In a bid to ensure the wellbeing of citizens, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has implored the 36 states of the federation to expeditiously domesticate the National Building Code.
President of the institute, Arch Enyi Ben-Eboh, in a statement he issued at the weekend, raised concern over the incident that led to the death of Dr Diasco Vwaere in an elevator accident at the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island, Lagos State.
According to him, there is a dire need to ensure that all reviews on the building code are carried out so as to have it signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The body noted that it behooves state governments to as a matter of priority commence and conclude the process of domestication of the National Building Code.
The architects further called on state governments to domesticate the spirit and intent of Executive Order 11 by setting up State Public Assets Maintenance Agencies to oversee the maintenance of state owned public buildings.
These agencies must also have oversight powers to enforce maintenance of public buildings owned by private entities,” they noted.
The architects noted that they would not only design and erect taller buildings but we will also deploy more advanced technologies to operate them.
They pointed out that simplified maintenance systems that utilize clearly identified risk based responsibility matrix plans will help in the maintenance of our buildings nationwide with the more complex ones required more regulatory oversights and periodic inspections.
They stated: “The Nigerian Institute of Architects as well as allied professionals within the built environment not only possess the competence and experience but also stand ready to collaborate with Government at all levels in the establishment and operation of these agencies.
“It is imperative that an integrated systems driven approach is implemented one which is collaborative in nature, competence driven, transparent and accountable.”
The architects stressed the need to focus on the poor state of the nation’s public buildings.
They continued: “Our buildings, especially the large multistory types, are complex systems which comprise of layers of sub systems working together to ensure safe, conducive and efficient human occupation and utilization.
These subsystems include the structural and building envelope, vertical transport systems, HVAC systems, electrical systems (lighting, power, communication, media, security systems etc) to mention a few.
“As in every building, especially as in the current case, there should ideally exist a close relationship between the Client/Owner, the Architects, Engineers and the Contractor towards owning and managing all the risks the project poses from inception stage to the project delivery stage and the post construction/ occuoancy stage (the entire lifespan of the building).”
“It is the failure of risk ownership that has led not only to the more familiar failures like building collapses at construction stage but also of potentially more severe cases like severe fire outbreaks, post construction building collapses, vertical transport system failures, HVAC and air handling system failure among others.
In recognizing the shortcomings of our maintenance culture, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on April 5, 2022 signed Executive Order 11 which focuses on the maintenance of our National public buildings and culminated in the setting up of the Federal Public Assets Maintenance Department (FPAMD).
“While such interventions are commendable, it is important that our nation departs from the silo-ed approach in policy formulation and implementation to an all of government/ all encompassing approach that is simple and collaborative across all tiers of Government and society.”
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