Professionals seek involvement in construction, building maintenance
To further reduce incidences of collapse building in the country, built environment professionals have called for strict adherence to pre and post maintenance culture as well as the involvement of experts at every stage of building construction.
They agreed that comprehensive preconstruction investigation should involve participation of geoscientists, other professionals in building constructions and the use of standard materials including adopting new building technology.In addition, governments at local, state and federal levels should be actively involved in supervision and monitoring of every stage of building construction.
The professionals made the submission at a one-day symposium in Ikeja, Lagos themed: “Building Maintenance (Pre and Post Construction)” organized by Building Collapse Prevention Guild, (BCPG), Ikeja Cell. The event attracted built environment industry experts from the academics, government and real estate.
In fact, speakers lamented that professional handlers of projects are often tempted and succumb to specifying materials, which may not have good aesthetic value, and stand up to the vagaries of weather and other environmental factors.
President, Nigerian Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment, Prof. Gabriel Adeyemi, said Geoscientists in Nigeria have to be given their deserved recognition and role in construction of buildings as it was the case in developed countries where even a bungalow cannot be constructed until a geoscientist has had an input.
The import of which he said would ensure putting in place essential maintenance specification at pre construction of projects and giving building occupiers maintenance guides.
Adeyemi, a lecturer at University of Ibadan, believed geoscientists would prevent differential settlement, which can be due to uneven loading of the foundation by the structure, or heterogeneous nature of the foundation soils.
An Associate Professor in the Department of Building, University of Lagos, Olamide Adenuga lamented that in-spite of millions of Naira spent to erect imposing and monumental buildings, they are left, as soon as commissioned, to face premature but steady rapid deterioration and dilapidation.
He said the culture of building maintenance would also preserve the physical characteristic of the building and associated services so as to reflect fewer breakdowns and thereby reduce the probability of early failure.
Speaking on the role of the estate surveyors and valuers in building maintenance, Mr. Olayinka Omotosho harped on the need to involve estate surveyor and valuer at the conceptualization stage. “He is vividly aware of the market and can give the developer the highest and best use for his site; this is to avoid building a property which is not occupied and overtime becomes an eyesore to the society. Such properties grow weak over time and can collapse due to varying forms of obsolescence.”
General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA), Dotun Lasoju, an engineer, said the agency would continue to enforce stage certification and orderly development of buildings in the state, to ensure that the built professionals get it right at each stage of construction.
Earlier, the BCPG Coordinator, Ikeja Cell, Zulaikha Iyabode Bolarinwa said the symposium was in-line with the tenet of contributing to quality assurance in the building industry.