or our parent body Transparency International (TI), I shall introduce both organizations briefly.

TI is a civil society organisation based in Berlin, Germany, that leads a global coalition in the fight against corruption. The organization has been at the forefront of the world’s anti-corruption movement since its formation in 1993.TI is also a non-profit, independent, nongovernmental
organisation, dedicated to increasing transparency and accountability and curbing both international and national corruption. The organization operates in conjunction with all stakeholders to seek a consensus on ways and means to combat corruption, mainly through the promotion of good governance in both the public and private sectors. TI’s long-term vision is that of a world in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free from corruption. Furthermore, its mission is to work towards creating change towards a world free of corruption.

TTTI is one of nearly 100 National Chapters of TI worldwide and was formed in 1998. Our vision is the same as TI’s but our mission differs in the sense that we work towards a country and region that are free of corruption. We emphasize the word region because, as the only TI National Chapter in Caricom, we have committed ourselves to spreading the TI message to our neighbours and to assisting those who may wish to form National Chapters. Membership of TTTI is usually by invitation but persons or companies can apply for membership without solicitation.

There are two categories of membership available:

  • Individual membership at an annual fee of TT$200.00.
  • Corporate membership, depending on the size of the company, at an annual fee ranging from TT$1,000.00 to TT$5,000.00.


Amongst all the issues that have occupied TTTI’s attention during the past 10 years, procurement generally and construction procurement, in particular, take pride of place and it is not difficult to see why. Procurement is easily identified as the activity which has attracted the most corruption in our country. I recall that, as a child, the first time I heard of corruption was in the 1950s in connection with the construction of the Caura Dam.

Thereafter, other major corruption scandals (proven and unproven) were mostly associated with procurement: The Gas Station Racket, Caroni Racing Complex, Airplane purchases for BWIA, Tesoro Scandal, Piarco Airport Project, Inncogen and Desalt Plant, to name a few. More recently corruption accusations against UDe- COTT led to the formation of the ongoing Uff Commission of Enquiry into the Construction Industry. It is beyond doubt that, because of the large sums of money involved in procurement this activity acts as a magnet for those who wish to corrupt the process and illegally enrich themselves.

We at TTTI see it as our duty to seek to reform the procurement systems currently in use in T&T. To date, we have done this by carefully monitoring procurement practices and procedures in order to identify any shortcomings and so be able make recommendations and lobby for reform. Our efforts have been supported globally through the work being done by TI on the international “stage.” Corruption in procurement is a worldwide phenomenon in response to which, TI has developed and continues to develop a broad range of tools and strategies to combat the problem. These mechanisms begin with promoting government’s ratification of and full compliance with International Conventions such as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

The process continues with monitoring the enforcement of laws such as OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and the USA Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It extends to campaigning at the national level for systemic changes through legislative reform to introduce and enforce the best procurement practices among practitioners, at the risk of criminal prosecution for breaches. The process further involves lobbying for the enactment of new laws such as Whistleblowers Protection Act to encourage civil society to expose suspected corruption. Finally, it also includes the development of tools to introduce additional checks and balances in the procurement process in order to increase transparency, to make circumvention more difficult and to emphasize the issue of accountability to everyone involved in the process, through the exposure of transgressors.


Many may wonder about the challenges which TTTI faces in confronting corruption in T&T. One major challenge faced is that people traditionally have a very high level of tolerance for corruption and this continues in today’s society. Stories and/or jokes about Trini ‘smartmen’ who try to outsmart others to make a fast buck are legendary. We grew up hearing the exploits of some of the more famous (infamous?) Trini “smartmen” lauded in calypsos and in local literature. We have grown up hearing about major corruption scandals and not seeing anyone being made accountable. Over time, this situation has caused our people to become more accepting of corruption almost as though it is a norm in society. The general consensus is that nothing can or will change.

That mindset leads some to believe that the voice of TTTI is a voice crying in the wilderness and no one is hearing, let alone listening. They feel that we are wasting our time as nothing will change. Notwithstanding the pervasiveness of that perception, members of TTTI do not succumb to that point of view. We know that the country’s future, in general, and the future of our youth, in particular, will be imperilled if corruption is allowed to continue unchecked. We also unwaveringly believe that the battle against corruption can be overcome if it is attacked by more people who care. However, to be successful in our quest, we must be mindful of our challenges; the specific challenges facing TTTI are:

  • identifying and implementing, with limited resources, effective anti-corruption programmes;
  • securing the human and financial resources needed to materialize programmes;
  • designing and constructing a governance model that effectively supports its mission;
  • overcoming the perception that TTTI is anti-government (regardless of which political party is in power) when in fact we are only ‘anti’ corruption and poor governance, in both the public and private sectors, as both elements work against the best interests of the civil society, especially its underprivileged members.

TTTI’s main objectives contained in our Strategic Framework for the period 2007 to 2009 are the promotion of integrity and reduction of corruption in:

  • Public contracting
  • Politics
  • Law Enforcement
  • The Judicial System
  • The Private Sector, in general, and the financial sector, in particular.
  • The daily lives of citizens, particularly in their relations with public officials.

TTTI would welcome a continued dialogue with readers of CCD on some of the corruption related issues facing the construction industry. These issues prevent the creation of a level playing field for all involved and have taken much of the joy from working in the industry. They also hinder greater transparency and accountability and prevent the country from realizing maximum value for money from public and private sector projects.

TTTI’s contact information:
Telephone: (868) 663-2322
E-mail: [email protected]

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Genesis of a Regional Contractors Association

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The contractors associations of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and Dominica have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form the Coalition of Caribbean Contractors Association. Presently sitting on the organization’s steering committee are presidents of the various regional associations Ronald Cooper (Jamaica), Achal Moorjani (Barbados), Mikey Jospeh (T&T), and Stuart Parris (Dominica’s immediate past President). According to Cooper, the  committee’s chairman, the coalition was formed with the objective to protect and promote the region’s construction industry and facilitate corporation between Caribbean contractors as well as to provide a lobby at the level of CARICOM.

Secretary-treasurer of the association, Mikey Joseph compares the new association to CSME. He says that one of the most prominent characteristic of the association is to enable contractors from around the region to freely operate in any island without having to immobilize mass amounts of resources. Both presidents have indicated that once the coalition is fully operational there will be funding available for the strengthening of institutions, training, etc. Once accessed, this funding is anticipated to work in tandem to bring the entire regional construction sector to a higher standard of performance through a combination of business interest and industry development.

Cooper further stated that since the organization’s inception there have been a few joint venture initiatives in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago as well as between Jamaica and Barbados. The next step for the coalition will be the establishment of a secretariat as well as an invitation to all interested regional associations to sign the MOU. Other countries which have expressed interest in the coalition are Bahamas, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada. The Coalition of Caribbean Contractors Association is hoping to meet again in Jamaica between June and July.

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Leveraging Project Management

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – On September 15th and 16th this year the Southern Caribbean Chapter of the Project Management Institute will host its 5th Biennial International Project Management Conference at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Trinidad. There will be 27 presentations in three tracks by international, regional and local professionals to an anticipated 400 delegates from across Asia, Europe, North America, South America and the Caribbean. The two main keynote speakers will be Dr. Rober K Wyscocki and Gopal K Kapur, both acclaimed writers, trainers and professionals in the field of Project Management.

Under the theme “Leveraging Project  Management in Today’s Economy: Innovation – Efficiently – Partnership”, the conference seeks to provide a forum to discuss, challenge and devise effective methods to operate in the current environment of global instability. Among the topics to be covered at the conference are Resource Management: Keys to Survival in an Economic Crisis, Excelling in a Recession Driven Economy, How to get 40% more Productivity from your Team, and Cash Flow Management during Project Execution. It is anticipated that delegates who attend the conference will benefit from exposure to diverse training, global trends in project management and professional development for a fraction of the cost as well as excellent networking opportunities across diverse sectors.

The PMI Southern Caribbean Chapter (PMI SCC) is the leading non-profit advocacy organization and professional network for the project management profession in our region and is a chartered component of the Project Management Institute (PMI).

For more information about theconference log on to or contact Steve Sankar at [email protected] or call (868) 384-5693.

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Guyana to build Hydro Power Plant

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The government of Guyana has given its commitment  to pursuing renewable energy in the form of hydro power. Guyana’s Power and Light Inc Chairperson, Winston Brassington has stated that construction of the Amaila Falls Hydro power plant is anticipated to begin by year’s end. The project, which has the capacity to provide over 140 megawatts of electricity will be located along the Kuribrong River in Potaro, Region Eight and will be managed by New York based project developers Sithe Global Power, LLC. Sithe is also willing to provide equity in the sum of US$100M.

Guyana’s Amaila Falls Hydropower Project is part of a larger effort to revolutionize the country’s power generation infrastructure. Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo indicated that Guyana needs to secure approximately US$600M for the construction of a hydro power plant which can provide electricity to the entire country. He further indicated that another US$50M may be needed for the creation of systems and transmissions. In total, the cost of construction and implementation is approximately three times more than that required for fossil fuel investment; however, even though a major undertaking, the construction of the hydro plant is expected to be fully subsidized by the international community since is it a renewable energy project.

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BITS Trade Show

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – From Friday 2nd October to Monday 5th October 2009, the built industry’s highly anticipated annual Building, Interiors, Technology and Safety (BITS) Trade Show will be held in Trinidad and Tobago. The show, which is in its eighth year, will this year be presented by the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Architects (TTIA) in conjunction with Premier Events Caribbean Limited, the title holders of the event. Of the many benefits and advantages available to participating industry professionals, BITS hopes to provide participants with a unique opportunity to view and compare building construction and interior products and services in an environment that enables informed decisions on purchases as well as discourse on pertinent safety, maintenance and value issues.

During the trade show, the TTIA will host a number of construction related seminars, facilitated by distinguished architects from the Caribbean and North America. In recognition of the importance of Health, Safety (HSSE), Security and the Environment to the building industry, this year BITS will place emphasis on HSSE with workshops, seminars and competitions in conjunction with the OSHA agency, who along with Scotiabank are the main sponsors. Also, within the very packed schedule for this year’s show is the very much anticipated prize ceremony for the Most Innovative Design (MID) awards which recognizes industry professionals and students in the Caribbean.

The MID Awards are fully endorsed by the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Architects (TTIA), the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the West Indies, the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad & Tobago (APETT), and the Joint Consultative Council (JCC). The MID Awards are intended to encourage and celebrate innovation in regional design work.

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Jamaica’s Renewable Energy Website

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Since its inception on April 24th, the Caribbean Information Platform on Renewable Energy (CIPORE) has received thousands of hits. The website ( is a communication portal for the exchange of renewable energy information for the region. Launched by the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in Jamaica, is available in the four major languages of the Caribbean; French, Spanish, English and Dutch. The platform includes an information centre with articles and speeches on renewable energy, a projects database, legislation, statistics and an energy calculator.

There is also a communications centre which features a directory, forums, chat rooms and access to host live meetings with up to 20 people online from anywhere in the world. Other features are a demonstration centre, country pages for each participating territory and a news section devoted to renewable energy developments in the region. James Moss-Solomon, Chairman of the Scientific Research Council (SRC), told the media that CIPORE is more than a website; it is a developmental tool which gives a broader view across the region as to what is really happening in relation to renewable energy.

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