7 Lessons to learn from the Lagos Building collapse

It was such a sad day for the residence of Ikoyi as a 21-storey building structure collapsed on the 1st of November, 2021.The structure was one of three high-rise residential complexes owned by Femi Osibona, the Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Limited. The development project, which began in 2020 and was scheduled to be completed in 2022, was believed to have sold several units of flats costing millions of naira to potential homeowners whose dreams were dashed on Monday when the skyscraper collapsed.

7 Lessons To Learn From The Lagos Building Collapse

The terrifying sight of a 21-story structure disintegrating and turning into a pile of gravel, trapping about 50 people, including the building's owner, contractors, site supervisors, engineers, bricklayers, and others who were unlucky enough to be present at the time. Some individuals have been rescued, but others have been carried out dead, and as of today 42 victims have been recorded dead. It’s such an unfortunate incident.

This isn’t the first time a building in Lagos has collapsed, and it is unlikely to be the last. What went wrong, exactly? What are the reasons that are causing buildings to collapse, trapping people inside, and murdering people in Nigeria, particularly Lagos state? Kindly read through as we discuss most of these questions in this article.

Ways To Avoid Building Collapse

  1. Avoid Low-Quality Materials: One of the most important ways to avoid a building collapse is to utilize high-quality building materials. According to building experts, one of the biggest causes of building collapse is building contractors' failure or lack of effort in adhering to rigorous adherence to quality building materials. According to a study conducted by the Nigerian Standard Organization, poor quality building materials, particularly cement, are a primary cause of building collapse in Nigeria.

As a result, builders should always utilize suitable materials and cement specifications for the appropriate construction types to minimize building collapse. Many people construct homes without using the services of a professional contractor. In order to construct a structure, it is critical to hire a qualified contractor or structural Engineer who can provide correct structural designs that are ideal for the building’s size and can handle the building's overall weight.

  1. Conduct A Soil Test Examination: In the construction of buildings, the mobilization of registered geotechnical experts is critical. The carrying capability of the soil is determined by these experts. This aids all consultants in determining the maximum building weight that the landed property can support. In any building project, the quality of the soil on your site is critical. As a result, you must determine the soil's qualities in order to assess its potential to support your construction. Soil testing allows you to examine the appropriateness of the soil, giving you with crucial information for making informed decisions and planning.

For instance, Lagos state has swampy ground, and many estates are developed on reclaimed land. This means that the foundations of such structures must be sturdy and based on the results of a thorough soil test. This test eventually helps in preventing building collapse in the future or even while construction is still ongoing.

  1. Hire A Professional Building Contractor: The hiring of a qualified contractor is 'very vital' in the construction of a building. You must inspect the types and numbers of tools and equipment whether you are a foreign or local contracting organization. If you're going to hire local builders, make sure they're capable of doing the task. By looking at their previous work, chatting with previous clients, and examining their staff strength, which includes the amount of skilled and unskilled employees.
  1. Ensure the Use of Appropriate Foundations Design and Construction Format: The registered structural engineer will design an appropriate building foundation based on the geotechnic engineers' test results. The structural engineer also provides advice on construction methods at every stage of the project, from start to finish. Ensure that the building plan follows the appropriate foundation design and construction instructions to avoid building collapse.
  1. Listen To the Specifications of The Consultants: It’s not enough to hire the services of a professional building contractor but also to listen and implement their instructions. To avoid a building collapsing, follow the working drawings and specifications provided by the architect and structural engineer. Do not substitute 'cheaper' products that are not appropriate for the job. Just like the case of this collapsed building, a letter was seen issued by Prowess Engineering limited to the Femi Osibona of Fourscore Heights Limited, the main contractor stated then tend to withdraw from the project because the project's implementation does not satisfy the acceptable standards. It said that “This letter is to formally inform you of the withdrawal of our structural consultancy service from the above named project. We arrived at this decision due to the fact that we no longer share same vision with you as our client in terms of how the project is being executed,”. If only the contractor paid attention to this piece of information, lives and properties would have been saved.
  1. Obedient To State Building Rules and Regulations: You must follow the regulations governing building construction in your area. These regulations are in place to ensure the health, safety, and quality of built environments. Encroachment on setbacks and construction over the maximum number of floors allowed in a local community are two common breaches. Follow the National Building Code to avoid a building collapsing, catching fire, or being demolished by law enforcement agents.
  1. Full Implementation of the National Building Code: The national construction code must be fully implemented by all means to avoid demolition. And It's a document that's supposed to govern the behavior and operations of construction industry professionals and stakeholders. It is believed that the lack of a National Building Code is to blame for the constant occurrence of collapsed buildings across the country, just like the case of this 21-storey building in Ikoyi which was formally sealed off in 2020 but was resisted by the owner. According to Gbolahan Oki, the general manager of LASBCA; he said: “He got an approval for a 15-storey building and he exceeded his limit. I am on the ground here and the materials he used are so inferior and terrible,”.

In conclusion, if only the national Building code was followed properly, it would have helped regulate the use of non-professionals in the building and the entire construction industry and ensure compliance by contractors, preventing the use of untested products and materials and preventing future structural failures.

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Dennis Isong Helps Individuals Invest Right In Real Estate. For Questions On This Article Or Enquiring About Real Estate .Follow him on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/LandPropertyNG/ or Whatsapp/Call +2348164741041

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