Friday, 1st December 2023

Nigerian Institute of Architects urges domestication of National Building Code by States

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
04 August 2023   |   6:47 pm
In a bid to ensure the wellbeing of the citizenry, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has called for the expeditous domestication of the National Building Code.

Dr Vwaere Diaso

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In a bid to ensure the wellbeing of the citizenry, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has called for the expeditous domestication of the National Building Code.

NIA’s President, Arc. Enyi Ben-Eboh in a statement expressed concern over the unfortunate and painful incident of the untimely death of Dr. Diasco Vwaere in an elevator accident at the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island, Lagos State.

He stressed the need to ensure that all reviews on the building code are carried out so as to have it signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Furthermore, the apex Architect body noted that it behooves the 36 State Governments of the Federation to as a matter of priority commence and conclude the process of domestication of the National Building Code in their various States.

They further called on State governments to domesticate the spirit and intent of Executive Order 11 by setting up State Public Assets Maintenance Agencies to oversee the maintenance of State owned public buildings in all States of our Federation.

“These agencies must also have oversight powers to enforce maintenance of public buildings owned by private entities,” they noted.

The Architects noted that they will not only design and erect taller buildings but we will also deploy more advanced technologies to operate them.

They contended that simplified maintenance systems that utilize clearly identified risk-based responsibility matrix plans will help in the maintenance of our buildings nationwide with the more complex ones required more regulatory oversights and periodic inspections.

They added: “The Nigerian Institute of Architects as well as allied professionals within the built environment not only possess the competence and experience but also stand ready to collaborate with Government at all levels in the establishment and operation of these agencies.

“It is imperative that an integrated systems driven approach is implemented one which is collaborative in nature, competence driven, transparent and accountable.”

The Architects stressed the need to focus on the poor state of the nation’s public buildings.

They added: “Our buildings, especially the large multistory types, are complex systems which comprise of layers of sub systems working together to ensure safe, conducive and efficient human occupation and utilization.

” These subsystems include the structural and building envelope, vertical transport systems, HVAC systems, electrical systems (lighting, power, communication, media, security systems etc) to mention a few.

“As in every building, especially as in the current case, there should ideally exist a close relationship between the Client/Owner, the Architects, Engineers and the Contractor towards owning and managing all the risks the project poses from the inception stage to the project delivery stage and the post-construction/ occupancy stage (the entire lifespan of the building).

“It is the failure of risk ownership that has led not only to the more familiar failures like building collapses at the construction stage but also of potentially more severe cases like severe fire outbreaks, post-construction building collapses, vertical transport system failures, HVAC and air handling system failure among others.

“In recognizing the shortcomings of our maintenance culture, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on April 5, 2022, signed Executive Order 11 which focuses on the maintenance of our National public buildings and culminated in the setting up of the Federal Public Assets Maintenance Department (FPAMD).

“While such interventions are commendable, it is important that our nation departs from the silo-ed approach in policy formulation and implementation to an all of government/ all encompassing approach that is simple and collaborative across all tiers of Government and society.”