The Use Of Building Survey For Maintenance Of Building In Nigeria (A Case Study Of One Storey Building At Owerri)

Project and Seminar Material for Building Technology BT

The Use Of Building Survey For Maintenance Of Building In Nigeria (A Case Study Of One Storey Building At Owerri)


This research project present the use of building survey for maintenance of buildings. It used analytic model and field studies on improper building maintenance to discuss the causes and remedial measures to be used. It was discovered that low level of awareness about building survey is the major problem of our building maintenance (i.e carrying-out maintenance programme without proper inspection or investigation to know the causes of the defects in building). The study tried to find out how building survey helps in maintenance of building in our society. It also identified the application and importance of sound building surveying for maintenance of buildings. In constructing this research project, the research had to review some literati on and subsequently embarked on data collection through observation, interview, and questionnaire.

The objective of chapter one of the research projects is to introduce the topic which the need for the research is given and stated. The background of the study and other important aspects like the significant of the problem, the scope and limitation were given. The objective of chapter two is to present a piece of the extensive literature review carried out in order to reveal the expressed opinion of notable authors and scholar as regards to the relevance of the building survey. A case study of building survey on one storey residential building was included for reference purpose. Chapter three presents the research design and methodology. Chapter four and five presents the analysis of the research and result, conclusion and recommendation respectively which summarizes the use building survey

Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Significant of the study
  • 1.4 Purpose of the study
  • 1.5 Research questions
  • 1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
  • 1.7 Definitions of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Building Surveying cover the following area
  • 2.2 Equipment used for Building Surveying
  • 2.3 Procedure for Building Surveying
  • 2.4 Survey Reports
  • 2.4.1 Division of Properties
  • 2.2 General Report
  • 2.5 A Building surveying report on identification of building defects determination of causes and proposed appropriate remedies (a study on Imo State Bungalow)

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.3 Population
  • 3.4 Sample
  • 3.5 Method of data collection
  • 3.5 Data analysis technique

Chapter Four

4.0 Data presentation and analysis

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

A historic building report provides documentary graphic and physical information about a structures history and existing condition. Broadly recognized as an effective part of preservation planning, a historic structures report also addressed management or owner goals for the use and re-use of the structure. It provides a thoughtfully considered argument for selecting the most appropriate approach to treatment, prior to the commencement of work, and outlines a scope of recommended work. The building survey repot serves as an important guide for the changes made top a historic structure during a project repair rehabilitation or restoration and can also provide information for maintenance procedures. Finally, it records the findings or research and investigation as well as the processes of physical work for future researches.

The introduction to the first historic structure report in this country, Charles E. Peterson of the National part service wrote in 1935 any architect who undertakes the responsibility of working over a fine old building should feel obligated to prepare a detailed report of his findings for the information of those who will come to study it in future years’ since then, thousands of historic structure report (HSRS) have been prepared to help guide work on historic properties.

The first historic structure report prepared in the United States is the moor House. The site of the surrender Yorktown, was written by charles E Peterson of the National Park Service in the early 1930s. In the decades since the Moore House report was completed, preservation specialists commissioned by owners and managers of historic properties have prepared thousands of reports of the type. Similar studies have also been used for many years as planning tools in France, Canada, Australia and other countries as well as in the United States. Although historic structure reports may differ in format, depending upon the client, the producer of the report. The significance of the structure, treatment requirements and budgetary and time restrictions, the essential historic perseveration goal is the same. “Just as an art conservator would not intervene in the life of an artistic, artifact before obtaining a thorough knowledge of it’s history, significance and composition, so those proceed only from a basis of knowledge. Too often in the past the cultural integrity of countries buildings has been compromised by approaches to restorations grounded on personal whim, willful romanticism, and expedient notions of repair. The preparation of historic building report is the first step in adopting a disciplined approach to the care of a historic building “(From the introduction of the University of Virginia, Pavilion 1, Historic structure Report, Mesick Cohen Waite Hall Architects, 1988).

In response to the many inquiries received on the subject, this preservation. Brief will explain their value to the preservation of significant historic properties, outline how reports and commissioned and prepared and recommend an organizational format the National Park Service acknowledge the variations that exist in historic structure reports and in how these reports of the properties for which they have been commissioned. Thus, this brief is written primarily for owners and building surveyor of historic structure, as well as architects. It also responds to the requests of builders and owners to help define the scope of historic building report study.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The use of building survey in building industry cannot be overlooked, but the problem is how effective do people use it to achieve the maintenance of building in Nigeria.

In the course maintenance, many building surveyors prepare reports as a technique that will guide them to survey and know the state of a building, but still after preparing the maintenance manual as a technique that will help them in maintenance of a building remains the same due to the inability in building surveyor to access the building properly with the necessary tools or equipment and sometime the cost it will take to maintain the building.

To this affect the question is, is building survey important or useful to the construction industry in the area of maintenance since building continues to deteriorate from time to time.

1.3 Significance of the Study

The built environment expresses the physical form of complex social and economic factors that give structure and life to a community. The quantity, quality and condition of buildings in a community reflect the community in their cave or indifference, level of prosperity in the area. Social values and behaviors, all the various influences both past and present which combine to give a community its unique character. Dilapidated buildings in a decaying environment may decrease the quality of life and even contribute in some measures to anti-social behaviors. Occupants of slums, dilapidated and uncompleted buildings within urban environment testify to the above assertion.

However the maintenances of buildings and general infrastructure have not been given full recognition as an activity of primary importance in Nigeria. Maintenance activities on building and infrastructure in the country are mostly based or expediency, which over a period of tune represent a series of adhoc measures and unrelated compromises between the immediate physical needs and the availability of funds. This only about fifteen percent of the total maintenance requirements are remedied. If serious deterioration is not immediately taken care of culture generation will be faced with a major capital burden. It I therefore imperative that maintenance activities should be increased and intensity in order to ensure that the nation stock of building (factors of production and investments are used as effectively as possible.

1.4 Purpose of the Study (Aims and Objectives)

The aims of building survey is to determine the historic integrity of a structure survey and inspection should address the building exterior and interior materials, features and finishes, structural systems, interior spaces mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and fire detection and security. Further study maybe requires such as non-intrusive or intrusive investigation, field testing, sample removal and laboratory testing and analysis of materials.

Where the major objective are as follows

  1. To ensure that all the functional requirement of the facility is attained at all times.
  2. To prolong the life span of the building
  3. To enhance the quality of building structure to meet modern-day requirements.
  4. To create a conducive and tenantable accommodation for owners and occupiers/users.
  5. To ensures the safely of the users/occupants.
  6. To preserve the physical characteristic of the building and associated services so as to reflect fewer breakdowns and there by reduce the probability of early failures.
  7. To maximize the economic returns from the user of the buildings.

1.5 Research Question

To further aid in this study’s, the following questions were asked:

  1. In the building’s history well understood?
  2. Has the period of significance been established?
  3. Does the building represent a variety of periods of construction, additions and modifications not all of which may by significant?
  4. What archival documentation is available?
  5. Does the building have physical problem that require repair? What construction materials and systems are known to exhibit distress or deterioration?
  6. Does the building have code or functional problems that interfere with its use?
  7. Is the building in use? Is it a new or more intensive use planned?
  8. Is funding available to commission the report needed to address these requirements? It not , can the scope of the report be reduced to answer critical questions in limited report?
  9. Has the time frame for the overall project been established?

1.6 Limitation

It is obvious that research work cannot be carried out without much difficulty in the study. The study is based on the use of building survey for maintenance of building in Nigeria; the process of this research did not cover much location but its immediate environment (Owerri) to facilitate this work.

Although to study was successful, some problems were encountered. These problems include impossibilities faced as to get in touch with builders, and surveyors who should supply the needed information. Financial constraints both in terms of transportation and stationary were the most serious problems encountered. Other limitation to the work is time constraint.

1.7 Definition of Terms


From the dictionary of Architecture, building construction and material, the word “Building” is defined as structure or combination of structures erected where it is to stand with the main function of shelter and habitation for man. There are residential buildings which are partitioned into bedrooms, sitting rooms, kitchen, dinning rooms etc and commercial and public building too. They include offices stores warehouse.

Building Survey:

This is an investigation or examine and report on the condition of a building and this include physical close inspection of the structure and it’s external cladding, all services surface and fillings, the roofs space and all services together with the surrounding estate grounds and external facilities. Electrical installation, lightening conductors and any other wired system must be tested. The notes and comments should be set out in comprehensive report supplemented by drawings and photographs which is termed “CONDITION SURVEY”

Building Maintenance:

According to the department of the environment. UK in its report of the committee on Building maintenance in 1972 defined building maintenance as work undertaken to keep, restore or improve every facility i.e. every part of the structure its services and surrounds to currently accepted standards to sustain the utility and value of the facility.

Maintenance Managements:

Is defined by Allsop as the selection of the goal, planning, procurement organization, co-ordination and control of the necessary resources for their achievements.

Maintenance Manual:

It is a valuable descriptive technical literature, aid memo or hand book for maintenance programme.


Blanchard etal (1995) defined maintainability as “an inherent characteristic of a system or product design the performance of maintenance actions, a design the performance of maintenance actions, a design parameter related of physical assets which is a combination of management, financial assets in pursuit of economic life cycle costs


This is defined as deterioration due to aid age or long use that reduces quality or strength of a structure.

Sick Building Syndrome:

It can be defined ad a phenomenon where by people experience a range of symptoms when in specific building, the symptoms include. Dryness of the eye, itch or watering eyes latterly and tiredness, dry itching or irritated skin (Research by Dr. J singh)

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

Before a maintenance programme is prepared, a complete inspection of the building should be carried out this will include physical close inspection of the structure and its external cladding, all internal surface and fitting, the roof space and all services together with the surrounding building grounds and external facilities electrical installations, lightening conductors and any other wired system must be tested. The notes and comments should be set out in a comprehensives report supplemented by drawings and photographs.

It is obvious improper surveying of building and lack basic information about the building and its service may tend to frustrate maintenance of building and sometimes inaccurate because the person diagnosing the fault has insufficient expert knowledge to assess the cause of failure.

In order to prevent improper surveying of building the content and how to carry-on building surveying work are given out in this research work. All panties concerned with building surveying have some part to play for effective progress in surveying. To have a better research work case studies was carried out on deteriorate building in Imo State is included in this work.

Through personal interview, observations, and questionnaires, data have been collected and analyzed to bring the research work to a conclusion. The findings of the work have helped the researcher in suggesting the recommendations in this project especially as there is low level of awareness of building surveying within the building industry in the state.

5.2 Conclusion

All the building element are made to be at their satisfactory state all the time and it is known that regular uses of the these building element makes them to deteriorate and it is also known that as soon as a building is been erected it’s maintenance programme begins immediately as to ensure that all the element of the building should be that it’s best serviceable state regular surveying and maintenance should be done at least once in every five years so as to prolong the life span of building for years and still have it’s stability and durability.

5.3 Recommendation

From the foregoing exposition, it is evident that the knowledge and practice of building construction/technology and surveying enquiries in the least a medium to near perfection skull than what obtains in our society today. Hence incident of lack of building surveying for maintenance shall remain inevitable unless the underlying recommendation are given urgent attention they deserve.

  1. Conduction of seminar to improve the needs of building surveying before carrying-out any maintenance work on a building and introduction of building surveying as a course in out universities and polytechnics so as to educate our student more and need for building surveying.
  2. All professional bodies must Endeavour to work together to evolve means of flushing out and neutralizing quacks through the rendering of high quality and affordable service to clients at an affordable price.
  3. Processional builders in the construction industries should ensure that client are given adequate advice before they commence any building surveying and maintenances projects.
  4. The ministry of work and housing should embark on public or orientation on the use of building surveying.

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