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Building Failures

Expert proffers solution to incessant building collapse in Nigeria

The rate of mortality resulting from building collapse in Nigeria has become increasingly alarming. Every now and then, there are reports of one building collapse or another. A report by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, showed that over fifty-four cases of collapsed buildings were recorded in 2017 across the country. In the years before that, there were some building collapses as well.

There were thirty-three building collapse in Lagos and twenty-two in Abuja in 2012; seventeen building collapses in Lagos and twenty in Abuja in 2013, thirteen building collapse in Lagos and two in Abuja in 2014.This year, 2018, isn’t any better in-terms of building collapse. Just a few weeks ago, an Abuja building collapsed which claimed one life and left several injured. Research has it that the most prominent reason for the collapse of buildings is the lack of quality control.  Quality control involves strict compliance with established standards. It defines the type of measures and controls to be carried out to ensure proper construction.

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It is a series of processes that must be ensured from the start of a project to the selection of materials, to the execution and completion of the project.Some experts have attributed building collapse to ignorance, negligence and greed. Ignorance is when incompetent personnel are in charge of a project; negligence comes into play when the specification written for a past project is adopted without crosschecking for a need for adjustment. Greed plays out when construction personnel fail to use required materials allocated for a project due to selfish interest. The benefits of quality control in the construction industry cannot be over emphasized. Quality control ensures a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies and significant variations. This quality is brought about by strict and consistent adherence to measurable and verifiable standards to achieve uniformity of output that satisfies specific or user requirements.

Thus, quality control is putting a system in place that ensures a building guideline is strictly adhered to. With quality control in action, it is safe to conclude that collapse rate will drop significantly. Any project with good quality control results in minimal defects and is more likely to have a longer lifespan. It goes without saying that by failing to prepare, one prepares to fail. In this case, quality control is the preparation stage. The more effort and caution put into it, the better the construction result. Quality control serves as the guide or road map to the engineers; thus, leading to a stable and fit building. In addition, quality control helps construction engineers comply with building specification.

It ensures that projects are carried out in agreement with specified designs and standards thus delivering a phenomenal structure. Furthermore, quality control save clients from excessive spending. If the engineers when constructing buildings for their clients take necessary measures, clients are sure to have a building with little or no defects. Defects are errors in the building’s design, workmanship, and materials used on projects that may result in the failure part of a building or the entire structure and may lead to fatalities inflicting huge litigation and financial costs to the client. Thus, quality control can help to reduce construction costs by lowering the level of waste and rework, and improving production efficiency. Quality control improves safety on the construction site. A report by The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) indicates that the leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding the highway collisions) in the construction industry were falls, followed by strike by objects, electrocution, and caught-in/between.

These “fatal four” were responsible for more than half (63.7%) the construction worker deaths in 2016. BLS. A good quality control will make the construction workers enjoy a state of tranquil even in the vulnerability of the environment. Nigeria has potential to grow its construction industry, especially considering that it is one of the biggest economies of the world. However, there will continue to be a lull in growth if poor quality control remains the norm. This is the sentiment expressed by Engr. Emmanuel Adeyemi, Quality Assurance and Quality Control Manager at ITB Nigeria Ltd. According to Adeyemi, quality control is one aspect of the business that must never be overlooked as it can make or mar a project. It is only the best quality that can withstand the test of natural elements and indeed the test of time. “At ITB, quality is at the center of all our activities.

There is a Quality Management System (QMS) in place to provide superior service to clients. Through the adoption of the QMS, continuous quality, improvement and sustainable development is ensured. Nigeria has competent engineers we just need to pay attention to quality” Clearly, quality control is the measure required to ensure that building collapse is minimized, that construction site accidents are curtailed and that structures stand the test of time

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