By Bldr. Andy Maduako
The consequences of building collapse are nothing but direct damages to lives and properties.Unfortunately, this menace has remained a reoccurring decimal in the society and it’s end effect remained disastrous. It is on the above premise,that I, through a professional perspective came up with some important measures that if taken into practice, would be a panacea to curbing the menace of building collapse in our society.
Such measures are as follows:
✓There should be intensified structural integrity test on aged buildings.
✓There must be strict adherence to structural detailing in accordance with building regulations, engineering standards and specifications by all concerned parties in the construction industry and general public.
✓ Only qualifed personnels should be in charge of construction. (This should have a legal backing,with highest legislative making body passing the long abandoned building code bill into law)
✓Purpose for which a structural facility is constructed Should not be subverted by the property owners or it’s occupants without a written approval from a certified building professional, engineering bodies or certified government agencies.
✓Inferior construction materials should be banned from the market and suppliers be prosecuted if found guilty.
To the Federal Government and various States Governments,the following measures are recommended for reinforcement:
✓ All elevated buildings in the State and Nigeria at large must not be approved without a proven report on subsoil investigation,as structural details is not enough to ascertain structural integrity.
✓Provison for operation and maintenance (O& M) in all intending buildings/general infrastructure facilities in the state and Nigeria at large,right from the conceptual designs or written approval from qualified facility manager/management companies to further effect the sustainability of such facility.
✓Government to subside the cost of Non Destructive Test(NDT) , making it affordable for intending building owners carry out such test on construction materials and building components.
✓Government in collaberation with various engineering bodies/building construction bodies to make provision for compulsory Non Destructive Test (NDT) on all buildings of 20 years and above with more pronounced structural defects.
✓Testing laboratories to be established by Government in major cities of every state.
✓Arrest and prosecute any wrong personnel handling construction activities.
✓Arrest and prosecute compulsory staff of any Government agencies in charge of physical planning and urban Development,all housing and infrastructural facilities regulatory agencies.
✓Strict adherence to building regulations, building engineering standards and specifications.
✓Report all distressed buildings and infrastructural facilities in the various states to the accredited authorities through it’s various social platforms.
As a matter of urgency,the above outlined measures and many others, must be taken to avert future occurrences of building collapse, which has continued to destroy lives and properties.
In conclusion, individuals, groups, organizations and all concerned bodies in the whether in the industry or not, should imbibe the habit of blowing whistles of all distressed buildings in any location across all states of the federation, until the needful is done.