Engineers want integrity test for buildings
To ensure stability of buildings, engineers under the aegis of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStructE) has called for a policy that will ensure that integrity tests are carried out on buildings above ten years.
President of NIStructE, Edward Atumonyogo, told The Guardian shortly after the institution’s visit to Planet Project, the firm handling the construction of three terminals at the Oshodi Transport Interchange,
He said: “Generally, we have some designs to last for 50 years but it does not mean, they will collapse after 50 years. But what we are saying is that there is need to ensure that the structural components are well maintained so that they can last for 50 years and beyond.
According to him, carrying out structural test on such buildings is very important because in advanced countries, Structural engineers are commissioned to do structural test after 10 years, especially on buildings that are showing some signs of distress.“ So it is an ongoing thing that structures be checked after 10 years to make sure that they are still in a very good condition.
“Already, we have recommended to Lagos state government that they need to be doing structural integrity test even though , they want to do it every year but that was not what we recommended”, he added.
The NIStructE president also recommended that engineers and structural engineers should be commissioned to carry out proper checks in buildings after 10 years to make sure that the buildings are in top shape especially buildings that show signs of distress.
“ What we are talking about is routine maintenance every 10 year to ensure that buildings are stable.“When you see inclined cracks or horizontal cracks, then you know that the foundation has serious problems.
“Also where there are some vertical cracks, that may be as result of rusty reinforcement or there is no bond between the concrete and the iron. In such a case you need to put in new concrete to make sure that the structure is stable”, he added.
During the tour of the sites, Atumonyogo, who praised the firm for putting a lot of thinking into the project, said although some buildings are designed to last for 50 years, there is need to carry structural tests on such buildings to guarantee their stability .Atumonyogo, who expressed gladness that a member of the institution was the structural engineer handling the project, said they were a bit worry when they could not find any of their member in the team.
Also a past president of the Institution, and the Chief Executive officer of Ove Arup & Partners Nigeria Limited, Kunle Adebajo, said the company has a big responsibility in restoring government’s confidence on Nigeria engineers.Expressing happiness that the project is being undertaken by Nigerians , he said t before now, government lacked the political will and confidence to give Nigerians projects, which has impacted negatively to the nation’s engineering practice.
Earlier, the managing Director of Planet Projects Limited, Abiodun Otunola,an engineer, has urged Nigerians to make themselves more relevant by learning how to communicate more in the society in terms of finance and economics.He said the three -multi level bus terminal was conceived to address the intractable transport problem in Lagos as well as to be a land mark project aimed at changing the narratives that Nigerians can do things for ourselves, when given the opportunity.