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NACC, Stakeholders Seek Stiffer Penalties for Building Collapse

With the recurring incidences of building collapse in the country, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has called for stiffer penalties to be placed on owners of collapsed buildings and the project handlers.This according to the president of NSE, Adekunle Mokolu, said would serve as a deterrent to the practices of care-free developers in the country.

Mokolu, who was represented by the Managing Director, Hurlag, Olasoji Olagunju, stated this at the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC’s) August breakfast meeting in Lagos, saying that to address building collapse, it was high time government across various levels enforced building regulations to check against the menace.

He urged government to ensure owner/developer whose property was not covered by a valid building approval plan should regularise the property, and this will be after ascertaining the structural stability of the building.

He said a qualitative structural assessment will reveal inherent dangers and havoc that is associated with existing defective buildings.“Re-certification/validation of the buildings is necessary to ensure they conform to the purposes for which they are being used and building plan suitable for the locality where the building is situated. This no doubt could be a proactive or preventative step in curbing the incessant building collapse,” he added.

He noted that another common and worrisome risk are structures that have existed for ages, stressing that most of these structures within the area where collapse has occurred in Lagos State as an example were built without the requisite approval plan or due regularisation with the government, and as a result, do not conform to the building specifications and standard of the location.

“There is a need for state governments to implement integrity audit of all these old and aged structures within the location where a previous collapse has been recorded,” he averred.

The acting General Manager, Lagos State Government Building Control Agency (LABSCA), Olabodurin Oki, said most of the drawings for construction in Lagos, are drawn by quacks, calling on the State Government to increase the number of enforcement teams in a bid to cover the state more effectively.He noted that developers are making regulations difficult in the State, adding that after getting approvals for a particular building, they set up structures they did not get approval for.

“They have two types of approval. One for approval and the other for construction, and most times they change the use of the building at their will without any form of appraisal or consultation,” he said.

The Group Managing Director, Adron Homes and Properties Limited, Dr Adetola Emmanuelking, said the government has yet to come to terms that housing is critical to the national economy.He added that most of the structures in the country were built without building plan approval; hence, the need for re-certification of building plan approval is vital.

Meanwhile, the Vice President, NACC, Ehi Braimah, said the rate of building collapse in the country has become so disturbing that various accusations and counter-accusations are now the order of the day.He said in most cases, the government as a key stakeholder, accuses professionals in the building industry of engaging in sharp practices.

In his words, “And on the other hand, critics have constantly accused the government and its officials of corruption and negligence, because most of the funds for monitoring and evaluation are either misappropriated or diverted to personal pockets leading to structural failures.”

He added that the incidence of building collapse has become a recurring decimal in many parts of the country, which has raised much concern and anxiety about the safety of lives and property.He pointed out that the predominant rate of building collapse in Nigeria poses a grave concern and challenges to all the stakeholders in the building construction industry including professional bodies and associations, building consultants, governments, developers, landowners and building users.

Source: guardianng

This Building Material Can Protect Homes During Natural Disasters, and the US is Missing Out

There’s a building material that could keep houses intact during hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and fires. While it’s been widely used around the world, the U.S. is a laggard in adopting the construction technique.

One company trying to change that is RSG 3-D, which is bringing a building material known as 3D cementitious sandwich panel for mass production in the U.S.

“Housing economists will tell you that 77 percent of homes built in the United States are at extreme risk for some type of natural disaster,” said RSG 3-D CEO Ken Calligar. “The East Coast is primarily hurricane, the Midwest is tornadoes, which we will also survive, the Rockies and the West are wildfire plus seismic events. We are resistant to all of that.”

Last year was the costliest year on record for climate disasters in the U.S., with over $300 billion in damages, according to NOAA.

Each panel made by RSG 3-D consists of fire retardant foam sandwiched between two wire mesh faces. The two faces are connected with reinforcement wires that run through the foam and the whole thing is enveloped in concrete.

VS: 3D panel RSG 3-D
Magdalena Petrova | CNBC

“The RSG 3-D panel is known for it resilience to natural disaster,” Calligar said. “The panels are fireproof, they are seismic resistant beyond any earthquake recorded in human history and they are also hurricane resistant. They’ve been tested throughout the world through 200 hurricanes, hundreds of seismic events and several wildfires.”

The technology is not new. NASA has been using a version of it to build spacecraft for years because of its strength. And former President Carter used the material through his charity work for rehabilitation efforts decades ago on damaged buildings in Florida and Georgia.

“One of the major push for that technology actually was the adoption of that system by our former President Carter,” said Ayman Mossallam, a civil and engineering professor at the University of California, Irvine.

Carter’s use of the sandwich panels drew attention to the technology, but it was not clear at the time how to manufacture it on a large scale. A company in Austria called EVG cracked the code and created machines to assemble the panels, bringing down the costs of manufacturing.

VS: EVG panel machines

RSG 3-D is one of a handful of companies using EVG’s technology to bring the material to the U.S. for mass production. Higher lumber costs, expensive skilled labor and more demanding building codes are making it an appealing alternative to conventional construction.

“The reason the product has not been used well in the United Stated to date is because we have wood,” said Geoffrey Evancic, the chief operating officer of Hutter Pioneer, a construction company that is working with the RSG 3-D panels. “The United States is blessed with multiple forests and wood was an inexpensive building material, up until the last five years. With the new energy code, especially up in the Northern States, and in California, they want net-zero houses. You cannot get to a net-zero house construction with wood.”

Zero energy homes are those that produce as much renewable energy as they consume.

VS: EVG 3-D panel house 
A house in Santa Barbara built using RSG 3-D’s panels.

Still, experts caution that the in order for the panels to be effective domestically, there will need to be more of a focus on education and updating building codes.

“The initial cost if the engineer does not know how to use it, it’s going to be expensive,” said Mossallam. “It’s not the materials, it’s not the system, it’s the familiarity of the engineer of what this system can do.”

Calligar says that when used properly the cost of these panels is the same or slightly cheaper than conventional building methods.

“It’s available, it’s effective, it’s efficient and it gives you a much superior product at the end of the day,” said Evancic. “We are not going to have any other choices. This is where the industry is going.”

Source: cnbc

Report Substandard Construction, BCPG tells Lagos Residents

The President, Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Mr Akinola George, has appealed to Lagos residents to report substandard building constructions to regulatory agencies.

George said such report should be made to the Lagos State Building Control Agency for appropriate action.

He said the report could also be made to the BCPG, saying that the guild was collaborating with LASBCA to find lasting solutions to construction failures.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, he said it had become important for residents never to ignore substandard constructions or misconducts noticed in their neighbourhoods.

“If you suspect there is an issue in a building which you can’t see, contact an expert to come around to inspect the property. The motive is to avert building collapse, save lives and the environment. Residents have vital roles to play in curbing building collapse; they are in a better position to detect early illegal and substandard constructions,” he said.

He added that it was sad that some residents failed to report illegal or substandard constructions which they noticed.

George said that such an attitude was not in the interest of the society.

He claimed that many developers had decided to construct buildings at night, weekends and public holidays when regulatory authorities might not be watching.

He added that unauthorised and hasty constructions could cause construction failure.

He said, “LASBCA and other building regulatory authorities alone cannot properly monitor to detect when buildings are defective or when illegal constructions are going on without the support of residents.

“It is the residents that are in a better position to detect substandard constructions within their areas, irrespective of the time they are carried out. A substandard building is not just a house that is old or outdated. It is a building that constitutes a high risk to the health and physical well-being of its occupants, neighbours and visitors.”

George said substandard building conditions most frequently included holes, cracks, peeling paint, leaking roofs and broken basic systems.

Source: punchng

COREN Begins Enforcement of New Law on Building Collapse

The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has said it will soon commence the enforcement of a new act that empowers the body to end the increasing rate of building collapse in the country.

The President of COREN, Engr. Ali Alimasuya Rabiu, disclosed this recently in Auchi, Kogi State, at the second annual “Engineer Kashim Ali Distinguished Lecture Series” titled: “Agricultural Mechanisation and Food Production for Youth Empowerment: Engineering Sustainable Development.”

Daily Trust reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the year assented to the Engineers Registration Amendment Act (2019) to address the menace of building collapse and other cases of engineering failure in the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Sen. Ita Enang, who had announced the new law, said the act also established COREN; with far-reaching powers of prosecution of infraction, regulating industrial training of engineers and capacity building of local content in the engineering industry.

The new law grants COREN the power to prosecute “any person or firm that contravenes the provisions of this act in a court of competent jurisdiction; regulate industrial training schemes among engineering practitioners and students,’’ Enang said.

Reports shows that over 30 people have so far died while over 80 sustained injuries from more than a dozen building collapse incidents across the country since January, 2019, with one of the latest incidents being the collapse of a two-storey building at 30 Ososa Street, Bariga, Lagos, that left four persons injured.

Buildings have continued to collapse despite measures by both the federal and state governments over the years to check the ugly trend. Speaking on the act, Engr. Rabiu said COREN had recorded many successes due to the instrumentality of the new law.

He said, “We are worried about building collapse in the country, but government has given us a new law that empowers us to create more departments for engineering regulation and monitoring.

This will give us a leeway to be more effective in monitoring engineering projects. “99 pe rcent of investigation we have carried out on building collapse in the country shows that our engineers were not involved; that is the truth of the matter.” The COREN chief said to stem the tide of building collapse, the law had empowered the council to prosecute those who were responsible: whether engineers or not, adding that before now, the law only empowered them to prosecute engineers who were on COREN’s register as members.

He said lack of government patronising Nigerian engineers and their products as identified by speakers during the lecture had been a challenge to the development of the engineering profession in Nigeria. “Nigerian engineers are good outside the shores of the country due to enabling environment. If our engineers are given the enabling environment, they will proffer solutions to our challenges,” Rabiu said, and added that, “Nigerian engineers are up to the task if allowed to prove their mettle.”

Source:  Dailytrust

Three Siblings, Landlord, others Escape Death in Lagos Collapsed Building

Three siblings, Taiwo, Kehinde and Idowu Yakubu, escaped death by a whisker when a two-storey building collapsed at No. 30 Osasa Avenue, Bariga, Lagos, on Sunday.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the 10-year-old twins, Taiwo and Kehinde, and their seven-year-old brother, Idowu, were playing the Ludo game with their friend on the balcony of the building, when it partially collapsed around 9.30pm.

The siblings, who fell from the second floor of the building, were rescued from the rubble, while about 30 other tenants were displaced.

It was gathered that the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos State Ambulance Service and the Nigeria Red Cross were on the ground to coordinate the rescue operation.

While some residents claimed that the collapse was as a result of vibration from the earthmover used for road construction, which had weakened the foundation of the building, others maintained that it was as a result of the weak state of the house.

A resident of the area, Collins Akuebuka, said, “When the incident happened, I was one of the first set of people to arrive at the scene. We rescued three children. Other tenants were not injured, but the landlord had been sick before the incident and he was immediately rushed to the general hospital.

“We realised that the pillars supporting the structure were weak; the pillar of the part of the building that collapsed was removed and it had not been replaced. The children were playing on the balcony in the affected area and that was why they were injured.

“I am sure the building must have shown signs of distress before it eventually collapsed but the landlord decided to ignore it. We implore the government to come and assess houses in the area and do the needful by addressing the issue of incessant building collapse.”

Another resident, Folake Williams, said if the government did not intervene speedily, more houses in the area would collapse.

She stated, “The vibration from the earthmoving equipment used in the ongoing road construction is weakening the foundation of many houses in this area. It has also obstructed the free flow of water such that the houses now experience flooding; if the government does not intervene speedily, other houses may be affected.”

The father of the siblings, Oluwagbemiga, said he had to take his children to a private hospital nearby after they were allegedly rejected by the Gbagada General Hospital.

He called on the government to come to his aid as his family was stranded.

Oluwagbemiga said, “I live on the second floor of the building with my family and I have three children. On Sunday night, I met my wife’s absence when I returned from work and the children were in the room. When there was power outage, I told them to go and play on the balcony.

“They were playing Ludo game when the portion of the building they were on collapsed and they fell from the second floor. It was the neighbours and the government agencies that helped me to bring them out of the rubble.

“We immediately rushed them to the Gbagada General Hospital, but they said there was no space; so, we had to bring them back to a nearby hospital, where they are currently receiving treatment. The government should please help us, because we are now stranded. The building has been barricaded.”

The Public Relations Officer, LASEMA, Mr Kehinde Adebayo, said the agency got a distress call through the emergency toll-free line, adding that four children were rescued.

He said, “The agency got the distress call around 9.30pm through the emergency toll-free line, 767/112, on Sunday, July 29, 2019. On arrival at the scene, it was discovered that a two-storey building had partially collapsed, injuring four children, two girls (twins) and a boy of the same parents, and another boy suffered bruises.

“Further investigation revealed that the building had some cracks on the section that collapsed. The landlord, Pa Ayilara, who initially refused all entreaties to be moved out, was later taken to the Gbagada General Hospital for treatment. The building was cordoned off after all the residents had been evacuated by the emergency responders.”

When the Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Titilayo Ajirotutu, was contacted, she said an integrity test would be conducted on the building to determine if it would be demolished.

She stated, “It was a partial collapse but we have cordoned off the area and there are no casualties. A non-destructive integrity test will be conducted and once the result is out, it will determine if the house will be demolished or repaired.

“Buildings in that area are old and we have asked all the house owners in the Osasa and Odunsin areas of Bariga to go for the non-destructive integrity test to check the state of the buildings, which they have not done.”

Source: punchng

BREAKING: Four dead as building collapses in Delta

At least four persons were feared dead with an unspecified number of persons still suspected to be trapped under a building that collapsed this morning in Abraka, Ethiope East council area of Delta state.

The building, a yet-to-be completed structure, identified as the new 206 Hotel, is located along Aghwana Avenue in Abraka. It was gathered that the owner of the building had taken to his heels.

Although the cause of the cause of the incident could not be immediately ascertained, it was gathered that it had been raining in Abraka since Friday evening. It was also gathered that the casualties caught under the structure when it crashed were some of construction workers who arrived early for work.

“The new 206 Hotel under construction at Aghwana Avenue, Abraka , this morning collapsed after today’s heavy downpour. Four construction workers who had arrived early for the day’s job were  trapped and later confirmed dead. Rescue efforts are still ongoing to see there are others trapped to be rescued.

From what I gathered, the building fell between 5:30am and 6:00am and it could have been because of the heavy rains since yesterday. It is still under construction so any other reason could have still been responsible for the accident”, the source, a resident of Abraka, who gave his name as O’tega said.

When reached for confirmation and details, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Onome Onowakpoyeya, said there had been a building collapse, but said that the police command had not been informed of any death record.

“It is true there has been a building, a hotel still under construction. We have no record of death because from what we know for now, it is still under construction,” she said.

Source: thenationonlineng

BREAKING: 60 escape death as hotel collapses in Ebonyi

More than 60 persons have escaped death in Abakaliki , the Ebonyi State as a wing of popular Metro View Hotel collapsed.

The hotel, which is located close to Presco Campus of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki in the heart of the city, collapsed on Wednesday evening around 7pm.

Following the collapse, the Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Authority sealed the 26 rooms hotel on Thursday Morning.

Special Assistant(SA) to Governor David Umahi on Capital Territory, Ejem Okoro led the team that sealed the hotel.

He said the Hotel would remain sealed pending investigation by the government.

The hotel, it was gathered was commissioned on the 28th May 2005 by former governor Martin Elechi .

A member of the hotel management, Autsine Orji , who spoke to journalists on behalf of the Company said they had noticed a crack on some of the pillars holding the building and they immediately cordoned off the side of building and started renovations, adding that it was on the process of the renovation that the building collapsed.

Orji said those who lodged in the hotel were outside the building for a seminar when the incident happened, stressing that no life was lost.

The Hotel was completed and opened in May 2005.

Source: thenationonlineng

100-Year-Old Building Collapses, 2 Dead, 40 Trapped

Two people were killed and over 40 people were feared trapped after a 100-year-old four-storey building collapsed in south Mumbai’s crowded Dongri neighbourhood around 11:40 am today.

Five have been rescued, according to NDTV.

Three large teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are at the site, looking for survivors. The area, full of dilapidated buildings on narrow lanes, was also flooded in heavy rain in the past weeks.

Ten ambulances and fire trucks have arrived and are parked some distance away from the building as the lanes are too narrow for them to enter.

“We heard a loud noise. Everybody shouted, ‘building is falling, building is falling’. I ran. It felt like a big earthquake,” a teenager who saw the building fell told NDTV.

“I saw bodies… There were some seven-eight families in the building,” another eyewitness said.

In visuals of the rescue operation, NDRF personnel in their bright orange safety gear are seen trying to remove concrete blocks as they probe the openings amid the debris for signs of life.

The authorities said this was a “level 2” incident – while level 1 is the most serious under the system that measures the severity of a building collapse.

Crowds thronged about the narrow lanes – where it would be extremely difficult for heavy machines to reach – and formed a human chain to pass down with their bare hands small debris like wooden blocks and bricks towards the outer area of the neighbourhood.

“The building was 100 years old. We have given permission to redevelop that area… We will know after investigation if the redevelopment initiative was delayed. Right now we are focusing on rescuing trapped people,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters.

A man who used to live at Dongri alleged the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is slow on allowing people to repair their old homes in the area.

“I applied for permission several times, but the BMC delayed it. All of this (building collapse) wouldn’t have happened if they had allowed us to repair our own building. We don’t want to wait for them. We will use our own funds,” said the man, looking at the rubble that was once a building he recognised well.

Building safety is a major issue in Mumbai, one of the world’s most crowded cities next to Dhaka in Bangladesh, according to the World Economic Forum.

Source: pmnewsnigeria

Jos building collapse: Police confirm 3 deaths, 7 injured

The Plateau Police Command has confirmed the death of three persons with seven severely injured from the collapse of a two-storey building at Dilimi community of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau.

DSP Terna Tyopev, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Command, confirmed the incident to newsmen on Monday in Jos

Tyopev, who did not state the cause that led to the collapse of the building, however said that the structure, located at Butcher Line in the area, is owned by Alhaji Rufai Kabiru. Maihaja: Arewa group frowns at House of Reps allegation against NEMA DG(Opens in a new browser tab)
“This evening, at about 5 p.m. we received a distress call that a two-storey building located at Butcher Line in Jos North has collapsed.
A search and rescue team was immediately mobilised to the scene. “Seven persons were rescued unhurt, three persons were rescued with various degree of injuries while three persons lost their lives,” he said.
The PPRO said the injured were currently receiving treatment at the Plateau Specialist Hospital and Bingham University Teaching Hospital, respectively. He said search and rescue operation was still ongoing at the scene, adding that security personnel have cordoned the vicinity.

Source: Vanguard


JUST IN: Many Feared Dead as Three-Storey Building Collapses in Jos

A three-storey building on Monday collapsed in Jos, the Plateau state capital with many trapped under the wreckage. The residential building which located at Seriki Street in the state capital was said to have caved in around 4:30 pm without any sign.

Some occupants of the building said to have been completed a few years ago were believed to be inside when it suddenly came down, raising fears of their safety.

Source: punchng

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