Speakers at a seminar Thursday stressed the need for creating more testing labs, quality assessment firms and improving the quality of existing ones to provide quality accreditation services mainly to the country's construction related organisations.

Accreditation services can support the sector to meet the need for smarter, cleaner and safe construction by providing assurance into the safety of the workforce on-site, the quality and origin of the construction products and raw materials, the energy efficiency of buildings, the quality of design and architecture and long term sustainability of the buildings.

With the country's development pace, the speakers said, various kinds of construction and infrastructure projects were being taken in both the public and private sectors, and stressed on the importance of quality accreditation services to ensure quality and sustainability, and avoid any unavoidable circumstances.

Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB) and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) jointly organised the seminar at the DCCI auditorium, marking the World Accreditation Day 2017 being observed today (Friday).

This year, the theme of the day is "Accreditation: Delivering confidence in construction and the built environment".

Minister for Science and Technology Architect Yafes Osman attended the seminar as chief guest while civil engineering professor at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Dr. Md. Shafiul Bari presented the keynote paper, with senior secretary of the Ministry of Industries Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan in the chair.

The programme was also addressed, among others, by DCCI president Abul Kashem Khan and BAB director general Md. Abu Abdullah.

Mr. Yafes Osman stressed on the importance of accreditation and said it would support ensuring safer and sustainable construction by providing assurance of the raw materials and other important aspects.

He said both the instruments and skilled manpower were important to assess various important factors and provide quality accreditation services.

He said that in the developed countries, including Australia, Bangladeshi people were working behind their complex instruments for the organisations those provide accreditation services.

"So, we have quality manpower but what we need is quality labs and required instruments to effectively assess all related issues," he added.

Meanwhile, he said, the government established some organisations to provide accreditation to the country's organisations, but they need required instruments and up-gradation of technologies.

Mr Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that many of the developed countries have made accreditation mandatory, which significantly contributed to their quality and sustainability. But in Bangladesh, the trend has not started yet.

There are 51 laboratories in the country providing accreditation services now.

"I hope this kind of seminars will help the people know about the accreditation, its importance and raise awareness," said the senior secretary.

Mr Abul Kashem Khan said Bangladesh was passing through a transition period when various kinds of infrastructure and construction initiatives were being taken continuously.

"I think accreditation will significantly help ensure the sustainability of such initiatives," he said.

He said the country had to count huge losses due to the lack of such services here -- Rana Plaza incidence is an example. In this case, he added, quality of labs should also be improved as in most of the cases all prefer BUET only to testify their possessions.

"Other organisations also should create loyalty and rise up their confidence level like BUET," he added.

In his keynote presentation, Mr. Shafiul Bari recommended testing every raw material in a recognised laboratory to ensure sustainability and avoid any unavoidable circumstances. He also insisted on conducting compulsory soil testing before the construction of any building.