As the globe celebrates the World Architecture Day, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has challenged architects across the country “to be more circumspect while designing with respect to the health quality and livability of the environment and spaces that they create in addition to placing health and wellbeing as front burner issues in their designs with emphasis on preventive approach to healthcare as a means of reducing the curative aspects.”
Daily Trust reports that the 3rd Day of October is celebrated worldwide by the International Union of Architects (UIA), as World Architecture Day which also coincides with the United Nation’s World Habitat Day.
For this year, “Design for Health” has been chosen as the theme, drawing inspiration from the recent global pandemic that almost brought the world to a standstill and has certainly changed several world systems as well as response to the use of spaces within the context of these new realities.
President of NIA, Arc. Enyi Ben-Eboh, in a statement commemorating the day however lamented the sad stories of building collapse across the country as well as fire disaster.
He stated that the NIA will continue to work assiduously with all statutory agencies to curb the menace of unqualified individuals in the building industry.
This he said would be done “through consistent advocacy on the deployment of best practices in the monitoring and certification of the various stages of the building construction process by the relevant professionals in our neighbourhoods and cities as well as the strict enforcement of our extant laws and codes.”
He said, “As architects, we are more than ever before conscious of the complex relationship between architecture and the sustainability of the human race not only in preventing diseases but also in the totality of man’s wellbeing within the context of the environment.
“It is a well-known fact that the construction industry is one of the highest contributors to atmospheric greenhouse gases, accounting for about 38% of CO2 emissions.
“A significant number of diseases and/or health challenges emanate from unhealthy and unhygienic environments and spaces, the bulk of which are products of the works of architects. Not surprisingly most public health emergencies, with a few exceptions, tend to affect poorer, usually unplanned, communities the most. Unlike communities that promote good architecture, and where architecture as a profession flourishes, poor unplanned communities are often at the receiving end of both public health emergencies and initiatives.”
He decried the loss of life occasioned by building collapse and fire disaster, saying there was the need for strict enforcement of extant laws and codes.
“We believe that what’s at stake goes beyond mere criminality and affects the entire economic fabric of our society. It is the responsibility of all well-meaning professionals to work for the economic prosperity of the country.
“It is therefore the desire of all Nigerian Architects to promote these initiatives by working with other relevant stakeholders, such as policy makers, construction industry professionals and health care professionals to advance good health in our communities through quality design.
“Consequently, we have aligned the Theme of this year’s Annual Conference which comes up in Calabar, Cross River State between the 24th and the 27th of November, 2022 to Architecture, a Resource for Health and Wellbeing,” he added.