An Investigation Into Causes Of Building Collapse In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Port Harcourt, Rivers State)

Project and Seminar Material for Building Technology BT

An Investigation Into Causes Of Building Collapse In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Port Harcourt, Rivers State)


Abstract


The purpose of this research work is to investigate the causes of building collapse in Nigeria mostly at plot 308 Abacha Road, Rumueme Port Harcourt River State for its causes, effects and remedies, which or was achieved through severe experiments, practicals, oral interview and personal observation. The research work identified that most collapse occur due to excess by loading such as; addition of extra floor(s) on an already existing building not minding the bearing capacity of the soil or the structural stability of the building. This research work recommends that the government authority should institute an enquiry to any collapse structure that whoever is found guilty should be prosecuted in a law court. It recommends the soil investigation for all structures mostly in any swampy terrain should be made mandatory.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background

Building can be explained as a structural that provides shelter to lives and properties, it could be a school, church, shop, or factory that has roof, walls. A lot of building specifically in Port-Harcourt and Lagos state have collapsed and thereby causing a huge economic waste and lost of lives of people and properties.

Building failure can be defined as the collapse of structure, while building disaster gives evidence of a structural member being unsafe before the actual collapse. Building failure in a construction sector is an indispensable factor that must be considered with great care and skills (Field, 1986 pp 7).

From the experiment done so far by the researchers, it is being observed that building failed and superstructure failed. Bearing capacity failed due to high moisture content and differential excessive settlement.

However, investigation of structural failure in building is an extensive research work, a lot of laboratory test, observation and analysis, but for the purpose of this project, effort have been made to reduce the research on those aspect considered very relevant.

There are so many factors that could lead to failure in building and these failures have various modes with which they occur, it should be realised, however that errors are major causes of structural collapse and no matter how they are derived they are little help in preventing collapse resulting from them.

Some examples of structural collapse are as follows:

  1. Terrorist attack, Pentagon, Washington DC 2001
  2. Herron Road Bridge, Ottawa 1996
  3. Terrorist Bombing, Murrah Federal Building, Owahoma City, 1995
  4. Second narrow Bridge, Vancower 1958
  5. Tank failure, Ashland oil co, Pitsburgh 1988
  6. Quebec bridge (1907, 1916)

(www.du.edu/jeaivert/failurehtm).


1.2 Area of Study

The research work took place in Port Harcourt Area of Rivers State which is in the capital city at plot 308 Abacha Road Rumueme, Port Harcourt Rivers State.


1.3 Statement of Problems

It is observed that plan review and performance standard are very important to everyone involved but most contractors and engineers have abandoned this practices.

The problems which has lead to failure are intended to be studied in this research are listed below.

  1. The omission of some specification of critical element of building envelop by contractors in order to make out some profit from the contract. And also common building practices are generally into prevented building failure.
  2. Most contractors are not aware of specific details and methods required for difficult or severe indoor environment.

1.4 Objective of the Study

The aim and objectives of the study are:

  1. To find the causes of building failure in construction work.
  2. To know the extent which this has affected the people involved.
  3. To provide the means of controlling failures and its effects in construction work.
  4. To know the different types of failure.

1.5 Signification of the Study

Since structure is very important for living things, therefore; control of its failure will enhance the performance productivity and profitability in any organisation.

The research work will be of immense to the government, engineers and contractors and even the public.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The research is on a case study of failure with more emphasis on its causes, effects and remedies with refrence to particular area of plot 308 Abacha Road Rumueme Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

However, this work has studied beyond the areas of specification and it also aimed at looking into the total collapse or failure on structure only with major concern on buildings in eastern part of Nigeria.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Although this research has generally analysed the failures in building to ascertain its causes, effects and remedies but it wasn’t easy for some dreams of research work to be achieved.

Some of the limitations are as follows:

  1. Lack of finance
  2. Time given is limited
  3. The problem of collecting information
  4. Non availability of books and other materials
  5. Lack of adequate statistical, date or numbers of buildings that has failed in Port Harcourt Area of Rivers State.

Chapter Five


5.0 Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Recommendation

For the purpose of this research, having studied carefully, the causes of structural collapse at plot 308 Abacha Rumueme Road Port-Harcourt River State, have been considered in the following recommendation, which will minimize the frequent causes of collapsed structure in Port Harcourt and Nigeria in general.

This research work recommends, that the government authority should institute an enquiry to any collapse structure that whoever that is found guilty should be prosecuted in a law court. More so, if such involves loss of lives or damage to other peoples properties in the neighborhood should also persecuted.

Also, for any minor change in design concept, there should be new drawings and design calculations for it, and it should be notified to town planning authority. For supervision, the resident qualified registered structural engineers whose registration must have been recognized by either state or federal government should handle the construction of residential building in River State and Nigeria in general.

It recommends the soil investigation for all structures mostly in any swampy terrain should be made mandatory. Also the approval authority of state and federal government should employ qualified and experienced structural engineer for good assessments of drawings. For any structural design, calculation and drawings submitted for approval should be prepared by qualified and registered structural engineer whose professional competence have been confirmed by corporate member of the Nigerian institute of structural Engineers for approval and stamping.

And before the approval, he most make sure that, the beams, columns and slabs are well detailed properly.

For the issuing of completion certificate, it most be issued by signing and stamped by both a qualified professional Structural Engineer and an architect, and such certification of completion is an attestation to the compliance with regulatory and planning bye-laws of the approval authority.

Finally, it recommended that, for any contractor handling any structure should use good quality material as it is been specified in the drawing and be sure of good supervisions in any stage of work.


5.2 Conclusion

Base on this research work, it has investigated into causes of building collapse in Nigeria mostly at plot 308 Abacha Road, Rumueme Port Harcourt River State for its causes, effects and remedies, which or was achieved through severe experiments, practical, oral interview and personal observation.

From the result of the experiment, practicals and personal observation, the building collapse located at plot 308, Abacha Road Rumueme in Port Harcourt is caused as a result of the following:

  1. Excess loading and poor reinforcement placement and arrangement
  2. Wrong specification
  3. Poor concrete mix
  4. Poor supervision
  5. Use of improper and details of drawing by in experience personnel
  6. Use of poor quality building construction materials
  7. Non compliance by the appropriate body in building industry.

Therefore, since the remedial measures for these causes have been outlined, before, it adviced to maintained those measures so that the collapse of building will definitely be eliminated in our country.

Finally, structural collapse, occur as a result of negligence of responsibility caused by some body, therefore care should be taken when planning and construction of a building.


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