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Over the last 10 years, the incidence of building collapse in Nigeria has become so alarming and does not show any sign of abating. Each collapse carries along with it tremendous effects that cannot be easily forgotten by any of its victim. These include loss of human lives, economic wastage in terms of loss of properties, jobs, incomes, loss of trust, dignity and exasperation of crises among the stake holders and environmental disaster. It can be rightly said that any pursuit of human endeavor has its cost, but the cost being paid in the Nigerian building industry cannot be justified. The fact that Nigeria is undergoing a tremendous transformation in the built environment cannot be over emphasized. This is in line with the growth that is being experience in the infrastructural and building industries all over the world for the effects of technological breakthroughs and consequently the ICT flattened world. But experiencing negative trends in the Nigerian building industries while other parts of the world are experiencing total improvements brings to fore the need to come out boldly and confront this ugly situation. The world today is facing a lot of other more serious man-made and natural crises such as global climate change which requires greater preparedness than the level on which we are standing today. For these facts, this paper addresses the impacts of building collapse on Nigerian strive for sustainable developmental. Probabilistic model of the linear regression analysis was used to establish the trend of heights and casualties. The results of this research will go a long way in reducing the building collapse phenomenon and the implications on the efforts of the nation to achieve the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs) and the Vision 20-2020.
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BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA: THE TREND OF CASUALTIES IN THE
LAST DECADE (2000 -2010)
Dr Anthony Nkem Ede
Department of Civil Engineering, Covenant University, PMB 1023 Ota, Ogun State -
Nigeria.
E-mail: aede@covenantuniversity.com
ABSTRACT
Over the last 10 years, the incidence of building collapse in Nigeria has become so alarming
and does not show any sign of abating. Each collapse carries along with it tremendous effects
that cannot be easily forgotten by any of its victim. These include loss of human lives,
economic wastage in terms of loss of properties, jobs, incomes, loss of trust, dignity and
exasperation of crises among the stake holders and environmental disaster. It can be rightly
said that any pursuit of human endeavor has its cost, but the cost being paid in the Nigerian
building industry cannot be justified. The fact that Nigeria is undergoing a tremendous
transformation in the built environment cannot be over emphasized. This is in line with the
growth that is being experience in the infrastructural and building industries all over the
world for the effects of technological breakthroughs and consequently the ICT flattened
world.
But experiencing negative trends in the Nigerian building industries while other parts of the
world are experiencing total improvements brings to fore the need to come out boldly and
confront this ugly situation. The world today is facing a lot of other more serious man-made
and natural crises such as global climate change which requires greater preparedness than the
level on which we are standing today. For these facts, this paper addresses the impacts of
building collapse on Nigerian strive for sustainable developmental. Probabilistic model of the
linear regression analysis was used to establish the trend of heights and casualties. The results
of this research will go a long way in reducing the building collapse phenomenon and the
implications on the efforts of the nation to achieve the Millennium Developmental Goals
(MDGs) and the Vision 20-2020.
KEYWORDS: Building Collapse, High death rate, MDGs, Vision 20-2020, Sustainable
Development.
INTRODUCTION
For the past 50 years, Nigeria has been striving to develop itself as a nation in every field of
human endeavour including the built environment. These structures serve as place of
residence, work, worship, etc or as means of transportation. They are so essential to man just
as air, water and food (Salau, 1996). The exponential population growth and the consequent
productive activities needed to sustain mankind forces the demand to be more pressing. The
quest to meet up with this demand has led to different approaches of realizing the housing
and infrastructural development – some genuine and some fake approaches, which lead to
structures of different qualities. When the quality of these structures fall below certain
standards, structural failures are inevitable. In the recent years, a lot of failures are being
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experienced among the existing structures and those under construction. The failure rate has
become so rampant that we have virtually lost count of the number of these disasters. On the
28th of April 2010, a two-storey market plaza in Oshodi - Lagos, collapsed, killing at least
four persons and leaving many others wounded. In the same way another one occurred at
Ikole Street, Abuja on 11th of August 2010, killing more than 13 occupants. The cost of these
failures in terms of human lives and enormous economic waste, loss of investments, job,
income, etc., cannot be over emphasized. Both the environmental impact and the disgrace it
brings to the professionals involved in the building industry must not be overlooked also.
Every structural system is designed to meet some needs and be safe to avoid loss of life,
property and damage to the environment. In a normal set up, failures are not expected within
the projected lifespan of structures. But due to the imperfection in the actions of human
beings and the existence of so many other external factors that influence the safety of
structures, failures do occur (Ede, 2010). Generally, structures do fail over time as a result of
human factors such as negligence, design flaws, ageing, material fatigue, extreme operational
and environmental conditions, accidents, terrorist attacks and natural hazards.
But the causes of building collapse in Nigeria can be traced to abnormal factors not
obtainable in many other nations. The Lagos State Government identified the principle causes
of collapse within the Lagos area as: deficient foundations, inadequate steel reinforcement,
poor materials and workmanship and inexperienced professionals, hasty construction, no soil
test, greed, poor supervision and non-adherence to the building codes. The causes of collapse
in Nigeria identified in literature can be re-grouped as: non-adherence to the building codes
and lack of adequate information on applicable code, use of unskilled labour, poor
supervision, poor material, flooding, ignorance, lack of maintenance, overloading, conflicts
among professionals and tendency of some professionals to step into some lucrative technical
fields without the appropriate skill, corruption and tendency to cheat.
As these negative facts occur in the Nigerian built environment, new emergencies continue to
emerge in the world. Today, the world is facing a lot of other more serious man-made and
natural crises than the type being faced in the Nigerian built environments. One of the
principal challenges confronting the world today is the global climate change caused by the
depleting ozone layer. Our coexistence with this phenomenon is a reality as virtually most of
the world crises and emergencies are linked to that. Our ecosystem is not adapting naturally
to the stresses caused by excessive population growth and the consequent increase in human
activities (Rudrappan, 2010). As the effects of the climate change are being made manifest
around the world, it is now known to us that no nation including Nigeria is immune from its
effects.
The climate change increases the rate and intensity of extreme weather events and the effects
are already evident across the length and breadth of Nigeria. They include but not limited to
desert encroachment in the northern part of Nigeria, many rivers drying up, gully erosion in
the south eastern part of the country, rising sea level and flooding in various parts of the of
the coastal areas of the country. Within the Gulf of Benin in which Nigerian coastal
boundaries lies in, it has been estimated that the 50-year mean sea level rise is about 3
mm/year, which will translate to about 50 m coastline retreat in the next 50 years. The people
living in the low lying coastal areas of Southern Nigeria, particularly in Lagos are under
threat. About half of the population of Lagosians living mainly in slums are exposed to this
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danger. All these will lead to damages to the few existing infrastructures and threats to the
safety and health of the populace. For these amazing facts, efforts need to be made to
drastically reduce the common incidence of building and infrastructural failures and the high
casualty as to be able to face unpredictable challenges that might emerge from the climate
change.
It is on these issues that this paper addresses the conceptual issues of building process,
analyzes questions raised in field researches on causes and effects of building collapse in
Nigeria and suggests ways to bring them under control with the primary aim of departing
from inefficiencies and reducing the waste of human lives.
METHODOLOGY
This research is based on the analysis of historical data on building collapse in Nigeria in the
last 3 decades and on field observations. The research started with the analysis of the basis
for the realization of robust structures that live up to expectations, then followed by what is
obtainable in the Nigeria built environment and the measures to bring the failures under
control. Simple linear regression analysis (Montgomery et.al., 2001) was used for the analysis
of the data as to hypothesize a probabilistic relationship between the rate of casualties and the
height of the collapsed buildings. In order to further test the extent of linear relationship
between the rate casualties resulting from collapse and the heights of collapsed buildings,
Pearson product moment correlation coefficient was calculated based on the formula:
 

where  and are the sample means for heights and casualties respectively.
THE BASIS OF OBTAINING ROBUST STRUCTURES
Every built structure is expected to satisfy the functional objectives of safety, serviceability
and economy. The processes of construction are complex and require the services of trained
professionals. A high level of skill is needed both in designing and construction (Ayininuola
and Olalusi, 2004). The tools to enable the professionals to realize these objectives are their
professional knowledge and experiences in the different specialized fields involved in the
process, available research materials, government regulations and codes. Activities necessary
for the realization of efficient structures take place in the following fundamental stages:
conceptual and design stage, construction-supervision stage and post construction/service
stage. Every part of these stages is extremely important in the life of the structure as a
mistake in any stage can have a far reaching effect in the whole building process.
The conception phase is the planning and feasibility studies stage in which some
professionals (e.g. Architects, Engineers, Project managers, etc) may assist the owner to
evaluate the technical options available for the realization and advice on the feasible choice.
The design phase involves more of technical preparations of the project, where the architect
designs the aesthetic form of the structure while engineers design the structural frames,
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proportion the sizes and choose the materials compatible with the form and the environment.
The basic requirements of safety, aesthetic, economy and constructability must be put into
consideration during the design process (Davison and Owens, 2003).
The activities of this stage will be completed with the estimation of the resources needed for
the execution and the approval by the authorizing agency of the government.
The construction-supervision stage involves numerous and often conflicting activities, such
that only trained professionals can handle them. This is the physical construction and over-
seeing of the structure designed in the previous stage and every effort is made to ensure
compliance of the quality with design and specification. At the completion of the construction
work, a certificate of fitness for use is issued to the client to authorize the usage of the
structure.
The post construction-service stage is the stage in which the facility serves the purpose for
which it was built without cursing any form of discomfort to the user. The usage must be in
conformity with the purpose of its design and any variation of usage must be authorized by
the competent professionals. The structure must be continually maintained in a good state as
to perform its functions for which it was built.
WHY BUILDINGS ARE COLLAPSING IN NIGERIA
Structural collapse occurs all over the world, but the rate of occurrence in Nigeria is beyond
bound. The causes of building collapse in Nigeria can be traced to abnormal factors not
obtainable in many other developing nations. Apart from the generally known causes of
collapse such as design flaws, ageing, material fatigue, extreme operational and
environmental conditions, accidents, terrorist attacks and natural hazards, the Nigerian factor
becomes a prominent issue to contend with (Ede, 2010). The Nigerian factor in the building
industry rears up its ugly head in different forms such as corruption, lawlessness and our
presumptions that any engineer or professional in the built environment can assume all forms
responsibility in a building process without the basic skill required for it. Corruption is made
manifest in greed and tendency to cheat in virtually every aspect, starting from poor materials
and quality of work to the quantities we adopt. As disobedience to civil laws is common in
Nigeria, the case in the building industry cannot be different. For this, lawlessness finds a
fertile ground in our non-adherence to the building codes and hasty construction. The use of
unskilled labour, inexperienced professionals, tendency of some professionals to cross-carpet
to lucrative specialist duties where they lack the skill, ignorance and the abundance of quacks
in the building industry are all facts to contend with. Excessive rain falls and poor drainage
systems pose a serious problem to structures along the Nigerian coastlines. It is a common
sight to see sinking old building around Lagos and within the coastal areas due to water
related problems and deficient foundations, yet not all the stake holders pay adequate
attention to this problem as many new structures manifest the same problem while the
structures are still under construction. In fact, most of the collapses verified in the recent
years occurred during construction stage. Issues of unregistered engineers and other
professionals operating in the field are very rampant. Even people without formal training in
any of the trades needed in the construction industry often sneak themselves into the system
to perform important tasks. In 2006, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria
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(COREN) recommended the persecution of a pharmacist who supervised a collapsed building
in Port Harcourt in 2005 (Olajumoke et. al., 2009). If these issues are put under control, then
the adverse effects to which our citizens are subjected to will be drastically reduced and we
will have more time and resources available to confront other problems and the unpredictable
consequences of the global warming which has come to stay with us.
Most of the facts high-lightened above were confirmed by one of the most recent collapse
verified in Abuja. On the 11th of August 2010, thirteen people died in a building, which
collapsed at Ikole Street, Abuja (figure 1), while about 35 persons are believed to be trapped
in the debris while 10 persons were rescued (Bukola, A. 2010). This was the third collapse
case in the city since the beginning of the year. The three storey building, a hotel, has been
under construction since 2001 and was later marked for demolition by the Federal Capital
Development Authority (FCDA) because the owner added an extra floor thereby making it a
four-storey building as against the specified three-storey building. When the agency
discovered this, the developer was issued a "stop work" order on the 12th of December 2009.
Fig.1 Catastrophic collapse at Ikole Street, Abuja of 11th August 2010 (courtesy TheNationonline)
The agency enforced the mechanical removal of the additional floor and subjected the entire
structure to Schmidt Hammer and Structural Integrity Tests on the 29th July 2010 and the
structure failed the tests. All the occupants were asked to move out of the building while legal
backing for the demolition was sought but never obtained till the collapse. As some people
illegally made the uncompleted structure their sleeping place at night, they became the
victims of the collapse. The causes of the deaths verified in this collapse include among other
things greed (the owner had the courage to seek redress from court against the demolition),
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non compliance with building rules and regulations, disturbance of the structural equilibrium
during the removal of the illegal fourth floor, exposure of construction materials to
deterioration (due to the infiltration of water and steel corrosion over the past 9 years in
which the structure was under construction) low quality materials, use of quacks and
unskilled personal, disobedience and poverty. Despite all the forewarnings and the efforts
made by the agency, many deaths still occurred in the building.
EFFECTS OF BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA
It can be rightly said that any pursuit of human endeavor has its cost, but the cost being paid
in the Nigerian building industry cannot be justified.
Each collapse carries along with it tremendous effects that cannot be easily forgotten by any
of its victims. The consequences are usually in the form of economic and social implications.
These include loss of human lives, injuries, economic waste in terms of loss of properties,
investments, jobs, incomes, loss of trust, dignity and exasperation of crises among the stake
holders and environmental disaster.
The quantification of the complete effects of any collapse is extremely difficult as there are
so many factors involved, and these including emotional and subjective factors. Apart from
the number of deaths that can often be truly identified, the rest of the effects are surrounded
by so many uncertainties which make the analysis only approximate. Leaving aside the
grossly quantifiable economic sums, the stress, trauma and shocks may have some far-
reaching effects upon the building owner and/ or employees, occupants, and others involved
in one way or the other with the structure. The negative impact of such failures on the social-
economic development of our economy is obvious. As many precious lives are lost, the
nation looses the contribution that could have come from these victims towards the socio-
economic growth of the nation. More so, this increasing rate of death from building collapse
in Nigeria runs against the United Nations MDGs programs aimed at reducing the mortality
rate and improving safety and life expectancy of the world population. For this, the incidence
of deaths during the collapses is deeply analyzed in the remaining parts of this paper as to
proffer solutions towards reducing it.
ANALYSIS OF DATA AND THE RESULT
In the last 10 years, the high rate of building collapse in Nigeria and the consequent high rate
of deaths have been so embarrassing. Many papers have been written on the building collapse
issues in Nigeria without adequate analysis of the death rate involved in the collapses.
Several reported cases of collapse were evaluated in this work as to verify the trend of
collapses and the corresponding deaths. Of the 47 cases of building collapses verified
between 2000 and 2010 which I considered in this research (Adeniregun, 2010; Ede 2010),
over 300 deaths were verified. Probabilistic analysis where performed to establish the trend
of casualties with respect to the heights in the last decade.
Analyzing the data for Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt which are the three major areas with
high rate of casualties, the relationship between the number of collapsed buildings cases and
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the rate of casualties is shown in figure 2. From here it can be seen that Lagos State humbled
the rest of the nation on issues of building collapse and casualties.
Figure 2: Casualties verified in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt
Figure 3: Casualties verified in the last 6 years (2005 - 2010)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
Lagos Abuja PH
Numberofdeaths
StateofCollapse
CasualtiesinmajorStates
Collapses
Deaths
0
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100
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
NUMBEROFCOLLAPSECASUATIES
YEARS
COLLAPSESANDCASUALTYINTHELASTSIXYEARS
No.Collaps
No.Deaths
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The distribution of casualties for collapsed buildings in the last 6 years (2005-2010) can be
seen in figures 3. But we need to wait for the end of the wet season to know the real trend for
this year.
From this figure, it can be observed that 2006 had the highest number of casualties and 2007
the least. For the year 2008 the number rose up sharply again. This can be attributed to the
usual way of reacting to events when they are fresh in our memory and then lapsing into
slumber immediately after. After the massive casualties verified in 2006, the Governments
and the stake holders must have been very cautious which brought about a great reduction in
2007 only to return to status quo in 2008.
Figure 4: Casualties in function of heights of collapsed buildings
From figure 4, it is evident that as the heights of the building increase, the casualty rate sky-
rockets to a very high level. This brings to fore the risk involved in high rise buildings.
Figure 5: Casualties for different months of the year
0
10
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30
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90
100
1Storey 2Storey 3Storey 4Storey 5Storey 6Storey
and
above
NumberofCasualties
BuildingHeights
CasualtiesinfunctionofHeights
No.Collaps
No.Deaths
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
JFMAMJ JASOND
NoofCasualties
MonthsoftheYear
Casualtiesfordifferentmonths
No.Collapses
No.Casuaties
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The distribution of the casualties in the months of the year can be seen in figure 5. From this
figure, it can be seen that the months of March (the beginning of the rainy season) and the
months of May, June and July (the period of heavy down poor) records the height casualties.
Figure 6 shows the trend of casualties with respect to heights of the buildings in the last
decade. The trend was confirmed by the the positive value of Pearson product moment
correlation coefficient (r = 0.40).
Figure 6: Trend of casualty with respect to the heights of the building
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This research has succeeded in bringing to the fore the dynamics of high death rate in the
Nigerian building industry: where they occur most, the trend in the last few years, the type of
structures at very high risk and the period of the year most dangerous for structures in
Nigeria. This means that effective measures for the reduction of the high casualty rate must
include the intensification of control and monitoring of structures of more than a storey high
and rainy season constructions. It opens up the door for more interesting researches that will
help to bring under control this embarrassing situation in the country and save the lives of our
citizens. Going by the results obtained from this research, the following recommendations
can be made:
The State governments with the assistance of the Federal Government should
intensify efforts towards arresting the trend. This can be done through free intensive
basic skill acquisition training for the artisans and more accurate monitoring of the
professionals operating in the building industry as to enforce the code of practice.
That more awareness seminar and courses be organized by the governments and the
professional bodies as to enlighten all the operators and the general public on the risks
in the building industry with particular emphasis on the period of heavy rainfall, so
01234567
0
10
20
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40
50
STOREYS
NUMBER OF DE ATHS
STOREY VERSUS NUMBER OF DEATHS
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10100065858IJCEEIJENS©December2010IJENSIJENS
that everyone will play his/her appropriate role in reducing the incidence of building
collapse and save precious human lives round the nation.
The high rate of casualties verified for high rising buildings is directly related to the
difficulties involved in realizing such edifice which can only be adequately handled
by highly skilled professionals. Adequate measures need to be taken to upgrade the
safety awareness of all the operators in the sector. The presence of certified safety
professionals should become mandatory in every building site. This also calls for the
government and the professional bodies to intensify efforts towards fishing out
professionals operating in projects they are not skilled to handle.
That law enforcement agencies be mandated to enforce eviction in houses marked for
demolition, as that could have save the lives that were lost in the most recent case.
If these measures are put in place, the incidence of frequent building collapse and the high
casualty will be reduced drastically. This will put the nation in a better position to meet up
with the MDGs and be better prepared to face the unpredictable consequences of the global
warming that continues to manifest itself in different ways.
ACKNOWEDGEMENT
The Management of the Covenant University Ota – Nigeria is highly appreciated for their
relentless support and encouragement for this research.
REFERENCE
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Prevention”. Seminar on collapsed Structures in Nigeria organized by the Lagos State
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August 1996, pp 5 – 10.
2. Ede, A. N. (2010). “Structural Stability in Nigeria and Worsening Environmental
Disorder: the Way Forward”. The West Africa Built Environment Research
Conference Accra Ghana, July 26-28, 2010, pp 489-498.
3. Rudrappan, D. (2010). “Save Planet Earth”.
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Nigeria: Lagos and Ibadan Case Study.” African Journal of Science and Technology
(AJST) Science and Engineering Series Vol. 5 June 2004, No. 1, Pp. 73 – 78.
5. Davison, B. and Owens, G. W. (2003). Steel Designers Manual, 6th Edition,
Blackwell Publishing, London.
International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering IJCEE-IJENS Vol: 10 No: 06 42
10100065858IJCEEIJENS©December2010IJENSIJENS
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“Engineering Failure Analysis of a Failed Building in Osun State, Nigeria” Journal of
failed analysis and Prevention, Vol. 9, pages 8-15.
7. Bukola Amusan (2010). Nine feared dead in Abuja building collapse
http://thenationonlineng.net/web3/news/9389.html
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Construction Materials and Poor Workmanship”: A Student Project, Department of
Civil Engineering, Covenant University, and Ota – Nigeria.
9. Montgomery, D., Peck, E. and Vining, G. Introduction to linear Regression Analysis,
3rd Ed. New York: Wiley, 2001.
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... Policy/procedural frameworks are supposed to be the guiding principles for building production within the built environment; unfortunately, government officials do not follow standards of town planning provisions, thereby allocating plots without following rules and procedures (Ede, 2010). This was in agreement with Ike (2012), that town planning departments were no longer performing their role as laid down by law. ...
... This was in agreement with Ike (2012), that town planning departments were no longer performing their role as laid down by law. Contrary in Dubai, studies have shown that before any project starts, specialized property development consultants are engaged (Ike, 2012;Ede, 2010). These consultants study the soil and conducts investigation. ...
... While in many locations around the world, building collapses have been caused by terrorist attacks, gas leak explosions, earthquakes, and global environment changes [4], in Africa and in many developing countries, they have been attributed to weak foundations, substandard constructional materials, poor material mixing by construction workers, excessive load on strength of buildings, and poor testing of building strength [5]. ...
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This book is aimed at contributing significantly to the body of knowledge relative to the science and practice of construction not only in South Africa but everywhere where the products of construction are produced even in these new challenging times of fear and uncertainty. The theme is particularly relevant in these times of rapid exponential knowledge and information growth accompanied by high levels of uncertainty, fear, and the unknown. There is little doubt that the construction industry has experienced exponential change and development in recent years. The book examined these cutting-edge concepts to determine their state of the art in the construction sector in both practice and academic research. This proceedings therefore suggests responses to questions related to current conversations, debates, and empirical research on: Deconstruction—the dismantling or ‘unbuilding’ of buildings to maximize reusing and preserving the demolished fragments and involve taking a building apart piece by piece, essentially reversing the order of its construction. Digitalization—the conversion and transformation of construction business processes to use digital technologies and embrace the ability of digital technology to collect data, establish trends, and make better business decisions. Disruption—displacement of well-established construction technologies, techniques, or products to disruptively affect the normal operation or function of the construction industry while potentially creating a new industry or market. Artificial intelligence, virtual/ augmented reality, Internet of things, blockchain technology, and e-commerce are some of the disruptive technologies that are significantly influencing the future of the construction industry. Disaster—an occurrence that disrupts the normal conditions of existence and operation causing a level of suffering and challenge that exceeds the capacity of adjustment of the affected community and the construction industry. Development—in the context of construction refers to an industry that possesses the vision, leadership, and capacity to bring about a positive transformation of itself within a condensed period of time. The book is a must reference work for anyone serious about staying abreast of cutting-edge and revolutionary developments in the construction industry present and future. They provide the opportunity for researchers and practitioners from developed and developing nations to network with chapter contributors and deliberate pressing and burning issues that impact the built environment and will potentially change the way it responds to rapid growth in technological advancement.
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Nigeria, as a developing nation, has been transiting through a great transformational state within the last couple of decades. The built environment is not left out in this process. The construction of houses and infrastructures are next essential to man as air, water and food (Salau, 1996). They serve as residence, places of work, worship, entertainment etc or as means of transportation. In the recent years, the stability of buildings and roads are experiencing a lot of challenges especially within the coastal areas. The rate of building collapse has been so alarming that a week hardly passes without a case being reported. Just a one day non-stop rain fall is enough to hold the whole of Lagos State to a standstill as failed drainages and flooded-potholed roads make it impossible for most people to go about their activities. The situation is not much different on major highways outside Lagos where travellers are often trapped in traffic jams for hours. The cost of these collapses in terms of human life and economic waste cannot be over emphasized. As the effect of the global warming is beginning to take its toll in many parts of the world, the changes in our environment must be closely watched and taken into consideration. In light of these issues, this paper analyses the problems of structural stability in a worsening environmental setup and proffers solutions that will enable us cope with this alarming situation.
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The research focused on the causes and possible solutions to common buildings failures in Nigeria. Two major cities, Ibadan and Lagos were taken as case study. Questionnaires were administered to few selected architects, town planners, civil engineers and clients in the case study areas and also field trips were made to selected areas to ascertain common failures of buildings. Secondary data were obtained from the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and few media houses. The research outcome revealed that all parties in the building industry: Clients, Architects, Design Engineers, Local Authority (Town planners) and Contractors are contributing immensely to building failures in various dimensions. Also, the nation is loosing both human and material resources each time a building fails. Common failures seen on buildings were wall cracking, wall spalling, foundation settlement, column buckling, etc. Proper assurance of competent professionals and strict enforcement of ethical standards by the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Nigerian Institute of Building, and the Nigerian Institute of Architects would reduce the problems identified to the minimum.
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This paper assesses the causes and socioeconomic impact of some recent cases of collapsed buildings in Nigeria. Information on selected collapsed buildings was collated, and a case study of a failed one-story building is presented for emphasis. A summary of the technical assessment and remediation of the building was presented as well. Both field and laboratory work involved close inspection of the building, excavation to reveal the condition of the foundation, taking samples of slabs and beams from the collapsed building for laboratory study, detailed structural analysis, a design analysis of the structural elements of the building to reveal causes of failure, and identification of remedial options and recommendation. Solubility of concrete in acids was used to assess the quality of concrete used. This study revealed that a lot of lives and properties have been lost in the various collapsed buildings, and these losses have negatively impacted the socioeconomic status of Nigerians. The results of the case study revealed that the main structural components (slab, beam, column, and footing) of the building were not properly proportioned and were seriously underreinforced, which led to excessive deflection. Additionally, concrete mixes used in the construction were found to be weak, and walls that should have been non-load-bearing ended up carrying loads and induced a hogging moment onto the slab for which reinforcement was not provided. The solubility tests showed that the ratio of calcium concentration of concrete mix used in the collapsed building to that of standard 1:2:4 concrete mixes were 0.03, 0.20, and 0.73, respectively. These low ratios indicate that the cement portion in the concrete was not adequate, and it was concluded that the concrete samples from the collapsed building contained less calcium than necessary for structural success. The summary of the assessment underscored the need for ensuring quality control and proper supervision in the construction of reinforced concrete structures.
Steel Designers Manual
  • B Davison
  • G W Owens
  • Ijens I J E N S
Davison, B. and Owens, G. W. (2003). Steel Designers Manual, 6 th Edition, Blackwell Publishing, London. 1010006‐5858 IJCEE‐IJENS © December 2010 IJENS I J E N S
Structural Failures in Collapsed Buildings – Causes and Prevention " . Seminar on collapsed Structures in Nigeria organized by the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Society of Engineers in Lagos
  • M A Salau
Salau, M. A., (1996). " Structural Failures in Collapsed Buildings – Causes and Prevention ". Seminar on collapsed Structures in Nigeria organized by the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Society of Engineers in Lagos, Nigeria, 22 nd -23 rd August 1996, pp 5 – 10.
Nine feared dead in Abuja building collapse http
  • Bukola Amusan
Bukola Amusan (2010). Nine feared dead in Abuja building collapse http://thenationonlineng.net/web3/news/9389.html
Study Of Building Collapse In Nigeria: Effects of Poor Construction Materials and Poor Workmanship": A Student Project
  • A O Adeniregun
Adeniregun, A. O., (2010). "Study Of Building Collapse In Nigeria: Effects of Poor Construction Materials and Poor Workmanship": A Student Project, Department of Civil Engineering, Covenant University, and Ota -Nigeria.
Seminar on collapsed Structures in Nigeria organized by the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Society of Engineers in Lagos
  • M A Salau
Salau, M. A., (1996). "Structural Failures in Collapsed Buildings -Causes and Prevention". Seminar on collapsed Structures in Nigeria organized by the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Society of Engineers in Lagos, Nigeria, 22 nd -23 rd August 1996, pp 5 -10.
Steel Designers Manual, 6 th Edition
  • B Davison
  • G W Owens
Davison, B. and Owens, G. W. (2003). Steel Designers Manual, 6 th Edition, Blackwell Publishing, London. 1010006-5858 IJCEE-IJENS © December 2010 IJENS