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Architects canvass strict regulation in housing sector



Permanent Secretary, (FMARD) Sonny Echono

MOVED by the persistent cases of building collapse and project failure, architects have urged built environment professionals to adhere to the work specifications in the National Building Code.

They made the call at the  “Archibuilt 2015”, organised  by the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), in Abuja last week, with the theme “Archibuilt 2015 is Solutions for Everyday Living Part II”, which focused on how to stem the tide of building collapse and project failures.

Speaking at the event, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Sonny Echono, an architect, was of the opinion that challenges in the construction sector, especially building collapse could be put in check if professionals adhere to the code that specifies the minimum standards for quality of materials for various uses in construction.

According to Echono, problems come apparently when people trying to cut corners by using lower specifications or poor workmanship. “Unfortunately, sometimes developers are in a hurry—they don’t wait for the concrete to cure.

This is more of human error or deliberate attempt to cut corners.”    He charged professional bodies to sanction professionals involved in shoddy job execution. “The best we can do is to tighten our regulatory framework – authorities responsible for approving building plan must go out and supervise construction to ensure that proper work is done.

From the experience we have had so far, it’s abuse of materials – for example, if one specify 16mm iron rod and 12mm iron rod was used, the difference is that 12mm iron rod has its own use so you have abused the use of that.

Therefore, one can’t blame the manufacturer of the iron, but rater the user who don’t use it for the purpose it supposed to be used,” said the Permanent secretary.

NIA President, Waheed Niyi Brimmoh, said that through Archibuilt, architects have demonstrated their commitment to national development as the forum brings manufacturers of building materials to talk to the public on application of the materials.

He urged exhibitors and visitors to the event to consciously explore and constructively analyze the products and services, jointly or individually proffer enhanced solutions that will not only transform ways and processes but that will lead to concrete economic, emotional and socio-cultural advancements.

Brimmo stated that Archibuilt Development Services Limited was set up to undertake training, skill acquisition, accreditation and certification of building materials as well as mandate to carry out the income-generating business of regular exhibition of building and construction materials, technologies and services – Archibuilt.

Other objectives, he listed include to promote greater participation by the organized private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in housing delivery and to promote the adoption of green built environments, by regular publishing of the results of research in green technologies from other parts of the world.

The Chairman Archibuilt Development Services Limited, Alhaji Jimoh Faworaja said the building industry today is evolving very rapidly and broadening in equal measure, adding that the ability to keep with trends, challenges, policies, technologies and systems require the acquisition of knowledge and engaging in constant discuss and exchange of such knowledge.     “This knowledge exchange drives human capacity development that is relevant to current and emerging issues surrounding everyday living within the built environment.” Faworaja noted.

The Marketing Manager, West African Ceramics Ltd., Emmanuel Egar, said he expressed satisfaction with the event, noting that since opening of his company’s stand in the first day of the event, there had been a lot of inflow of potential buyers of the products.

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