By Chris Udochukwu
Lagos (Precise Post) – The unprofessional handling of design and construction caused the collapse of a bank building under renovation in Lagos, President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Kunle Awobodu, said on Tuesday.
Awobodu spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the maiden Induction of Graduates of the Department of Building, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Lagos.
Last Saturday, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) confirmed that a male labourer lost his life when the Keystone Bank collapsed.
“What happened at the site in Palmgrove area, Ikorodu road in Lagos, could have been averted if the design and construction were professionally handled”, he said.
“From my assessment on the collapsed building, it was the awning at the entrance of the building that gave way after striking off.”
The expert noted that there was no structural balance in the building, as resolution of forces was expected to have been put into consideration by the builder.
He explained that the fireworks must have been giving the awning a temporary support because the awning could not support itself before it eventually collapsed.
“When you have an awning of aero concrete having the size of six by 1.5 meters and also the thickness from the wall tappers from 200 to 150 mm, it is quite heavy.
“Unfortunately, two columns were inserted into the wall and this could not carry the load of the awning,” he said.
The NIOB President stated that if the builder on the site had a background in structural training, he or she was supposed to have questioned the design of the building
“The design of the building was questionable because the wall was unable to carry the load placed on the roof of the entrance.
“If this was put into consideration, the death of one of the workers on the site could have been avoided,” he said.
The builder said the affected bank was expected to present the approval for the renovation of the building to competent professionals for them to examine the design.
The NIOB president sadded that the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) must also ascertain if the renovation of the building was duly registered with them and if qualified building professionals were involved in the construction.