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New solution to end building collapse

The importance of cooperation among all professionals in the built environment cannot be overemphasised for they must work in unison at the inception and throughout…

The importance of cooperation among all professionals in the built environment cannot be overemphasised for they must work in unison at the inception and throughout the project duration to ensure the establishment of a reliable sub-substructure for the building.

The various professionals involved in building construction should be called upon at various stages to certify that the materials used are not substandard and that the building meets the requirements of the industry.

Therefore, the concept of stage-by-stage certification is the key to addressing building collapse in the country.

There is what is called a “substructure,” which typically refers to the foundation to the ground floor level of a building. At this stage, all those who would be involved in the building production would have met to discuss the peculiarity of the project at hand concerning their respective professional roles.

This includes the structural engineer, architect, and professional builder among other professionals who will ensure that the excavations of the trenches and the entire foundation are well executed in line with safety standards.

In advanced societies, a certified professional examines the respective stages and appends his or her signature to a document, indicating that he or she guarantees that the particular aspect of the substructure and building meets the minimum standard of his profession.

We must also train our artisans because they execute instructions, as such, they are also involved in the construction of a building.

Improperly trained artisans can cause building collapse because they can mix concrete in the wrong ratio if they are not properly trained.

So, the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) will ensure that artisans are properly trained and we will collaborate with government agencies to boost knowledge and bridge any gap that could lead to a shortfall in standards.

There is also the need to ensure that only standard materials are used in the building process.

The professional builder is chiefly responsible for the building process. He should be engaged to certify that the various building materials to be used meet the quality specifications of the industry, and the structural engineer should also be invited to certify that the reinforcements are in line with globally accepted standards.

The absence of collaborative effort of various built environment professionals is one of the causes of building collapse in Nigeria. In various ways, this absence leads to the production of substandard houses which have failed to stand the test of time.

We therefore wish to call on real estate developers, corporate entities, and individuals who wish to own their homes and structures to engage professionals, and this will substantially address the challenge of building collapse.


Bldr. Alderton Ewa is the President of the Nigerian Institute of Building.

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