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Causes of Building Collapse

Collapse of buildings is not new to Nigeria, neither is it only peculiar to Nigeria, however that will not stop us from taking critical look at the situation and finding a solution to it.
Collapse of building though can happen to any kind of building but the casualty of multistorey buildings can be so terrible.
The collapse of storey buildings in Nigeria, especially in Lagos usually goes along with it attending casualties which can be more than 20. But what really motivates multistorey buildings.
Multistorey buildings are either built because of social status, there are places you get to and all what you see are very high building so you don’t want yours to be unnoticeable among them.
Commercial viability of a location also make more people to build storey structures in an area because more people will jostle for space to exhibit or get contact with their customers or client.
Area accessibility, some location are routes to a lot of places so high vehicular and human traffic is usually associated with such places, hence more commercial activities.
So why the peculiarity of big cities like Port-Harcourt and Lagos. You will see that the criteria above one way or the other affects this two cities.
There is always a tendency of man habiting very close to water because of the opportunity of controlling the waterways which can give opportunity for inter trade between nations. Lagos and Portharcourt have so much prominence today because of their nearness to water. Their closeness to water naturally gave room for shipping ports in these areas, shipping port in turns promotes commercial activities, and commercial activities naturally generates heavy human traffic and human being requires shelter for himself, his goods and services. So building springs up in these places and that brings competition for very few available spaces. Hence to meet demand, designers and building constructors will have to settle for multistorey building because of increasing unending economic value of these places. That is why in Lagos Island or Isale Eko Portharcourt and other area where ships can berth, there will always be influx of people and buildings will keep springing up due to this. political activities or decision is also a factor that have contributed in making these cities bigger. Also availability of Natural and human resources is important. Natural resources had also contributed to the growth of some towns in Nigeria.
Now, the soil in these areas are sandy and loose soil they are not strong or compacted soils. Hence, the requirement of building construction professionals are usually high here. For most of these buildings, they dig long and strong piles foundation, however few still collapses. Most houses of 3,4 or storey buildings in Lagos Island are at best good for 15 years. Remember the land themselves are not strong, and people builds on these lands using templates used for better and more compacted lands. So what causes the collapse of this houses or buildings.

(1) The first problem is boycotting the professionals -

This issue has been overflogged both in print media and electronic media but the same problem still persists. There is also a problem of eggheads professionals, that believes they know all and are not ready to take advice from a colleague. There are known cases like that, that has turned awry, the big buildings that are collapsing in Lagos business district were handled by professionals.

(2) Contractors cutting corners -

Contractors trying to make gains at the expense and lives of the users of the building is another problem that have to be tackled. There should be a check from policy makers to make sure specification is thoroughly followed by contractors.

(3) Human activities on building -

As insignificant human weight may seem to be, the moving up and down of the live loads and dead load contributes overtime in no small measure in wearing down the building. It will take long time though, but houses also expires, and in the case of the types of buildings we have in Nigeria, there lifespan is shorter than others in civilised world.

(4) Inadequate foundation -

This is the most important part of a building, unfortunately a lot of people are not giving adequate monitoring to this and is causing more problem. A registered Structural Engineer is very important to you if you are planning on building a strong and solid multistorey building. (5)Aging Building – Many do not know that buildings also have their life span most of the building in Lagos Mainland have spent 25 years and above, despite that they are of shallow foundation and very low quality materials are used for them. As you lay your bed, so you’ll lie on it. If you had used low quality material thereby thinking you’ll cut cost, then also be expecting to park out of that building very soon.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 28th, 2007 at 11:50 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

28 Responses to “Causes of Building Collapse”

  1. kayode Ajogbon Says:

    need more information

  2. longman olofin Says:

    what do you think we can do to stop all these messed in nigeria building collapsing.

  3. Zayyana Yakubu Kurfi Says:

    Do not manage the building materials.

  4. Zayyana Yakubu Kurfi Says:

    Do not manage the building materials.

  5. joseph Says:

    Is it true that cantelevering of more than 2 planks requires a pillar to support it. How safe is a cantelevering of 3 to 5 planks?

  6. emma Says:

    Thats very untrue, one plank is approximately 300mm in width, so two of it is merely 600mm. There have been cantilevers of 900mm and more but this depends on the structural design and the types of reinforcements you use for it.
    To save yourself though one of the precautions to take is to do two planks and make sure the Iron rods returns are up to 1200mm in lenghts. Guess I have to write a topic on this.
    Thanks

  7. emma Says:

    By monitoring the building projects when is on, work and make compulsory the plans done by professionals. The authority should be more responsible to their duties etc

  8. Prince laiyembi Says:

    lack op expertize, 2. technical know how and negligence by the government, i.e good building materials and poor infrastructures like drainage.

  9. Faphounda folashade olarinde Says:

    Why is it that this topic base on nigeria alone ?

  10. egbo stephen c Says:

    wt do we do in order to stop building collapse in nigeria.

  11. Emeka okoye Says:

    It is high time we Nigerian should stand tall and accept the fact which is doing the right thing at the right time, allowing the professionals to handle a professional issues, as i have never seen a chemist who is caring out an operation in a hospital

  12. Ugo Says:

    COREN should be given teeth to bit and wings to fly by All levels of government. All buildings above 2-story should be cross approved, supervised and controlled by paid officers of COREN.

  13. Muhammed Hammed Olanrewaju Says:

    Government should enforced the involvement of qualified building professionals in every stages of building design & construction

  14. Engr. Seth Chuks Says:

    A lot of Nigerians believed in paper work, that is certificates. Nowadays lot of quack engineers and contractors pretend to be graduates or degree holders without knowing where to start erecting building. These quack contractors and engineers really makes more money than the expertize ones, they make quick money, build overnight without knowing the major steps of CURING IN BUILDING.
    Some clients decide to execute their projects to some contractors/engineers simple because they have relationships with them, that’s very wrong to take such risk. As a client, ask questions, find out some relevant informations regarding to whom you prefer, also find out how many professional jobs and experiences the workmen has gotten and their artistic appearances in construction and designing. All building materials and components has their terms and way of using them. Failure to knowing this simple ideas will also amount to shear forces or collapses. Well more ahead.

  15. Akpoatimifa Teinane Mega Says:

    This publication wil go a long way to expose to Nigerians the causes of building failure and probably the remedy. And if properly taking into practice will reduce the risk of building failure, lost of property and life.

  16. Yaddak J. Ezekiel Says:

    It wanderful how can I download it?

  17. Udunna Samuel .O. Says:

    Building construction in Nigeria is suffering from poor implementation and managerial rubbery/ theft.

  18. Ibrahim Jekada Dansadau Says:

    Another factor that leads to abrupts structural failure in Nigeria, which has not been talk about particularly (North) where i know most is Political influence. Some buildings that has either collapsed, deteriorated or did not reaches expected life span must not be unconnected with politics! In situation where by contractors usually violates specifications and use poor quality materials that end up with very poor, rough and substandard work. Which at the end, they will be paid even without resident engineer’s approval due to their political influences!

  19. Ibrahim Jekada Dansadau Says:

    Another factor that leads to abrupts structural failure in Nigeria, which has not been talk about particularly (North) where i know most is Political influence. Some buildings that has either collapsed, deteriorated or did not reaches expected life span must not be unconnected with politics! In situation where by contractors usually violates specifications and use poor quality materials that end up with very poor, rough and substandard work. Which at the end, they will be paid even without resident engineer’s approval due to their political influences!
    Therefore, politicians must be distanced from involving directly into building industry. So that, only contructions company may have access to building contract.

  20. KINGSLEY SOLOMON Says:

    HI EVRYONE, I’VE BEEN INTO PILLING FOR BUILDING FOUNDATION FOR ABOUT 10YRS NOW. I AV DONE MANY JOBS WITH SUCCESS. PLACES LIKE MARYLAND,AJAH,GBAGADA,OJOTA,PARK VIEW, ETC.I DO BORE-HOLE AS WELL.MY CONTACT ARE:08069643255,07032941661.kifeta@yahoo.com.I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE.

  21. daniel Says:

    how can water influence affect the safety and stability of civil engineering

  22. daniel Says:

    how can water influence or affect the safety and stability of civil engineering

  23. Bld Ifeanyi Says:

    Building constructions shuild b handled by Builders, while d drawings shuild b dawn by an Architect & not both handled by one person.

  24. omolayo kayode Says:

    . In Nigeria, the common causes of building collapse have been traced to bad design; faulty construction; foundation failure; extraordinary loads, use of unqualified contractors and poor project monitoring and above all, lack of enforcement of building codes by the relevant Town Planning Officials (Badejo,2009; Falobi, 2009; Bamidele, 2000). Akosile (2010) noted that building “collapse occurs when the structural frame of a building breaks up when the loads on it are beyond its carrying capacity”. However, none of these have adequately focused on mechanisms led to the state which triggered the building collapse.

  25. Justin Says:

    To me the owners who want to cut cost contribute to all these. Also building Engineer that want steal materials are not spare. Then govt agents who refused to do their bits and allow the building laws to be effective have their own share of the blame.

  26. Gideon Says:

    Pls What should i do to save a story building that as crack all over the base and the foundation.

  27. bisola Says:

    the best thing to do inorder to save life and property is to evacuate everything in d building.though it may leads to financial cost of rebuilding it again but lives does not have duplicate..just evacuate everything in the building.and break it down….for rebuilding process to start

  28. FAWALE Says:

    u ave come up with a good work sir, but catilever of 600mm to support the blk work for 2 story build should not be encourage in the industry. Bcs the foundation need to bear the load presure transmitting from the super structure not the catilever.

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