Tragedy struck on Wednesday 13th March, 2019 when a Lagos building collapsed at Massey Street, Ita-Faaji, Lagos State, Nigeria. A three-storey building housing a school collapsed with more than 20 people (mostly children) dying.
This is just one of the many building collapses that have been witnessed in Nigeria. Some of the recorded cases of collapsed buildings were at the construction stage, others even had some occupants.
6 Lessons To Learn From The Lagos Building Collapse
In as much as there is nothing we can do about the past, we can at least prepare for safer housing. This article expresses the lessons to learn from the Lagos building collapse.
Soil testing is one of the first analysis that is carried out before construction. This test is conducted at the laboratory; the result shows the physical and chemical composition of the soil.
The test also help to determine the capacity of the soil. One can accurately predict the weight bearing capacity of the land.
Sapient Vendor being a professional construction company in Nigeria takes note of these little details, especially with storey buildings.
As noted, building collapse can lead to forfeiture of property, untimely death and money.
- Get the soil tested, especially when building on a swampy area, this will help to determine the depth of the building’s foundation and the choice of foundation.
THE BUILDING’S FOUNDATION
The foundation of a building is the most critical of any construction project; one can say the foundation of the unseen hero of any construction project.
Whether, it’s a road, culvert, bridge or duplex you want to construct, you must get the foundation right!
Many of the building collapse incidences have been attributed to faulty foundations.
Some foundations are made to hold a bungalow, only for the developer and owner to decide to add 1-2 more floors while it’s still been constructed. The result is inevitable; sooner or later it will come crashing down.
Determine the type of structure you want to build. Get an architectural drawing of your proposed structure; engaging a structural engineer is very paramount.
The ground will not be able to hold the building if the right depth of foundation is not used.
Some foundation might require just the concrete while others might require a reinforced concrete.
- Determine the type of structure you want to build.
- Get an architectural drawing of your proposed structure
- Get a reputable building contractor to execute the foundation. You just can’t afford to make the mistake of getting quacks because you are trying to manage resources.
SUB-STANDARD BUILDING MATERIALS
Despite the SON’s (Standard Organisation of Nigeria) and Nigeria Customs advocacy for material testing and authorization by the manufacturer before selling, sub-standard building materials still find their way into the market.
Building materials should be of the recommended standard. Every material has its own life span.
A well-built concrete can last for an average 40 – 50 years before one starts to notice signs that require the building integrity test.
- The use of scrap metals in reinforcement should be discouraged.
- Building materials should be gotten from verifiable dealers.
- We can understand that not everyone can identify quality material because the counterfeit materials are made to look like the original.
However, we recommend you get in touch with Sapient Vendor; they have the resources to help you deliver your proposed structure.
CONDUCT BUILDING INTEGRITY TEST
Ideally, a building is expected to be tested for strength at every stage of construction.
However, the developers fail to do this test because they want to save some money for themselves.
This brings to mind the aftermath of the Lagos building collapse, where the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode ordered for immediate testing of other buildings in the affected area and instructed the demolition of buildings that failed the integrity test.
This is the one test that is carried out after a structure has been completed.
- Periodically test the building.
- Don’t underrate experience; get construction vendors who have good track records.
ADHERENCE TO BUILDING SPECIFICATION
Every kind of building has its specifics. The architectural design, survey plan and structural design all make up a building’s specification.
The strict interpretation of all mentioned document will give the kind of structure you want to build.
It is important to note that prior to construction, building plans and survey plans are approved by the regulatory body, so you can from the inception know if your proposed structure can be built at the proposed location.
- Get the land surveyed so that the structure is properly situated.
- Have an architectural design for your proposed building and ensure its approval by the regulatory body.
Keeping record might seem like an odd act to a layman, but it’s actually one the professional acts of a Construction company.
Activities of every stage of the construction must be documented for reference purposes.
There should be synergy between the survey, the builders and the town planners. If for any reason a client decides to change its project executor, the record of work done will help guide the new person to maintain the standard or otherwise.
If activities are not documented, the new contractor will find it difficult to continue the job.
Information on the type of foundation that was laid is just one of the main records that will help the new contractor moving forward.
- For any construction company – always keep the record of activities at each stage of construction.
- For clients – insist on record keeping. Should you terminate the contract of your contractor, ensure you get a proper record of activities done at your site.
We have been able to express 6 things you should look out for while trying to prevent a sudden building collapse.
Trust this article have informed you better, we love to hear from you. Use the comment section below.
Our heart also goes out to the people who have lost their loved ones to an incidence of building collapse, may their souls rest in peace.