To improve structural integrity of buildings, the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Lagos Chapter, has urged professionals in the industry to utilise the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) construction method for durability of buildings and increasing the process of housing delivery.EPS is an innovative building material that lends to the design and structural integrity of many building projects. Overtime, EPS has been recognised as a mainstream insulation material.
However, recently new applications have rapidly developed making the innovation a powerful design element and an ideal choice for green building design, offering tangible environmental advantages that can maximize energy efficiency, providing improved indoor environmental quality and enhancing durability.
The chapter chairman, Mrs. Lola Adetona, stated this during the Institution’s industrial visit to Monumental Works Limited in Lagos. Adetona maintained that the visit was to enhance the skills and capacities of the engineers, through acquaintance with the latest trends of construction methodologies.
According to her, the use of EPS, which was introduced in the construction industry in Nigeria about three years ago, has been relatively low.She said: “We recommend the new EPS construction method because of its adaptation to the country’s climatic environment and adoption in most developed and developing countries.
“The institution has deemed it fit that civil engineers should acquaint themselves with it as an alternative to the sand and cement blocks. We need to change the old construction method and embrace the latest construction technique using the EPS, which is world best practice in housing construction”.
On his part, the company’s Managing Director, Olufemi Ogundare, said that the EPS, could be used to build more affordable houses at lower cost and reduce housing deficit in the country.According to him, the innovation could save over 60 per cent of the cost of construction, compared to sand and cement blocks. He disclosed that EPS has speedy execution such that construction of buildings can be completed within seven days.
He said, “The material can be deployed in every housing development and environment, particularly earthquake-prone areas. It is strong and gives more security; unlike the sand and cement blocks, which can easily be pierced by bullet. Its lightweight, meaning that it does not exert heavy pressure on the foundation that may cause a collapse.
Major applications of EPS include, insulated panel systems for use in floors, walls and roofs of domestic as well as commercial buildings. EPS is also well proven in civil engineering applications where its inherent strength means it can support structures such as roadways and railways with complete ease.