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Architects chart course for post- COVID-19 construction industry

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Professional architects have charted a path to navigate the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic in the construction sector. They noted that the pandemic presents a very destructive impact on the global economy.

Setting the tone for discussion during a Webinar organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos State Chapter on the
“Impact of Covid-19 on the Architecture/ Construction Industry: Strategies to manage its effects and expectations post-COVID-19”, the institute’s president, Sunny Echono said, the pandemic is redefining the role of architects, the options and instruments for sustaining practices.

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He noted that the pandemic has led to the adoption and use of technology, the reclassification and characterisation of the use of space as well as various interaction with environment to improve infrastructure, while providing low skilled jobs and enhancing competitiveness.

This, he said, must become progressively creative and innovative in addressing the challenges posed, which include jobs and revenue losses, limitations to funding sources, shrinking effective demands and investments.

Echono said, there will also be increasing demand for better building operations, high standards for safety, little patience and intolerance for high cost and inefficient buildings.

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Environmental considerations including preservation, conservation and sustainability principles, he said, must receive desired attention, while empathy for nature and life itself must find greater expression in terms of honesty of forms and materials.

He urged architects to proffer solutions that are effective, appropriate for different purposes as their trainings and prepositions have prepared them to fulfill their mandate and should not let mankind down.

For Mr. Roti Delano, the impact of coronavirus on the private sector has been colossal, leading to increases in co-working spaces, remote working over locations and increase in the use of technology.

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He also noted that the pandemic has created construction documentation process and reduction of operation cost, reduction of workers, change in client’s requirement and business models as well as changing, demands for building styles,

Delano, who is the principal at Delano Architects, urged professionals to look at the business of architecture differently, embrace technology with the use of smart phones and value by employing the positives of the coronavirus pandemic.

In his remarks, Chairman of the chapter, Mr. Fitzgerald Umah, said the virus has affected the world, causing a lot of job losses, while the impact of the pandemic has further depleted construction industry’s six per cent contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products.He stressed that the Webinar was staged to educate architects and professionals in the construction industry on how to navigate through the pandemic.

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