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Plan for 3,000 Homes Next to London’s ‘Hipster Express’

British Land Co. will seek approval to develop as many as 3,000 homes and work space equivalent to almost four Gherkin skyscrapers on a plot in south London’s Canada Water.

The real estate investment trust is initially seeking planning approval for 1 million square feet (92,900 square meters) of workspace, 250,000 square feet of retail and leisure space, and 650 homes on the site. Part of the 53-acre (21-hectare) plot, next to the London rail line nicknamed “the Hipster Express” because of its link to the tech hubs of Shoreditch and Hoxton, is currently used as a shopping mall.

Although the U.K. capital’s property market is in flux, demand for houses and apartments in districts that Londoners can afford remains strong. The average home in Canada Water sells for just over 506,000 pounds ($686,000), about 1.6 percent less than a year ago, according to data compiled by real estate website Zoopla.

A decision on the planning application is expected to to be made by the end of the year, according to Monday’s statement.

Neil Callanan

Experts explore benefits of smart construction tech

With smart buildings gaining momentum – and as the technology behind them becomes more sophisticated and prevalent, built environment experts have called for the adoption of smart buildings in line with global best practices.

Smart buildings are structures that use automated processes to control building operations in areas such as ventilation, heating, air conditioning, lighting, and security among other systems. Currently, some old structures have started to convert to smart buildings in some countries to meet up with the demands of modern time.

The experts spoke at the 17the edition of the 2018 Lagos Housing Fair (LHF), held in Lagos. The event, which is an exhibition of products and services in construction industry, featured all the professionals in the sector including building artisans.

Speaking on the theme of the event; “Smart Buildings”, the Chairman of organising committee, Moses Ogunleye, a town planner, observed that the issues of resource consumption; energy efficiency and technology application should be at the front burner in the nations’ quest for development.

According to him, with the era of climate change, and instances of extreme climatic elements, the designs of homes, construction and usage must be done with the consciousness of making the structures most pleasurable and comfortable.Toward this end, he explained that a smart building saves its owners so much cost in construction and maintenance in view of the role of housing in economic and social growth of a nation.

He noted that the choice of the theme is to allow for a searchlight on adoption of durable and energy efficient homes in the country.“As a country, Nigeria should not only be concerned with increasing the number of housing units in various states or settlements, efforts should be geared at ensuring that what is built by stakeholders meet the requirements of smart buildings. A smart home should serve the intended purpose, enhance ventilation, minimise water consumption and be safety conscious among others”.

Expanding the theme; the First Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Building; ((NIOB), Biodun Awobudu said it is high time Nigeria converts some of its local buildings to scientific smart ones to join the league of nations adopting the option of smart building.He posited that smart buildings involve addition of scientific additives into building finishing. This he stated, would helped the country to improve on design and build a lot of homes with many technological inputs.

“Architects and building researchers should investigate on how to construct smart buildings. NIOB has been engaging our members to develop initiatives that could ease the cost of building”, he said.

On his part, the National President of Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Akinola George, an architect, said Nigeria should be inspired by the global trends in the use of smart buildings and not wait until the country is ready for the technology before moving in that direction.

According to him contrary to the most popular notion that the technology is expensive, it is rather cheap provided the necessary infrastructural investment has been put into place.For instance, he said, Nanotechnology has tremendously changed the face of paints production with its current ability to last for over ten years. He explains that smart technology in construction sector will make building development cheaper and help Nigeria out of a corruption riddled society.

“Smart building requires special intelligence based on real time interaction using data and innovation based eco-system in a sustainable environment. Professionals in the built environment must upgrade to a city based sensor network that requires energy management, efficient water management, smart lighting, efficient traffic monitoring and heat resistant coating materials among others”.

George called for advocacy, engaging government at all levels through affirmative and collective effort to develop policies that would benefit the built sector while artisans and other professionals must also develop their thinking minds and interest in technology for rapid transformation of the country.

On the demand for affordable homes for the people, Oba Akiolu declared that what the government needs to do is to provide basic infrastructure like; electricity, good road, water and other important facilities in choice locations for the citizen to conveniently build and own their personal houses. To him, such facilities are the most important needs in the quest to surmount the challenge of adequate and affordable housing in Nigeria.

“Government should provide welfare initiatives for the people, the private sector must also support efforts of the government like it is the practice abroad. For instance, three states government could come together, clear a very large expanse of land build houses for the people or go into agriculture and produce food in large quantity”.He charged housing professionals to collaborate in tackling the problems of building collapses, land grabbers and illegal development in towns and cities as part of efforts to achieve a smart building environment.

Victor Gbonegun

Don urges green building development

A Professor of geography at the University of Lagos, Emmanuel Oladipo has called for green building development as a modern approach in mitigating the challenge of climate change, housing the people and promoting sustainable environment in the country.

Oladipo also canvassed for improve education of women and the girl-child in science, technology and engineering to tackle the pervading gender imbalance in the profession as well as fast-track development goals for the nation.

He made the call at the maiden edition of Olu Maduka Annual Lecture (OMAL) organised by the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigerian (APWEN) to mark the 77th birthday of Mrs. Olu Makuka, the founder of APWEN and 35th years of existence of APWEN.

Prof. Oladipo charged women engineers to be at the forefront of green engineering campaign, with emphasis on using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a product’s life cycle.

According to him, the green building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.For him; “In the case of a building, for example, the life cycle is from sitting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all stages of project ”.

He said Nigerian engineers must be in the vanguard of encouraging the people to explore the option of vertical development to save lands for other basic infrastructural facilities, safe the environment from undue encroachment and imbue it with the capacity to regenerate itself.

Speaking on the topic; “Engendering the environment agenda for sustainable development: challenges for women engineers” he expounds that the environment is the only habitation for living beings, a major source of raw materials and energy, provider of services such as the maintenance of climatic system/stability and ecological cycle including forest, and agricultural land, hence, it has become an increasingly important factor for the world economy and a global economic issue.

“New technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener buildings which are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by efficiently using energy, water, and other resources; protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity and reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation,” he said.

“The issue of sustainability, survival and quality of life of future generations is a global matter. This means the engineering profession needs to work towards environmentally sustainable solutions. While the challenges to creating and maintaining sustainable systems and economies are complex, one of the main components to this challenge is the gender dimension.

Speaking on Education of Women and Economic Benefits: the Engineering Perspective, the chief engineer, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), Yetunde Holloway, stated, “Women are a huge human resource potential, who, when educated, contribute significantly to the development of a nation and therefore it is important for them to acquire engineering and technological skills to provide necessary input to Engineering and development of the country”.

Holloway said APWEN should collaborate with other female professional bodies like Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria, Women In Management and Business, Nigerian Women in Mathematics, Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Female Architects of Nigeria, Women Association of Quantity Surveyors of Nigeria, Association of Lady Pharmacists and others to increase effort and ensure adequate impacts through mentoring, sponsorship and strengthening data collection and statistics.

Speaking on the conferment of fellowship of the Nigerian Institution of Electrical Electronic Engineering (NIEEE) on her and the husband, the founder of APWEN, Mrs. Olu Maduka appreciated the institute and members of APWEN for acknowledging her contributions to the profession.In a remark, the president of APWEN, Mrs. Felicia Agubata, noted that the event was organised to honour Mrs. Maduka while she is still alive, saying that she epitomises every good virtues in a woman.

Victor Gbonegun

Lagos deploys facility managers in state-owned estates

The Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State, Gbolahan Lawal, says the government has made it mandatory for facility managers to be engaged for the management of all existing and new state-owned housing estates.

Lawal made this known at a ceremony to hand over keys to 150 allottees under the Lagos State Government Rent-to-Own initiative.

He said the move became necessary to prevent housing estates across the state from degenerating into slums.

“Evidence of this abounds in many of the state government housing estates. Facility managers will ensure that the estates are well catered for and are in good, clean, hygienic and environmental friendly conditions,” he said.

The commissioner noted that the country and Lagos in particular were presently in the throes of housing deficit occasioned by the demand for decent, secure and affordable housing, which was far higher than supply.

He stated, “In a bid to solve this problem and prevent the continuous emergence of slums, the administration of Governor AkinwunmiAmbode came up with the rent-to-own policy aimed at ensuring that all Lagosians, irrespective of income, status and affiliation, have access to decent and affordable housing.

“The handing over of keys to another batch of 150 people brings the number of allottees to 650 so far. What this implies is that a total number of 3,000 people have so far benefited from the scheme if calculated at an average of five persons per family. The state currently has about 5,008 housing units in 12 different locations across the state dedicated to the rent-to-own housing policy, which enables aspiring homeowners to pay five per cent of the value of the property and spread the balance over a period of 10 years.”

He said other initiatives put in place by the state government to make housing more readily available were the Rental Housing Programme, targeted at persons with irregular sources of income, who might be more interested in rental housing, or who were not able to meet the requirement of the five per cent commitment for rent-to-own; and the Lagos Affordable Public Housing initiative.

According to him, the LAPH is a joint venture arrangement between the state government and the private investors aimed at constructing 20,000 housing units over a period of four years.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

Stop patronising touts for property registration, LASG tells residents

The Lagos State Government has warned residents and property owners in the state to desist from patronising touts and third-party agents when registering their properties.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Mrs.YetundeOnabule, stated that residents should register their properties by themselves at the designated land registry or engage the services of seasoned professionals.

“The Land Registry is now very conducive for all transactions, it is easy to access and displays required documents for all kinds of registration. Therefore, I enjoin you to please make the best use of it, desist from patronising touts and third parties in registering titles, and save yourselves from embarrassments and financial loss,” she said.

Onabule, at the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing of the Lands Bureau, stated that the bureau recently discovered fraudulent activities in the process of title documents and had consequently de-registered the affected documents.

She added, “Upon discovery of fraudulent activities in the registration process of title documents without strict adherence to laid down procedures in the registry, the Registrar of Titles had de-registered some title documents and contacted the affected property owners on the development, charging them to provide all necessary evidences on the registration.

“This is in line with Section 99 of the Lagos State Lands Registration Law, 2015, which empowers the RoT to de-register title documents found to have flouted the registration procedures in the Land Registry. Some of those that have responded to the notification put forward by the RoT have failed to provide genuine evidences towards satisfying all required payments and processes for the registration.

“In interrogating them, some of the property owners claimed that they paid for the registration through third parties, whom they either met at the car park or other areas in and around the premises, or were introduced to them by a friend, who in turn does not have a good grasp of who these third party agents really are. It is indeed unfortunate that some clients have ignorantly fallen into this challenge.”

She stated that the de-registered title documents could be re-registered on the condition that all due processes and all laid down procedures were strictly adhered to, including the penalty attached to it in Section 119 of the Lagos State Lands Registration Law, 2015 for registering title documents fraudulently.

Onabule stated that the zeal by residents to obtain title documents had tremendously increased following the awareness consciously created by the current administration.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

Aso unveils new estate in Abuja

ASO Savings and Loans Plc has inaugurated the Phase I of the Aso Garden Estate in Karsana, Abuja.

According to the firm, the estate, which was fully financed by Aso, comprises of 249 housing units made up of 129 units of two-bedroom apartments, 117 units of three-bedroom apartments and three units of four-bedroom duplexes.

It added that the housing project, conceived by Aso Savings and Loans Plc in partnership with Global High Property Development Limited, would raise the bar in housing project delivery not only in the Federal Capital Territory but in the country.

The Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, who led dignitaries on a tour of the estate and later did the inauguration, was said to have commended the board, management and staff of Aso Savings and Loans Plc for successfully completing the project in spite of the challenging economic environment.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Alhaji Ali Magashi, noted that the delivery of the estate was a no small feat given the harsh economic realities.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

 

Building collapse: Engineers want NASS to pass bill to check contractors

Structural engineers have appealed to the National Assembly (NASS) to propose and pass a bill which would check careless use of building contractors in project execution in the country.

Addressing journalists in Calabar, branch chairman of Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE), an affiliate of the Council of Registered Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) Bishop Ndoma Nyambi said that the major cause of building collapse was the unrestrained engagement of reckless and inexperienced building contractors.

He said the bill when passed into law would reduce the rampant presence of defective buildings and the grave consequences.

Ndoma emphasized that there was need to prevent clients such as building owners whether government or private from using contractors with inexperienced engineers.

He expressed worry that private buildings under construction are hardly supervised by building engineers which is the major reason there are loopholes for defection and other dangers.

“It is not only buildings. A lot of people are constructing drains and culverts on roads without supervision from relevant engineers.

“There is need for provisions to penalise anyone because it appears anyone can just wake up and build anything using any standard without an enforcement from government,” he said.

He said it had always been the duty of government to provide access slabs and the drains on roads supervised by government engineers.

Eyo Charles

Building collapse: Engineers want NASS to pass bill to check contractors

Structural engineers have appealed to the National Assembly (NASS) to propose and pass a bill which would check careless use of building contractors in project execution in the country.

Addressing journalists in Calabar, branch chairman of Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE), an affiliate of the Council of Registered Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) Bishop Ndoma Nyambi said that the major cause of building collapse was the unrestrained engagement of reckless and inexperienced building contractors.

He said the bill when passed into law would reduce the rampant presence of defective buildings and the grave consequences.

Ndoma emphasized that there was need to prevent clients such as building owners whether government or private from using contractors with inexperienced engineers.

He expressed worry that private buildings under construction are hardly supervised by building engineers which is the major reason there are loopholes for defection and other dangers.

“It is not only buildings. A lot of people are constructing drains and culverts on roads without supervision from relevant engineers.

“There is need for provisions to penalise anyone because it appears anyone can just wake up and build anything using any standard without an enforcement from government,” he said.

He said it had always been the duty of government to provide access slabs and the drains on roads supervised by government engineers.

Eyo Charles

Experts blame building fire incidents on low safety standards

Safety and fire management experts have blamed the high rate of fire incidences in domestic and commercial buildings on low safety standards and use of poor quality electrical products.

At a safety roundtable organised by power management company, Eaton, on ‘Enhancing electrical safety in buildings’, experts noted that the statistics of fire incidences in the country had become alarming, even though the numbers were under-documented.

A Senior Safety Officer with the Lagos State Fire Service, Temitayo Awosanya, said there was a need for more enlightenment on how to prevent fire in homes.

According to him, carelessness is the major cause of fire outbreak in houses and accounts for at least 75 per cent of the recorded cases.

Other causes, he noted, were the use of substandard products, lack of technical know-how, and careless handling of flammable liquids.

“Fire safety is an important topic and everyone must be enlightened. Every environment is not the same, so everyone needs the input of professionals. It is not enough to just buy fire extinguisher. Fire is a friend; but when it gets out of hand, it becomes your enemy. What you do before the fire occur is very important,” Awosanya stated.

The Principal Partner, JOJO and Partners, an electrical, mechanical and telecommunications engineering consulting firm, Mr. Tunde Olukoya, stated that safety had become a big issue in the country and that fire incidences were not being properly documented.

“In as much as we see safety as important, our disposition is such that we do not pay attention to the consequences. Accidents can happen anytime but it has been all talks and no action. We have to work the talk,” he said.

The Director of Safety Training and Education, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Adebyi Adeyinka, said the commission had discovered that facilities were getting burnt frequently because most electricians were not well trained, adding that lack of skills was leading to wrong use of equipment.

“Most connections and products used are also substandard but fire incidences related to electricity have reduced since we started training electricians. We also continuously conduct safety audits of building,” he said.

According to the International Sales Manager, Fire Systems, Eaton, Andy Souten, builders spend more money on the aesthetics of a building to the detriment of the electrical installations.

He stated that there was a need for the government to enforce more regulations on fire safety.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency, Mr. Peter Ewesor, said the government had always put rules and regulations on electrifying buildings in place but that compliance had been low.

“We need to follow best practices which include checking on installations every five to 10 years to ensure they are working optimally,” he said.

Eaton’s Marketing Director for Africa, Sumaya Abdool, said the topic of fire safety had become critical to the company and to the lives of everyone.

“We believe in leaving a greener future for the generation coming through our products, which are safe, efficient and reliable solutions,” she added.

The Regional Manager, Eaton West Africa, Charles Iyo, said incidences of electrical fire were a growing concern everywhere in the world and one of the major causes of injuries, loss of property and even death.

“As stakeholders, it’s important that we begin to take more than a cursory look at fire safety measures right from the planning to the completion stage,” he said.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

 

Subscribers get rent-to-own houses in Lagos

About 650 subscribers have benefited from Lagos State’s Rent-to-Own housing scheme introduced by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration.

The Rent-to – own scheme, which was adopted from the State’s Home Ownership mortgage scheme, requires only a 5 per cent deposit and 30 percent equity contribution from the allotees, while the balance is spread over a 10-years period.

The State Commissioner for Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this figure at the hand -over ceremony of keys to 150 allotees, said the policy was targeted to all Lagosians to have access to decent and affordable housing.

According to him, the new batch of allotees has brought to 650 total housing units allotted so far in the scheme. He enjoined the allotees, who are given keys to one bedroom apartment at Oba Adegboruwa Estate, in Ikorodu to ensure proper maintenance of their apartment.

Lawal stressing that the state has now made it mandatory for facility managers to manage new and existing estates in Lagos to prevent degeneration of the estates and to keep it environmentally friendly.

Earlier, the General Manager of Lagos State Mortgage Board, Mr. Dehinde Tunwashe, said the allocation of the housing units was carried out in a fair and just manner.He urged the allottees to ensure prompt payment of their monthly rent to encourage the state government to provide more houses.

Tunwashe said it is mandatory to pay insurance premium on the policies put in place by the state government to safeguard their property against any form of disaster.

He further urged the allottees to cooperate with the facility managers and ensure that the facilities in the estates are put to good use.

Bertram Nwannekanma

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