Lagos govt in partnership with stakeholders to construct 100,000 homes

The Lagos State Government in partnership with stakeholders in building industry on Friday begun working on the modalities for the construction of 100,000 houses.

The stakeholders are the Lagos State Ministries of Housing and Lands, EchoStone Nigeria, a property development firm, Family Homes Funds and Lagos State Building Investment Company (LBIC) Plc.

Others are Lagos State Ministries of Justice, Physical Planning and Urban Development, the Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency and various sister agencies of the state government.

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The stakeholders converged at the “Transaction Structuring Workshop for proposed 100,000 Affordable Housing Programme in Partnership with Lagos State Government” to fashion out ways of starting the housing project in June.

The  survey plans, layouts, land acquisition, encroachment issues, dealing with land grabbers, financing, security, regularization of titles were extensively discussed.

The government, developer and financiers agreed for the lawyers to proffer solutions to the challenging areas in order to reach a compromise that would be beneficial to all.

The state Commissioner for Housing, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, said that the state government had an initial plan to construct 20,000 houses by year 2020.

Lawal said EchoStone was given the contract to build 2,000 out of the 20,000, adding that the firm had demonstrated capacity to do more by introducing a technology that speed up delivery.

“Housing Finance is key, Mrs Bashar, (Head, Directorate of Commercial Law, Ministry of Justice), get your team, at the end of this workshop, we should be able to have an MOU,” Lawal said.

The commissioner said that investors had confidence in Lagos State Government because it had a reputation for continuity.

He said that the state government was going to target old housing schemes and abandoned lands in some areas to be aquired for the project.

The EchoStone’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sammy Adigun, said that the firm had deployed its technology which used cellular light cement with form works to mass produce houses globally and was training local artisans in its ongoing project in Badagry.

He said that the firm had already trained 67 artisans and would need to train 20,000 more to participate in the proposed 100,000 houses to be built.

“We have trained 67 and need to train more because with this technology, artisans must do the work with precision which local artisans are not used to,” he said.

Mr Femi Adewole the CEO, Family Homes Funds, called for the creation of a task force of all the stakeholders to fast track delivery of the 100,000 housing units to Nigerians.

He said that documented targets and objectives should be set up and dates for thier actualization be agreed upon.

“We want to sign up documents of achieving the goals,” he said.

Adewole said that key roles and responsibilities should be assigned and agreed upon.

Source: WorldStage

Affordable Housing: NGO canvasses for building homes with plastic

MUHAMMAD SABIU writes that many young people in Kaduna are currently turning waste into wealth, with others learning to make building blocks from recycled plastic materials, which, in the long run, may see Nigerians building their own houses in a cheaper way.

ALL over the world waste is being turned into wealth, but unfortunately in underdeveloping and developing parts of the world, waste abound yet most people live amidst hunger and poverty. It is in the quest to turn around this vicious circle of poverty and by extension keep a clean and pollution-free environment that a Non-Governmental Organisation is embarking on teaching young people on how to convert waste products like ‘pure water’ sachets and other plastic waste into interlocking tiles, roof tiles and building blocks.
Already many countries especially in Africa have been tapping into this relatively new area and thankfully, Cameroon and Nigeria are among the African nations exploring the technology. Studies have revealed that most dumpsites in the Northern part of the country are now ‘job sites’ for the teeming population of unemployed youths.

Visits by Arewa Live revealed that so many youths are now bombarding dumpsites picking or collecting waste materials, especially plastic materials and making brisk business from it. Indeed, the business is changing their life if only in a little way as they gradually work their way out of poverty.

Seeing the way that the plastic and nylon waste business is impacting the lives of the youths, many others in their shoes have become full time scavengers moving all over dumpsites and looking for would-be buyers. As it were, many other youths are also being trained in making building blocks and tiles from the waste products.

One of the youth who simply identified himself as Iro, remarked that scavenging for plastic and nylon waste products is a very tedious exercise. According to him, every day, he and his friends leave their respective homes early in the morning, walk through the streets of Kaduna looking for the waste materials and by afternoon, having collected as much as they could, would retire to their respective homes.

According to Iro, “The following morning we often sell the waste products to buyers who would already be waiting for us. From the proceeds we get, we assist our parents in solving some financial problems and even buy some books we need in school.”

Commenting on the new development, team leader of the waste experts, Mr Yahaya Ahmed, an engineer, maintained that the era of cement block is over. According to him, blocks made from the recycled waste is stronger and cheaper. He said he was hopeful that in no distant future, blocks made from the recycled waste materials will dominate the market and provide jobs for thousands of unemployed youths roaming the streets. He stressed that using the block for building a house is very economical.

Training the youth 

Speaking further, Ahmed said the training of about 1,000 youths has started, adding that: “We are hoping to see that those who received the training would also train other people so as to spread the idea across the nation in order to save our environment against all forms of environmental threats and dangers associated with environmental degradation and waste pollution.”

He also said that dumping of ‘pure water’ sachets into drainage channels had contributed to flooding in recent times, but that with the new concept the environment could be saved from disasters.

Mr Pierre Kamsouloum, a Cameroonian, consultant-trainer and expert on recycling plastic who is also involved in the training of the youths, told Arewa Live that the young people in training would also learn other things that would be useful for their lives and well-being.

“This idea was mooted 12 years ago in my town Garowa, in Cameroon and a few years later, I joined other organisations to spread the idea which involved travelling from one country to another.

“We are here in Nigeria to teach other youths how to collect plastic wastes from the trash centre and transform them into something that is useful for the construction of houses and other interior decorations.

“It is my joy to see that many youths get this training so as to help fight unemployment and poverty. I train the youths on how to collect the plastic wastes, wash and dry them, before putting it into a big pot to melt while mixing it with sand extracted from Kaduna River,” he explained adding that the interlocking concrete tiles are very fast to dry and very solid.

Mallam Siba Ahmed Dala, one of the youths under training, said he was surprised because he never envisaged that ‘pure water’ sachets and other plastic wastes could be of economic value. He told Arewa Live that after the training he would be ready to pass the knowledge on to other youths.

Assistant Director, African Climate Reporters, Dr. Piman Hoffman, who was also part of the training programme, applauded the effort of the NGO and Mr Kamsouloum, saying: “recycling is important in today’s world if we want to leave this planet for our future generations.

“It is good for the environment since we are making new products from the old products which are of no use to us.  Recycling begins at home. Recycling your waste makes you more responsible in the way you use and dispose it.

“It is evident from studies that people who do this instinctively cut down on buying unwanted things from the supermarkets. When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, and as a result the amount of rubbish sent for incineration reduces,” he explained.

Arewa Live’s investigations gathered that the first recycled-plastic house is currently being constructed along Kaduna/Zaria road in Kaduna State. When completed it will be the first recycled-plastic house in the country.

Team leader of the trainers, Ahmed told Arewa Live that the biggest challenge now is to involve government in the programme in order to increase the number of trainees.

Ahmed who was the brain behind the first plastic-bottle house in Africa located at Yalwa along Kaduna-Zaria road remarked that recycling of waste plastic is one of the best technologies to avoid environmental air pollution that may arise from burning plastic. He added that as the human population continues to increase, the quantity of solid wastes generation also increases.

Since the ‘Housing for all by the year 2,000’ slogan has failed, this cheaper way of building a house with recycled plastic wastes should attract every Nigerian’s attention. Perhaps in the long run, most Nigerians would have found a way of owning their own houses by keeping and recycling their plastic wastes and not having to wait till their old age before they can build their own house.

Osinbajo Commissions 100 housing units in Emotan Gardens

presents apartment to award-winning EDOBEST teacher Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has presented the key and certificate for a two-bedroom apartment, a unit in Emotan Gardens estate, to Mrs. Osaru Noragbon, who is the best teacher in the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EDOBEST) programme.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Edo State best teacher and beneficiary of a two-bedroom apartment gift in Emotan Gardens, Mrs. Osaru Noragbon; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Executive Chairman, Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA), Isoken Omo; and Managing Director, Mixta Nigeria, Kola Ashiru-Balogun (back row), during the commissioning of first phase of 100 housing units in Emotan Gardens Estate at Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Edo State.

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Osinbajo presented the apartment to Mrs. Noragbon during the commissioning of first phase of 100 units in Emotan Gardens Estate at Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State. Earlier, welcoming the Vice President to the state and the estate, Governor Obaseki said: “This is cluster one of Emotan Gardens, whose foundation you laid a few months ago.”

Emotan Gardens is an initiative of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government developed through a joint-venture partnership between Mixta Africa, a renowned real estate developer and Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA). The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development was signed in May 2018 with Mixta Africa, and had a delivery timeline of 12 months for the first phase.

However, this was delivered well ahead of schedule. Commissioning the first phase of the estate, the Vice President said, “It is my pleasure to officially commission cluster one of the Emotan Gardens Estate for immediate occupation by the first occupant and the winner of EDOBEST programme.”

Obaseki said the goal of Mixta Africa, the developer of the estate, is for subscribers to move into the property as soon as possible and that they inhabit a safe, serene estate that meets their needs. “The first 100 of the houses are ready for inauguration. As a government, we have bought 10 of the houses, while about 50 of the houses have been sold to the public,” he said.

School Designed for Homeless Children In Oklahoma City

How do you incorporate the specific needs of homeless children into the design of a school? That’s the question the Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization Positive Tomorrows asked itself when it was daydreaming about a new building that could meet the many needs of its students. Positive Tomorrows has been educating homeless kids and providing social services to families since 1989.

“There is no model for this type of school,” said Gary Armbruster, principal architect and partner at MA+ Architecture, which came on the scene in 2013 to help kickstart the design process for the new school.

Working with staff and students of Positive Tomorrows, his team came up with a design that would address the challenges homeless students face every day while finding ways to replicate the experiences of children who don’t suffer from homelessness. The new building, which will eventually serve children from infants to eighth-grade students, is set to open in September 2019. With a target of 210 students at full capacity, it will almost triple the capacity of the current facility, which can only serve about 74 children. Through its new structure, Positive Tomorrows hopes to provide a standard on how to build a school for homeless children.

“This is a school where we need to talk to the students,” said Armbruster. “Because in many cases, it’s their home away from home, a place where they feel secure and can have some consistency in their lives.” One of the most valuable, if simple, approaches that they took was to try to incorporate a homey feel. “Every room is themed with a home in mind,” said Armbruster.

The facility was designed in part by the kids, who participated in a “dream big” exercise, where they submitted drawings and other ideas of what they’d like to see in the new building. One student drew a floor plan that’s redolent of the current layout, with the lunchroom and the library in the center and everything else building out around it. The children wanted a treehouse, so the design includes a stylized indoor treehouse that serves as a collaboration space for students to socialize.

Clayton’s Clubhouse (named after the late son of a couple who volunteered with and donated to Positive Tomorrows) is another comfortable area, with a small lending library where kids can kick back, read a book, and even take one to keep. As homeless children generally don’t have a place to host playdates, many of these spaces meet students’ requests for “a place to sit with friends.”

The architects also incorporated a range of group-learning areas both inside and outside as spaces where kids can meet with other students or with their mentors to read, play games, or do schoolwork. Having spaces to meet with each other and reinforce social skills is important, because many of the children are behind developmentally and behaviorally when it relates to cooperation and group play. Key to making the children feel that they can own the spaces they’re in is having flexible, moveable, and durable furniture.

“Our kiddos have nothing that’s their own,” said Amy Brewer, Director of Education at Positive Tomorrows. “’If I want to do a Lego project, I can’t leave it out because where I stay tonight may not be where I stay tomorrow.’ Sometimes they’re just like turtles in their shells when they need just a moment,” Brewer continued. The new building will bring an enhanced cubby system, each one perfectly child-sized with a bench where the kids can relax surrounded by their things. “The cubbies are the one thing they have that’s theirs,” said Armbruster. “No one is gonna touch it; no one is gonna move it.”

The family room serves as both a common room and a cafeteria, and it’s the heart of the school and the main focal point upon entering the building. It extends out to the backyard, where the kids can play on the playground and learn in outdoor classrooms. Other areas, such as the living rooms and the front and back porches, are named to allow the students to understand what those words mean. “This sounds like such a simple concept that everyone should understand, but if you haven’t grown up with those ideals, then you just don’t understand them,” said Armbruster.

In 2017, the Oklahoma City Public School District had 5,031 homeless children enrolled. But Brewer believes the number of homeless children in Oklahoma City is closer to 10,000, due to lack of self-identification and “couch homelessness,” which is harder to measure. These are students who sleep in a different place nearly every night, be it a sofa, a garage, or on the floor of a relative or friend.

Positive Tomorrows was originally part of the city’s public school district, but the 2002 federal No Child Left Behind Act meant that public school systems could no longer segregate students based on their homeless status and the program morphed into a nonprofit, tuition-free private school. Positive Tomorrows believes that their children and families have particular needs and require a school that can provide that.

“Our families are in complete survivor mode,” said Brewer. “Schooling is an afterthought at best. For many of our kids, if they were not at Positive Tomorrows, they would not be at school. Positive Tomorrows is able to provide a family with an array of support services that a traditional public school cannot.”

Government support for the school is minimal; last fiscal year, Positive Tomorrows received a $61,339 reimbursement from the federal school lunch program, said Brewer, as well as $2,194.08 for Title II funding via the Oklahoma City Public School District that supports professional development for teachers. Fundraising for the new building began in 2017. The school received $5 million in New Market Tax Credits and was able to raise more than $10 million from the community in less than a year.

The largest donor gave $2 million with a vision that the school be built alongside ReMerge, a program that helps pregnant women and mothers facing incarceration, providing an alternative to incarceration in prison. Many of the children at Positive Tomorrows have mothers in the program, and ReMerge is also building a new facility. The two buildings will share a courtyard where the moms and kids can spend time together during the day.

Since caring for the families of the students is an essential mission of the school, the administration area has been designed at double the size that it might be in a traditional school, to accommodate the family support offices and cater to case management, housing placement, and other social services.

Homeless children often come into school feeling tired and restless, so there will be space to nap in the nurse’s office, and the early Head Start and Head Start rooms will be outfitted with cots and cribs. In addition, each classroom has a “touchdown space,” a connected but private room where one or a group of students can rest. The kitchen, where the kids are supplied with free school lunches, is off the family room alongside the food lab, a residential kitchen where parents and kids can learn to cook and have “homemade” meals as a family. It also has a built-in clothing closet with everything from coats to sneakers to toiletries; whatever a child might need to get through the school day and a laundry room.

During the “dream big” exercise, one of the students drew a button in his classroom that read, “Alarm for the police.” “So this child wanted to be able to call the police immediately, and that maybe says a lot about the life that he lives every day,” said Armbruster.

It wasn’t only the students: Safety and security was at the top of staff’s list of needs, as well. “One of the shelters we serve is a domestic violence shelter, so we have kids actively hiding from abusers,” said Brewer. The layout of the building reinforces safety: Its facade is made of glass, which both lets in abundant natural light and gives those in the administration offices a full view of anyone approaching. There is one point of entry for the entire building, and everyone has to enter through a two-step secure entry vestibule before checking in, signing in, and getting a badge.

“This is a place where they know they are safe,” Armbruster said about the design. “A place where they will learn and not be judged for how they look, what they wear, where they live or who they are. Here, they are all kids.”

Source: Rebecca Bellan

How building collapse can be prevented by effective monitoring – Expert

An expert in project supervision, Mr. Andrew Omeje, has advocated serious monitoring of projects to avoid making serious mistakes that could bring the house down after so much has been spent on it.

Omeje who was fielding questions from the press on a permanent remedy to house collapse in the country and the way forward said that, monitoring which professionally is referred to supervision should be increased. He also stated that developers must at all times stick to the project plans. 

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He said, “If projects are professionally monitored, there will be no incidence of building collapse and the losses in terms of death, building materials damages and other losses would have drastically been curtailed. Governments should live their roles in this regards to curtail wasted.

“Most people do not see government activities as their own and so they do not inject the real energy to see it done well. If it were private business, it will only happen once, but since it is an individual business everybody does it with lukewarm attitude,” he said.

Meanwhile a lot of people who witness the various collapse in the country came out to  reveal that most of them were as a result of poor or no serious monitoring or supervision.The revelations were made at the just concluded sitting in Port Harcourt of the judicial commission of inquiry on the collapsed  building that happened during the last quarter of last year, 2018.

Most Nigerian government usually take action after the damage has already been done. An instance is the setting up of the 7-man Committee headed by Justice Adolphus Enebeli to ascertain whether the architectural, engineering and structural designs of the building were undertaken by competent and licensed experts. 

The Committee set by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in December, 2018, was to find the immediate and remote cause of the collapse to that in the future, such measures would be taken to avoid the collapse of building in the future. Some people, criticized the after thought method instead of being proactive in actions.

Wike had also directed the panel to investigate the circumstances that led to the collapse of the building located on Woji road in New GRA, Port Harcourt. He said that henceforth the state authorities in charge of building construction supervision will increase its tempo to foreclose the event of having a repeat in the future.

Justice Enebeli in his speech also said that the commission which started hearing on the case since December 27, 2018, has heard from 46 witnesses and accepted 18 exhibits. This he said will narrow to the culprit so that blame could be appropriately apportioned. He noted that during the sitting which lasted 13 days, some of the witnesses including building experts gave shocking reasons on what could have led to the collapse of the building.

Source: The Sun

Egypt to build Africa’s highest tower

Egypt’s New Administrative Capital will witness the establishment of the highest tower in Egypt and Africa in March 2019, according to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli’s statements on Monday.

Madbouli added during his visit to the new capital to inaugurate the Green River project that the tower will be up to 390 meters in height and will be established in cooperation with China State Construction Engineering Company (CSCEC).

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Madbouli inspected three projects that are being implemented in the new capital and visited the central business district. A business hub is also planned to be established in that district, the premier said, adding that a smart-city infrastructure will be used.

After his tour in the new capital, Madbouli visited the Robeiki leather city; the prime minister rebuked a number of officials for delaying work regarding the project. He urged them to complete the project on the scheduled time.

Robeiki is a specialized integrated city that aims to attract the national leather industry projects. Tanneries are encouraged to relocate from the neighborhood of Magra el-Eyoun, in the heart of Islamic Cairo, to the new 1,629 feddan city outside Cairo near Badr City.

Madbouli said he would dispatch a follow-up committee during the evening hours to make sure work is being carried out according to schedule and would receive periodical updates.

Officials told Madbouli that the first phase of Robeiki, which has already been completed, includes 341 units. Ninety-one factories have also been built and nine others are in the construction process.

As for the second phase, the officials revealed that the establishment of its infrastructure was completed on 116 feddans. Marketing for the third phase of the project over 511 feddans is under way, they said.

Banks, ambulances, firefighting units, police stations, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, bakeries and transportation stations have been readied for the city’s residents and will be fully operated, the officials stressed.

The officials further explained that contracts are currently being prepared with the Badr City Authority for tenants of the first phase’ housing units.

African Union To Start Construction of Real Wakanda

It might have been a wish in the early months of 2018 when the highest-grossing superhero film of all time “Black Panther” depicted a rich and technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda that was the envy of the rest of the world.

It is nearly a wish come true as the African Union is close to starting the construction of a real Wakanda which will be built, run and operated across the continent by the African diaspora.Dubbed the Wakanda One Village Project,it will consist of five African Centres of Excellence in each of the five regions of the continent which will serve as nerve centers for development bearing state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, hotels, industrial homes, shopping centres among others.This was announced by the African Union Ambassador to the United States of America, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, when she launched the Afircan Diaspora Global Bank which is expected to raise $5 billion that will fund the project.

Zimbabwe and Zambia have offered 2,000 and 132 hectares of land respectively around the Victoria Falls area which borders the two countries. Zambia has also made its offer and Zimbabwe’s offer was confirmed by Ambassador Chihombori-Quao at the African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt.

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“I met His Excellency President Mnangagwa recently and he offered us 2000 hectares for the regional Wakanda One Village in Victoria Falls. The offer comes after the Zambian Government has also offered some land across the river in Livingstone. We are looking at building the village transcending the borders of the two countries,” she disclosed in an interview.

The Wakanda One Village in Zimbabwe and Zambia will serve as the first of the project in the Southern African region and will comprise a 100-bed teaching hospital, a university and technical college, primary and secondary schools, day-care centres, three five-star hotels, game lodge, pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, agricultural farms and parks.

The infrastructure will also include a shopping centre, commercial office buildings, renewable power plants, a monorail around the complex and roads ready to support self-driving electric cars, reports Sydney Kawadza.

The project targets Africans in the diaspora who want to help build the continent to the level they want it to be, Ambassador Chihombori-Quao said earlier this year.

“You know, when you talk about a ‘good Africa’ or returning home, many people say ‘Well, [Africa] is not what I’m used to,’ and to that I always tell them, ‘Then build the home you want,” she said at the launch of the African Diaspora Global Bank.

“We don’t even realize we are on autopilot waiting for the White man to build this ‘civilization’ for us. So we are taking our destiny into our own hands and creating something built for and by the people of the African diaspora,” she added.

The African Union said it will first sensitize the Diaspora before forming an investment board from all the regions of Africa headquartered in Washington DC to manage the fund and decide on the value of shares and conversion factors.

“The establishment of an Investment Board should lead to the opening up of the African Diaspora Savings and Investment Accounts in the four banks. We will also encourage African Diaspora to open individual accounts with a minimum deposit of US$10 a month while the board will decide on the transition to a credit union,” Dr Chihombori-Quao said.

“We are looking at raising at least US$2 billion in the next two years with the first ground breaking set for the end of the year 2020 … We are going to build the Africa that we want,so those Diasporans who say I cannot go home because home is not what I am used to will make it what they want,” she added.

Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao also revealed that Kenya and Tanzania have also pledged land for East Africa’s Wakanda One Village project.

Facts you Must Know About Green Building

Construction, maintenance and use of Green Building have significant impact on environment. People’s concern about environment and energy has necessitated the development of the concept of green building. A green building is broadly denied as the building which is sited, designed and operated to reduce negative environmental and has profound positive impact on natural environment, economy, health, productivity and society over its life cycle.

Green building at present constitutes about 5 per cent of the building market. The green building is evaluated by holistic approach where each component is considered in context of the whole building and its social and environmental impacts. The important components of green building are as under:

Materials, Energy, Water, Health.

Materials:

The materials to be used in the green building should be ecofriendly. These should be obtained from local renewable resources with minimum embodied energy and should be causing minimum waste during its use. These should be recyclable. Such materials will reduce green house gas emissions.
Green buildings use reclaimed materials i.e., use of materials which have been used in previous buildings. Materials such as bricks, doors, windows, frames etc. can be used for another purpose depending on the size and strength, in the new building. This reduces the embodied energy and reduces environmental impacts.
Some toxic materials are used along with the construction materials. Paints for example used as coating material consist of pigments (heavy metals like cadmium, lead and chromium used in pigments), petrochemicals and solvents, benzene, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are used as binder (to hold the paint) and carrier (to disperse the binder). Some preservatives, thickners, thinners, and driers are also used. These toxic chemicals cause indoor pollution and are harmful to human health. These should be replaced by eco-friendly natural products.

 

Energy:

The green buildings conform to energy efficient guidelines. Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) norms launched on 28 June 2007 apply to all commercial buildings that are constructed in India and have electric connected load of 500 kW or more. ECBC provides design for natural and electrical system for reduction in energy use, 40–60% less energy than baseline building. Solar panels can meet the hot water requirements and efficient lighting. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) can reduce the electricity requirements. Natural day light reduces electricity requirement during day time. Heating and cooling costs of such buildings can be reduced by passive solar designs. Use of insulating materials and glass windows play a major role in such designs. Low E glazed windows should be used.
The energy performance rating of windows, doors and skylights is done in terms of potential for gaining and loosing heat and transmitting sunlight into the building.The non-solar heat flow conducted through a window, door or sunlight is measured in terms of u factor which is reciprocal to their energy efficiency (i.e., lower the u-factor more is the energy efficiency). Insulation for heat is an important factor for energy efficient building. Traditional mud houses (consisting of soil mixed with water and straw) are generally found in the villages and this cob technique is also being used in modern construction to have stronger and
thinner walls which provide insulation for heat and noise. During day time the material absorbs heat and the outer exposed side keeps the inside cool while during night time it radiates the absorbed heat to the interior. Stone bricks are also used in buildings which have less embodied energy than bricks from brick kilns although
quarrying of stone has environmental impacts. Natural materials like lime, gypsum, clay etc. can be used for making strong and breathable
walls. A green building can have green roof system. E-rated reflective roof coating will reduce roof heating.

In an attempt to use renewable resources in ecofriendly buildings, the traditional biomass roo􀃒ng (i.e., thatch and wood tiles made from local renewable source) is preferred which forms a biodegradable, appealing and durable roofing. The roof can provide natural substrate and processes for plant growth. A water proof layer (material for water retention) and proper drainage helps plant growth and at the same time protects the roof and building from damage. For green roofs small
plants with 􀃒brous roots and low water requirements are best suited.

Green roof has the following advantages:

Absorbs atmospheric CO2

Improves energy efficiency.

Causes cooling in summer and provides insulation in winter.

Absorbs noxious pollutants, sound and noise from atmosphere.

Absorbs rainwater which may otherwise flood the sewer lines.

Preserves biodiversity, attracts butterfies, bees and local birds.

Improves aesthetics of the building.

Reducing energy consumption and saving energy will reduce fossil fuel consumption and thereby reduce the threat of global climate change. In green building the use of eco-friendly construction material with low embodied energy helps in reducing carbon emission. This is an important consideration as the building sector
contributes a substantial percentage of green house gases. Carbon emission can further be reduced by reducing energy consumption for heating, cooling and lighting and use of energy efficient gadgets. Reduction in energy consumption in green building will not only reduce global warming and pollution but will also
provide financial savings as the cost of fast depleting fuel will increase in near future.

Water:

Water requirement in the green building is minimised. Water is used efficiently by employing water efficient appliances like low flush toilets, waterless urinals etc. The waste water is treated and used for gardening and 􀃓ushing by the use of double plumbing system. Permeable pavements and rainwater harvesting technology help in recharging groundwater.

Health:

Indoor pollution is harmful to the health of residents. People who spend their time indoors with less ventilation get exposed to toxic materials, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paints, solvents, plastics and also mites, moulds, spores, microbes, and many other indoor pollutants. They su􀃗er from various types of diseases like asthma, headache, palpitation and chronic fatigue, nausea, eye irritation, skin disorders, liver and kidney damage and even cancer.
Green building provides sufficient air circulation and the stale air is replaced by fresh one. The non toxic materials and breathable walls help maintain good indoor air quality. Non-toxic materials like lead free paints i.e., water soluble, natural or organic paints are used. Green buildings with proper ventilation for air circulation are good for health and well being. Natural day light while reduces electricity requirements, also improves productivity e.g., students studying in day light classrooms are known to perform better (20–26% better) than those studying with least day light. Buildings are evaluated on the basis of a number of parameters of environmental importance. Different ratings are given to such green buildings. “Platinum rating” is the highest rating for green buildings. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) standards have been developed by USA and many countries have adopted by amending these suitably. A completed building may be rated with different levels as LEED certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute) have developed rating systems for newly constructed buildings. IGBC has set up LEED India NC (LEED India Green Building Rating System for New Commercial Construction and Major Renovations) and TERI has its system called GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment). The classification levels are as under:

Level Points

Certified 26 to 32

Silver 33 to 38

Gold 39 to 51

Platinum 52 or more

Recently in 2009, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), taken off from Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) of 2007, has started rating office buildings on the basis of their energy consumption in kWh/sq. m./year over a minimum period of one year. The scheme is voluntary and buildings at least one year old are rated on the basis of power consumption, from “one to live” in increasing order of the efficient building. Cities falling in three climatic zones namely, Composite (like Delhi), Hot and Dry (like Jaipur and Ahmedabad) and Hot and Humid (like Mumbai and Chennai) will be assessed on separate assessment parameters.

Source: Online Civil Forum

2019:10 problems of AFFORDABLE Housing and possible solutions

10 Problems of Housing in Nigeria:

1. Land Use Act

The Land Use Act of 1978 put all land under the management of the government. The decree was to be advantageous for the country and its citizens with regulations to protect public interest as well as create efficiency of land use all over the country.

Purchasing land in Nigeria today without acquiring Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) from the government puts you at a disadvantage since the land is not really yours.

This prevents access to loans or funding to develop such property. Asides the high cost of land acquisition, the cost of acquiring Certificate of Occupancy and the process involved seems to be very cumbersome and this poses a problem for housing development by individuals or real estate developers.

Basic facilities such as good road networks, water supply, electricity, drainage systems, rail tracks and tunnels are still lacking in many areas in Nigeria.

These are infrastructure that if improved on and installed where they are lacking will greatly ameliorate the living conditions of the people and bring about better housing situations.

The process of documentation and property registration takes too long. This makes people cut corners and when due process is not followed, it becomes a problem to housing development.

2. Lack of Infrastructure

Basic facilities such as good road networks, water supply, electricity, drainage systems, rail tracks and tunnels are still lacking in many areas in Nigeria. These are infrastructure that if improved on and installed where they are lacking will greatly ameliorate the living conditions of the people and bring about better housing situations.

3. Documentation Process

The process of documentation and property registration takes too long. This makes people cut corners and when due process is not followed, it becomes a problem to housing development.

There is also the problem of harassment from community boys during property development; a problem that can be eliminated if the main documentation process is adequately pursued.

4. High Cost of Building Material

The high cost of building materials and how it affects property development cannot be overstated. Most building materials are imported leading to their high cost.

The more expensive these materials, the harder it is for low income earners to purchase them. This translates to incomplete structures, substandard houses and high cost of rent which are all contributing factors to the housing problems faced in Nigeria.

5. Shortcoming of Mortgage Institutions

There is a limited number of mortgage institutions in Nigeria. The ones that do exist compared to their overseas counterparts are still lagging behind.. Shortcoming of Mortgage Institutions

6. Rural-Urban Migration/Urbanization

This is the movement of people from rural areas to urban centres causing population explosion in such areas. Over the years, there has been rapid urbanization in Nigeria. This has led to people settling in very unsanitary environments.

These are scenes from present day Lagos, a region in Nigeria that has been a major recipient of rural-urban migrants.

7. Poor Quality Houses

This can be easily traced to high cost of building materials, inadequacy to satisfy the increasing demand for houses, lack of planning, difficulty to secure mortgage loans and a host of other reasons. The result of all these are the poor quality houses obtainable around the country.

8. Dilapidated Conditions of Houses

Rent is constantly on the increase in Nigeria. Tenant landlord relationships get sour when this happens as the house owners attribute the increase to high cost of building materials and maintenance of property. Such maintenance hardly ever occurs leading to dilapidated condition of the houses.

9. Inadequate Implementation of Planning  Policies

Institutions charged with development plans in Nigeria are falling short in many ways. Even where these plans exist as regards housing, they are too focused on urban development while the rural areas are neglected.

Generally, there is a lack in rural and urban development plans as well as a great implementation deficiency which is a major cause of housing problem in Nigeria.

10. Lack of Enlightment

The root cause of this problem cuts across the professionals in the housing sector, the agencies involved in housing and the common man on the street.

Given the terrible state of housing in Nigeria, there is a dire need for the professionals like architects, civil engineers, land surveyors, mechanical engineers and the lot to orient the masses on issues of housing.

Organisations like the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) or better still, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing should enlighten people on how best to develop their property as ignorance is also a contributing factor to housing problems in Nigeria.

The problem of housing should be of concern to a government that prioritizes the welfare her citizens and as such, seek to solve them.

Solutions to Housing Problems in Nigeria

1. Research institutes should be encouraged to exploit local raw materials and produce alternative building materials from them.
2. Critical review of rural and urban housing policies should be carried out by the appropriate agencies.
3. The national development plan of Nigeria should thoroughly take housing problems in the country into consideration and give provision of habitable accommodation to citizens its rightful place.
4. Development of rural areas to reduce rural-urban migration.
5. The government should partner with cooperative societies and real estate developers to provide housing infrastructure.
6. The federal government should ensure that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Federal Mortgage Finance Limited (FMF), Urban Development Bank (UDB), and all other relevant agencies perform their roles effectively.

7. The government should also make the process of registration and documentation of property less bureaucratic. Getting approval for building plans and acquiring Certificate of occupancy should be made easier for legit property owners.

8. Provision of social amenities such as electricity, good road networks, proper drainage systems and the likes will go a long way to ease housing development in areas where these are lacking. It will also help decongest populated cities.

According to the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, a minimum of an additional one million housing units per annum is required to reduce the national deficit of about 17 million housing units if a housing crisis is to be prevented by year 2020.

There is a housing crisis already and these solutions will not only affect housing delivery positively, but will also yield national benefits.

Implementation of these solutions to housing problems will result in job creation, infrastructure development throughout the country, better living conditions, improved health, increased GDP, new market for locally made building materials and generally, national development.

State governments should obey the urban planning law— NITP

Over 90 per cent of the cities in Nigeria lack a proper master plan and most of them were developed without any such plan, the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has said.

According to the institute, state governments do not abide by the provisions of the Urban Regional Planning Law, a development that resulted in unplanned state capitals.

The NITP Chairman, Federal Capital Territory Chapter, Garba Jibril, described this as a challenge to town planners across the country and encouraged state governments to obey the urban planning law.

Jibril, who spoke to our correspondent in Abuja after he was sworn in as the new chairman of the institute, said, “The challenge we have is that in other cities outside Abuja, in fact, in the whole of Nigeria, we have less than 10 per cent of Nigerian cities that have master plan. They lack proper guidance for the implementation of physical planning development.

“We have less than 10 per cent of them that have a master plan and that is a major challenge for us. Most of the state capitals don’t abide by the provisions of the Urban Regional Planning Law. They give no regard to this law and this is unfortunate.”

He added, “Most of the politicians in these states have no regard for that law. They don’t involve planners in the development of their states. So also the followers; people just buy land and start developing it without following due process and this is why we have challenges such as flooding.”

When asked whether the situation could be corrected, Jibril replied, “Yes it can, but there has to be a strong political will to make this happen. We are making effort and that is why the national body of the NITP organises three national workshops in three geopolitical zones.

“We visit state governors, enlighten them on why they have to plan and invite them to our programmes, as well as look at contemporary issues within the region and see how to address them for better development.”

Jibril described the institute as a training ground and research centre for all professionals who practise town planning in Nigeria.

He further noted that the improper construction of houses in cities across the country had been an issue of concern to town planners.

“This is because town planning is all about ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in people’s ways of life in relation to their places of living, places of work, educational, health and other activities. This is a major concern to town planners,” he said.

Jibril noted that the institute was working hard to address the issues, adding that the NITP was liaising with all the directors in charge of town planning, particularly in the FCT, to check the improper construction of buildings.

He, however, stated that the institute could not force people to stop the improper erection of structures, rather it would continue to educate citizens on how to properly plan their cities.

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