HOW TO AVOID BUILDING COLLAPSE —STEP BY STEP GUIDE



Collapse of building especially in the developing countries has been a great concern to Governments, Professional Bodies, Built Environment, Individuals and so on.

Collapse of buildings is not so rampant or common in developed countries but it is so astronomical in developing countries that it is said if building construction is started in a developing country and does not collapse, it may be due to the act of God

The consequences of building collapse are too enormous for the Society to bear. One of the consequences is the economic and capital loss as the huge amount invested on the structure is wasted

Another consequence of building collapse is the damage to the environment as the poisonous combination of gases will pollute the environment. Yet another disaster of building collapse is the injuries caused to the construction workers, which may lead to permanent injury and sometimes to deaths.

What is the way out of minimizing or avoiding building collapse? Below are the steps to take to avoid or reduce building collapse

STEP 1: LAND SURVEYING

Land surveying is an important part of the design and construction of building. Land surveying is done by land surveyors. Land surveyors provide adequate and vital information on the plot/ parcels/areas of land for the purpose of land acquisition, development and documentation purposes.

STEP 2: DO COMPREHENSIVE SOIL TEST OF THE PLACE

Soil is the substance on the surface of the earth in which plants grow. One of the uses of soil is for building purposes and this is where the building structure stands from one room apartment, mini flat to the highest skyscrapers

Engage a Geotechnical Engineer to carry out comprehensive soil tests to determine the quality and strength of the soil.

STEP 3: DESIGN A STANDARD BUILDING PLAN OF THE PROJECT

Building plan is the pictorial picture of your proposed building on paper. It shows all the hidden details of the building including the dimensions of space

Engage the service of a qualified Architect to design the proposed building. The basic function of an Architect is to manage the space. The Architect works closely with the client in making preliminary drawing and design the building project. He heads the design team and co-ordinates the work of the other consultants.

STEP 4: ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF A STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

The structural Engineer is concerned with the structural stability of the building. He provides details and specifications on material, size and weight for building structural elements. The structural Engineer also ensures that the building satisfies statutory requirements.

Due to economic reasons and other related factors, many builders do not engage the services of a qualified Structural Engineer and this singular factor contributes to the majority of the building collapse.

STEP 5: ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF OTHER BUILDING PROFESSIONALS

In order to avoid building collapse there is need to engage the service of other building and construction professional like the Building Service Engineers, The Planners, Accountants, Lawyers and Financiers among others

STEP 6: APPROVED BUILDING PLAN

Before you commence the construction of the proposed building, secure approved plans together with all structural details from all relevant regulatory authorities

STEP 7: CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

Produce and provide good construction materials like cement, steel, stones, blocks and so on with the approval of the Structural Engineer

STEP 8: REGISTERED BUILDERS

Engage the services of registered builders. The registered builder will manage and supervise the actual stages of the building and he ensures that each stage is constructed according to the approval building plan.

The list of the Registered Builder could be obtained from the Register of Council of Builders of Nigeria.

STEP 9: CONTENT OF CONCRETE MIX

One of the major factors that contribute to the collapse of the building is the content of the concrete mix. Some unqualified builders cut corners on this by not applying the relevant materials mixing ratios. Ensure that the ratio of the concrete mix is approved by the Structural Engineer.

STEP 10: THE DESIGN OF ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL SYSTEMS

Ensure that the electrical and mechanical systems are designed by the building service Engineers in accordance with the approved Building Plan and in conjunction with the Structural Engineers.

STEP 11: SUPERVISION OF THE BUILDING UP TO ROOF STAGE

Ensure that the design and the construction team supervise the project up to the roof level.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, one may ask the question why a fifty – hundred (50 – 100) storey building do not collapse, yet a ten storey building collapse during and after construction.? The answer is that the builders of the collapse buildings do not follow to the letters the steps listed above-hence the collapse of the structures. Do not economize, engage the services of various building professionals to avoid building collapse so as to save costs and also human lives.

SUMMARY OF STEPS TO TAKE TO AVOID BUILDING COLLAPSE

STEP 1:     LAND SURVEYING

STEP 2:     DO COMPREHENSIVE SOIL TEST

STEP 3:     DESIGN A STANDARD BUILDING PLAN

STEP 4:     ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF QUALIFIED STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS

STEP 5:     ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF OTHER BUILDING PROFESSIONALS

STEP 6:     OBTAIN APPROVED BUILDING PLAN

STEP 7:     GET GOOD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

STEP 8:     ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF REGISTERED BUILDERS

STEP 9:     OBTAIN GOOD CONCRETE MIX RATIO

STEP 10:   DESIGN APPROVED ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL SYSTEMS

STEP 11:   SUPERVISION UP TO THE ROOF STAGE