An examination of the causes and effects of building collapse in nigeria

8 August 2016

The research investigated the causes and consequence of building collapse in Nigeria using historical data from 1974 to 2006 and also proffers appropriate solutions. Relevant books, seminar papers, workshop papers, articles, etc. were reviewed so as to examine the general view of individuals that have worked on similar study. Data for the study were obtained through historical data of past building collapse in Nigeria. The data were presented and analysed using tables, bar graphs, Pearson moment correlation coefficient (r) and linear regression analysis to generate a model.

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Sixty (60) buildings that collapsed in the country were gathered, upon which the analysis was carried out. The study revealed that poor maintenance culture, design error, poor quality of materials and workmanship, natural phenomenon and excessive loading contributed to about 7%, 15%, 52%, 7% and 20% respectively of building collapse in Nigeria with most of them being private residential buildings executed by indigenous contractors. The study finally recommended that Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) should increase their effort in sanitizing building materials in the market.

More so, construction professionals should ensure proper supervision of workmen and efficient checking of materials before incorporation into building works. Keywords: Building Collapse, Nigeria, Historical what effects it will have on the building industry and Nigeria economy as a whole. One could imagine what edifices these buildings would have been if only they were constructed accordingly. It has been reported that Nigeria, especially Lagos State has become the “world’s junk-yard” of collapsed buildings worth billions of naira (Famoroti, 2005). It is quite unimaginable that a county blessedwith so great potentials in its construction industry can experience such magnitude of building collapse.

Introduction Since independence, the Nigeria government has desperately continued to make concerted effort in the area of quantitative (but not qualitative) supply of mass housing through huge budgetary and policy provisions but, surprisingly, the rate at which existing ones are collapsing calls for an urgent attention. The site of building collapse scattered across the length and breadth of Nigeria is quite alarming that it is unimaginable 37 Oke Ayodeji Fadamiro in 2002 defined building as“an enclosure for spaces designed for specific use, meant to control local climate, distribute services and evacuate waste”. Buildings can be defined as structural entities capable of securing self by transmitting weights to the ground.

More so, buildings are defined “as structures for human activities, which must be safe for the occupants” (Odulami, 2002). However, these same buildings have been posing treats and dangers to people either during or after construction as a result of its collapse. Collapse as a whole occurs when part or whole body of a structure fails and suddenly gives way, the structure, as aresult of this failure, could not meet the purpose for which it was meant for. Building collapse is an extreme case of building failure. It means the superstructure crashes down totally or partially (Arilesere, 2002). Building failure occurs when there is a defect in one or more elements of the building caused by inability of the material making up the components of such building elements to perform its original function effectively, which may finally lead to building collapse.

Buildings are meant to provide conveniences and shelter to the people, but the same building has been a dangertrap to the same people. Building is expected to meet certain basic requirements such as buildability, design performance, cost effectiveness, quality, safety and timely completion (Olusola, Atta & Ayangade, 2002). Generally, buildings are expected to be elegant and functional but many projects are constructed that do not meet any of these basic requirements.

The recurring incidence of building collapse, some of which claimed innocent lives is a consequence of this. Many studies has been carried out and various workshops organised in major cities of the country by various bodies, government agencies andinstitution in order to look into causes of the incidence of building collapse in Nigeria, but none has been able to come out with how each of the determined factors directly lead to building collapse in the country. There are many factors that cause building collapse in Nigeria and they are structural design and quality management according to Olusola(2002). The quality management entails material variability, testing variability, judgment factor, contractors’ variability, poorly skilled workmen and unprofessional conduct. The study aimed at examining causes of building collapse in Nigeria withrespect to historical data of available incidence of building collapse. Literature review Building industry The building industry is the most complex of all the industries in the economy and the basis of its complexity is founded on the simple fact that, all other industries and sector of the socio-economy depend on it for the environment in which they operate. The building industry is to all practical purpose an all-comers affair (Akindoyeni, 2002). It is an industry where all manners of local and foreign materials, professionals and equipments co-habit in order to achieve quality buildings of high standard.

The building industry plays an important and dynamic role in the process of sustainable 38 An Examination of the causes and effects of Building Collapse in Nigeria economic growth and development of any nation due to its size and complexity. It is to be noted that up to one-sixth of the total amount allocated to construction projects by Nigeria governments takes the form of building as observed from past budget of the country. Whether a country is just developing like Nigeria or is already developed like Britain, buildings all over the world, constitute the most valuable assets of mankind (Chinwokwu, 2000).

More so,while these buildings provide humanity with a great variety of accommodation in form of residences, mosques, churches, offices, schools, factories, hospitals, stadia, ports, hotels, and so on, it also provides employment for the skilled and unskilled persons. The building industry plays an important and dynamic role in the process of sustainable economic growth and development of any nation due to its size and complexity. It is to be noted that up to one-sixth of the total amount allocated to construction projects by Nigeria governments takes the form of building as observed from past budget of the country.

The aim and objective of the building industry is to provide suitable accommodation for the whole community, of the quality that can be appreciated by the community, at the cost that the community can afford, within the time required by the community and within the capacity of the building industry (Akindoyeni, 2002). However, it could be deduced that the ultimate goal for any building projects is for such projects to be delivered within the shortest possible time, at the lowest possible cost, within the highest possible quality so as to minimise the problem and the burden of future maintenance and building collapse.

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