Imbibe Professionalism, Expert Urges Prospective Builders
Prospective builders should guard against the temptation of sacrificing professionalism on the altar of lucre in their future undertakings, the Guest Speaker at the Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Building Technology of Covenant University, Builder Samuel Abiodun, has said.
“As a builder, don’t be in a rush to sell your stamp of authentication for a structure that you were not responsible for its supervision,” he warned.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Roles of Builders in Monitoring and Controlling of Construction Projects’, Builder Abiodun attributed recurring cases of building collapse in the country to error in the design of structures, poor monitoring process, non-adherence to building code and neglect of professional builders in the construction industry, while adding that the primary causes of building collapse can be traced to faulty construction, foundation failure, extraordinary loads, unexpected failure modes and in some cases a combination of causes.
According to him, bad design does not mean only errors of computation, but a failure to take into account the loads the structure will be called upon to carry, erroneous theories, reliance on inaccurate data, ignorance of the effects of repeated or impulsive stresses, and improper choice of materials or misunderstanding of their properties.
Faulty construction, said the building expert, has been the most important cause of structural failure, while the engineer can also be questioned, if inspection has been lax and inadequate.
Citing the case of the Lekki Gardens building mishap, Builder Abiodun, who works with the Lagos State Building Control Agency under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Department, noted that foundation failure, even with an excellently designed and constructed structure, will not stand. Although the structure will carry its loads, the earth beneath it may not, he emphasised.
Extraordinary loads, he explained, are often natural, such as in other parts of the world where there is heavy snowfalls, earthquake or the winds of a hurricane, which can play damaging roles in such scenarios.
He posited that unexpected failure modes are the most complex of the reasons for collapse. “Any new type of structure is subject to unexpected failure, until its properties are well understood,” he stressed.
Builder Abiodun told the gathering, comprised of students, faculty and staff, that the core function of a builder in any construction project is building production management. He said an integral part of management is monitoring and evaluating the construction project, while at the same time applying different monitoring techniques to achieve the objectives.
He encouraged female students of the department to embrace and love the profession of building technology, and commended the quality of graduates the department has churned out over the years.
A senior faculty member of the Building Technology Department, Professor Timothy Mosaku, while appreciating the delivery of the presentation, challenged the students in the department to make the most of the platform that the Town and Gown seminar series is availing them to truly learn from experts and start proffering solutions.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Head, Department of Building Technology, Dr. James Owolabi, said it was the first Town and Gown seminar in the department for the 2016-2017 academic session and the department was fortunate to have an active practitioner to speak to a crucial issue that needed to be addressed speedily.
Dr. Owolabi noted that building and the built environment is the third largest employer of labour behind oil and gas and the federal and state government civil service, and as a result, the importance of the vocation cannot be underestimated in terms of its contribution to the economy and the need for shelter for the world’s ever growing population.