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Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 3 (2): 123-130 Scholarlink Research Institute Journals, 2012

2 (ISSN: 2141-7024) Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 3(2):123-130 (ISSN:2141-7024)

Art, Design and Architecture: A Triadic Combination of Failures in Building Design in Nigeria

B. A. Ogunlade 2A. A. Taiwo, and 3Femi Kayode


Department of Fine and Applied Art Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria 2 Department of Architecture Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria 3 Department of Industrial Design Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 704, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria Corresponding Author: Femi Kayode ___________________________________________________________________________
Abstract Art, Design and Architecture share most elements and principles in common. It is virtually impossible to separate the aesthetic concepts from functional concepts. The relatedness not withstanding, they are considered in this paper as a triadic combination of failures in environmental beautification and urban safety for many reasons. This paper looks into the concept of integrity vis--vis building design failures in the Nigerian environment. Apart from the global historical antecedent, building designs have failed in Nigeria on many occasions; the worry has been that it continues to be unabated despite the far cry of the masses. The causes are discussed along side preventive suggestions. __________________________________________________________________________________________ Keywords: catastrophic occurrence, design failures, triadic relationship, integrity, building collapse __________________________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION aesthetics alongside its functional imperatives. Since Fundamentally there is no clear dichotomy between this study is revealing the various failures in building art, design and architecture. All emphasize the design from the panning, quality and quantity concept of creativity in terms of concept imagination perspectives, the practical concern will be discuss and delivery, appeal in terms of form ordering in with pictorial evidences (as shown in plates 2 10) magnetic charm and manipulation of methods and how and why things went wrong. materials parameters to meet some particular needs at users end. By manipulation Ocvirk et al (1998) BACKGROUND OF STUDY means a direct way of creating forms or designing It was in the Neolithic period (between the 9th and 4th with the use of hand, materials and special tools to millennia BC) that design of architecture really began arrive at a finished product. Art and design are so (The Book of Inventions and Discoveries, 1992). engrafted in concepts and like siamen twins which Curiously, this art sprang to life in a part of the world have tightly knit relationship, were supposed to give lacking those classic building materials, wood and architecture a greater artistic flexibility and impetus stone. But modern architecture which classifies from this contemporary milieu. The word relationship here 1918 to present day is characterized by designs means that art, design and architecture are so stemming from needs, site, economics and new connected in real way such that a good-looking art or technology (Readers Digest Book of Facts, 1985). design requires time, creative spark and sensible Generally, the common knowledge that architecture method of rendition as architecture. This position is is a building process in which man puts the available evident in Ocvirk et al (op cit) which submit that in materials at his command to work for him (Emeji, many ways architects today are building sculptors 2002) not withstanding, the skill and materials and their designs require a thorough grounding in rendition at the disposal of Nigerian designers seem artistic principles as well as an understanding of to be working against the ordinary positive engineering concepts. Constant cross-fertilization of expectation. The frequency of collapse buildings is ideals therefore occurs between art and design in disturbing and one wonders if it is a deliberate design terms of elements and principles and architecture to reduce the population of our dear country. Failure itself is not immune to such influences. But when one of structure is not a strange thing in the construction of the trios fails, all others have failed. In industry all over the world with particular reference approaching building as a design it is expedient to to the developing countries though; never designed to consider the entire process of form building and be the ideal. Incidents of collapsed buildings,

Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 3(2):123-130 (ISSN:2141-7024) collapsed bridges or other structures of various types are not peculiar to Nigeria. The horrifying scenes of building collapse calls for urgent preventive measures to be taken by government of all nations, the professional bodies and the general public, considering the lives and properties that would be lost whenever a building collapses. But the continuous report of collapsed buildings kin the South-western states of Nigeria needs to be checked urgently. Arayela (2001) affirms that an informal survey conducted by the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has revealed that more buildings may have collapse during construction in the Lagos state than in the rest of the country put together over the last fortyfive years (1955 2000). The report further revealed that more than fifty-eight point eight (58.8%) percent of the reported collapse buildings occurred in the Lagos area over the study period. Of the forty-one (41) incidents which form the basis of this study, twenty-four (24) occurred in Lagos State. Certainly, there are similar manifestations of such occurrences in some parts of the country. Major structural failures of buildings are easily known and sympathized because many are reported in the print media. The phenomenon has become worrisome to an average Nigerian because it can be anybodys turn which involves lives and property. It occurs in different garbs, sometimes partially and other times totally. Some collapses occur at the construction process, some during continuous occupancy while some as a result of structural ageing. Sadly still, there continues to be many more incidences of different building collapses that are less disastrous and not widely publicized. These too are disasters in themselves. Structural engineers, builders, designers and artdecorators have stakes that are uncompromising in both public and private residential building designs. A Broad Overview of Disasters The rate of catastrophic occurrences in the world continues to be disturbing. It occurs in both natural and man-induced dimensions. Though the so-called natural disasters such as soil erosion, floods, drought and deforestation may stimulate our concern process, they are most of the time largely human-caused. The international Engineering Congress on Alleviation of Natural Disasters held in 1991 in Nigeria and reported in Sunday Times of November 17, of the same year revealed that natural disasters have in the last twenty years resulted in loss of 2.8million lives worldwide. Such disasters have adversely affected about 820million people and have caused property damage amounting to between 25 to 100 billion US dollars (Sunday Times, November 17, 1991). Besides, the deluge of 27 September, 1991 in Ibadan, Nigeria (shown in plate 1) was a deadly reecho of the catastrophic deluges of 1980 and 1983 in which innumerable number of people perished in a tragedy that remains indelible in the history of Nigeria. The 1991 deluge which lasted for six hours resulted in

dastardly overflow of the Ogunpa River in Ibadan. The cause of the tragedy (popularly tagged Omiyale 91) was simply that citizens of Ibadan designed and built illegal structures to block the Ogunpa channels. Plate 1: Flood Disaster (popularly tagged omiyale) in 1991- Ibadan, Nigeria

In Lagos state, people are still building living houses and business structures under the high tension electric lines despite warnings and threats from government agencies. Nevertheless; continuous crusades towards saving the entire world from the predations of its occupants is the concern of many interest groups since the last few years (Hoskins, 2006). As can be seen in the Nigerian example, unsafe and unhealthy situations are part of the consequences of nefarious relationships of man with his environment. Where man abound artificial disasters also abound with the end probably not coming to sight for now, and the reason for that is not far fetched. The problem is that our environment is in disorder and there is need for everybody to find solutions to some of the critical indices of this disorderly situation. No one can be sure if it is possible to solve the problem because it has become a way of life for the people (Okpara, 2006). It is observed that change (in attitude), as a phenomenon is as hard as a rocky soil in a world where the pursuit of material gains is of more important consideration than its adverse effects on health and safety of lives. Incontestably, the central thrust of Asaju (2002) is that the core values of integrity and professionalism have been vitiated on the altar of profiteering in the case of Nigerians. Again, this is where the idea of using the conscience to tell a story comes in as noted in Kayode et al (2008). One of the common disasters mentioned in Sridhar et al (1993) is house collapse. Of particular concern in this study therefore is the unchecked rate of building failures in Nigeria. In this case Nantka (2006) is of the opinion that the primary function of buildings is to provide protection for their users from the outdoor climate and to maintain an acceptable indoor environment that is thermally comfortable, conducive and invaluable to occupants health. Unfortunately, buildings fail for many reasons and when they fail, its devastating effects are felt more

Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 3(2):123-130 (ISSN:2141-7024) painfully by the inhabitants than the owner. Case study by Ogunsemi (2002) and Folagbade (2002) show that poor structural design, use of substandard building materials, non-compliance with approved building design, poor workmanship and lack of qualified and appropriate professionals to ensure quality construction and cost control among others are major causes of building failures in the contemporary Nigeria. materials specified for it is also adduced (Arum, 2008). In a situation where designs fail, the much needed integrity of the environmental practitioners Industrial Designers, Artists, Architects, Builders, Planners and perhaps the Estate Managers have been downplayed or sacrificed or even thrown overboard. HISTORICAL REVIEW OF STRUCTURAL DESIGN FAILURES Structural failure has a much longer history than other types of buildings failures. Cowan (1989) investigated and stated that in the ancient world structural failures were often severely punished. For example, the legal code promulgated by Hamurabi, a Babylonian king (1792 1750 BC) stated among other things that if a builder has built a house for a man and his work is not strong and if the house he has built falls in and kills the occupant, that builder shall be slain. This shows that there were building collapses in very distant time past and the government then set Code of Laws, first in history. It was very harsh code, dealing with the social structure, industries, law, economic conditions and family life. On the contrary, the Romans attitude to building collapses was not quite harsh. Cowan (1989) finds out that there was also a tendency to make sure important structures does not fail by using materials generously, and that is of course, one reason why so many of the Roman architecture survived till today. In the European Middle Ages structural materials were often used far more sparingly. The reasons were partly religious and partly economic. People were more inclined to look for supernatural causes of structural failure. With traditional materials buckling was not a major structural problem, and multi-storey structures were rare. The emphasis was therefore on size of horizontals spans. In the Roman times the arch and dome came into use for horizontal spans, with a consequent increase of several hundred percent in the predictably length of spans. Arches, vaults and domes remained an important part of European structure thereafter. Plate 3: Collapsed Beam of a building at Oba-Ile road, Akure, Nigeria In addition, Berglund et al (1992) note in Valavanidis and Vatista (2006) that indoor air pollution (IAP) in homes and non-industrial environments (offices, schools, hospitals, shops, etc.) is rampant and has been at the centre of scientific investigations because of their adverse consequences on human health and the well being of the structure. A structure is usually designed to ensure that it does not fail but reverse is the case in the Nigerian example. Asides the flaws in indoor ventilation circumstances, the nonconformance of structural properties of materials used in the actual construction to the properties of

Plate 2: Concrete slab full of cracks and disintegrated parts (poor concrete mixture and weak steel reinforcement)

Cowan (1989) said that there was no structural theory of any sort before the 15th century, and none that was practically useful before the 17th century. How did the builders formulate their factors of safety? One may ask. The failure of arches, vaults and domes of bricks, stones or concrete occurred through the opening up of a sufficient number of joints or cracks to form a collapse mechanism. Collapse occurs when the line of thickness to span (where t is the thickness or depth of the structure and l is its span), t/l, which depends on the dome. The minimum safe ratio of t/l could be determined by observing collapses. If the structures fell down, the ratio was too small. It would require a lot of observations, but structural innovation was slow. Egyptian temple structure hardly changed over 3,000 years, and the structure of Ancient Roman

Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 3(2):123-130 (ISSN:2141-7024) domes and vaults and of the Gothic cathedrals developed slowly, in each case over a period of several centuries. Columns were usually grossly oversized but comparatively long horizontal spans for collapse, that is, those that survived many undoubtedly did collapse. Scientific concepts began to play a role in structural design from the 16th century onwards, but the sizing of buildings remained predominantly empirical until, and well into 19th century. The main causes of structural failure were the inadequacies of these empirical rules though there were other causes. Surprisingly, outright mistakes still are a major cause of failure today, they presumably always have been a cause, although one that might get lost within the inaccuracies of empirical rules. Poor construction has always been, and still is a cause of structural failure. A major cause of structural failure in the developing countries of the world is an inadequate understanding of the structural consequences of a new building technology. This would have been regarded as a minor cause before the 18th century when building technology changed very slowly so that there was ample time to study the consequences of new methods and materials. Thus there has been a very major change in the causes of structural failure. Lack of adequate theories and inadequate factors of safety had been the main cause of failure prior to the 18th century. No major failure since the end of the Second World War in 1945 can be attributed to that as asserted by Cowan (1989). In that area the developed countries have therefore been spectacularly successful. Major structural failures are today in the developed countries of the world, in fact, are remarkably rare. Design Failures in Nigerian Buildings Building failure in Nigeria are attributed as 50% of the causes being due to design faults, 40% to faults on construction site and 10% to product failure as asserted by Oyewande (1992). Building failures could be as a result of defects under any or all of the stages in design approval of drawings and the supervision/construction stage. Those that are usually first accused of professional negligence are any of the following persons; the architect, structural engineer, the contractor and planning authority officials.

Plate 5: Building project supervision (an ideal situation) The inability of the architect and especially, the structural engineer to properly carry out his own part of the work to see to the fact that the right number and sizes of reinforcements are used remains a factor. The inability of the town planning authorities to ensure that architectural and structural designs (and structural calculations) conform to design principles before approvals are given, leads to structural failures. From past occurrences, the town planning authority which ought to enforce its development control regulations can hardly be seen to be firm in enforcing its regulations so that the incidences of collapsed buildings are prevented or abated. Some officials of the planning authorities sometimes compromise their position and allow developers/landlords to recklessly contravene development control regulations. Added to this dimension is the very slow pace at which the planning authorities enforce the law. During construction, the consultants and the contractors must have competent persons in site to monitor work as it progresses, failure to do so could lead to bad or poor workmanship and therefore results in structural failure. Often, developers and landlords of collapsed buildings try to cut corners in the use of materials by not using quality materials for construction. They deliberately deviate from what was approved for them and begin to contravene in the process of construction. Most of the building collapses that are usually reported in the newspapers in Nigeria come from the Lagos state area (see table 1). And few are sparsely reported across the country. What exactly is the problem with the Lagos area? Does this mean that the professionals in the building industry and the planning authorities are not doing their work as expected? And what is the government doing to stop this trend? It can be seen from table 1

Plate 4: Building collapse at the construction level along Oba-Ile road, Akure, Nigeria

Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 3(2):123-130 (ISSN:2141-7024) that eighty percent (80%) of reported building collapse occurred in the Lagos area from the data collected for this study and within the period of September 1995 to March 2002 of the twenty-five (25) cases which formed the bedrock of this paper, twenty (20) occurred in Lagos area.

Table 1: Some reported cases of building collapse in Nigeria (1995 2002)

S/No 1 Type of Building Structure 2-storey residential building Location of Building Isolo, Lagos Suspected Causes Windstorm Source & Date Daily Times Sept. 17, 1995 Remarks 2 buildings collapsed, roofs of many houses blown off 2 persons killed One person confirmed dead One person died, several others sustained injuries

2 3 4

3-storey residential building 3-storey building 2-storey building

Lagos Island Ogba, Lagos Surulere, Lagos

Poor construction materials used Structural failure Structural defects/lack of soil test from the onset Poor structure, rainstorm Concrete slab collapsed Heavy rainfall/flood Poor foundation, vibration from a bridge recon-struction 40m away Structural failure Structural defect Heavy rainfall Failure of structural members

The Guardian Oct. 21, 1995 Daily Times Nov. 5, 1995 The Guardian Dec. 16, 1995

5 6 7 8

One-storey building Apostolic Church Residential buildings Hotel

Tejuosho area of Surulere, Lagos Olowokere Street, Lagos Edidi Street, Amakoko, Lagos Maryland, Lagos

Daily Champion Feb. 7, 1996 Vanguard May 26, 1996 Daily Champion July 16, 1996 The Guardian July 1996 About N65.5 million worth of goods lost Workers trapped under rubble 6 persons died 7 people died

9 10 11 12

Uncompleted building A 6-storey building A 3-storey building under construction 2-storey building (uncompleted)

Along Olowokere Lagos Maryland, Lagos Kano Premises of St. Thomas Ang. Church, Isikan, Akure Road 3 Plot 10, Funbi Fagun, Ogun state Ijemo, Agbadu Abeokuta Ojuelegba, Lagos Oke Igbala, Lagos Abeokuta Central part of Lagos 124 Tokunbo Street in Central Lagos Aja Epe, Lagos Akoka, Lagos Alafia Street, Mushin Lagos Mushin, Lagos Akewasola Street, Oworonsoki, Lagos Otigbe Street, Ikeja, Lagos.

Tell Magazine Sept. 16, 1996 The Guardian Jan. 2, 1997 The Guardian Aug. 1, 1997 Arayela, O. Sept. 30, 1998

2 persons reported dead


2-storey residential building A Church building (under construction) A 2-storey building A storey building (Apostolic Church) A Mosque (under construction) A building (uncompleted) A storey building A 3-storey building of luxury flats Catholic Church One-storey building Mosque building 2-storey building 3-storey building

Use of poor quality building materials Structural failure during formwork removal Heavy rainfall Structural failure Structural failure Structural failure Heavy rainfall, structural failure Faulty supervision Structural failure Structural failure Structural failure Structural failure Structural members caved-in

Arayela, O. Nov. 1989

No death reported


The Guardian April 10, 1999

10 persons died, many others injured 5 persons died 6 persons killed 7 persons killed 10 persons killed One person killed, many others injured 2 persons died, 200 injured 5 persons died 2 persons injured 40 persons died 4 persons died 10 persons died, 3 injured

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

The Guardian April 29, 1999 Vanguard May 28, 1999 Vanguard May 28, 1999 Vanguard May 28, 1999 The Guardian July 6, 1999 Arayela, O. April 2000 The Guardian June 2001 The Guardian Aug. 2001 The Guardian Oct. 2001 The Guardian Oct. 2001 The Nigerian Tribune March 26, 2002

Source: As indicated from the table above, data was collected from Nigerian Newspapers, Magazine and a Journal (1995 2002). According to Folagbade (1997) the inability of the Causes of Building Collapse in Nigeria engineer to carry out proper site investigations, Building disasters in Nigeria have immediate and calculate design loads accurately, prevent the use of remote causes. They are numerous and can be substandard building materials, have good design complex depending on who is handling what. layout, understand structural analysis and design

Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 3(2):123-130 (ISSN:2141-7024) principles lead to structural failures as revealed in Plate 6. collapse above) that cause collapse of buildings in Nigeria. The Need for Proactive Action Having considered both the immediate and remote causes of building design failures in Nigeria, preventive and corrective actions such as those listed below would prevent the menace of building design failures. The measures are hereby recommended as appropriate for the Nigerian example. (i) Stringent penalties for those responsible for the collapse of buildings, particularly when loss of lives is involved should applied. (ii) Town Planning Authorities should be adequately staffed and equipped with professionals in the construction industry. For effective monitoring of projects during and after construction. (iii) Continuing professional development should be emphasized by both the professional bodies and the government on modern trends in the building industry. To keep members of the building industry abreast with new trends in construction. (iv) Government should provide an enabling law for the training and effective control of artisans and craftsmen in the building industry. (v) Government should screen those getting involved in housing projects. For any structure more than a bungalow, a structural engineer must be involved. (vi) Construction work should only be carried out by registered contractors and supervised by registered Architects, Engineers and Builders rather than engaging unskilled contractors. (vii) Clients should obtain approvals before they begin construction. At the same time they should work with the approved drawings and specifications. Any alternations should be approved before their implementations. CONCLUSION This paper has been able to identify major causes of building collapse in Nigeria with particular reference to the Lagos state area of the country. It recommends some preventive measures in order to ameliorate the incessant occurrences of collapsed buildings in Lagos area and across the country in general. It identified the fact that there are lapses on the part of the professionals in the building industry and the town Planning Authorities and that the Government also has lukewarm attitude to punish offenders. The author strongly feels that the enactment and implementation of the National Building code has no substitute, with this, construction of buildings will be effectively regulated. The author believes that if the recommended preventive measures are taken seriously, then the issue of collapsed buildings in our society will soon become a thing of the past just as it is the case in the developed nations.

Plate 6: Collapsed design at the construction level Inability to calculate design loads accurately. Other causes are: - The absence of soil test report - Structural designs and details handled by quacks - Absence of co-ordination between the professional bodies and the local town planning authority - Lack of adherence to specifications by the unqualified and unskilled personnel - Poor and bad construction practices - The use of substandard building materials - Lack of proper supervision by professionals - Inadequate enforcement of the existing enabling building regulations - Illegal conversion of buildings which often lead to structural deficiencies - Flagrant disobedience of town planning regulations by developers/landlords - The compromising attitude of some workers of the town planning authority - Lack of sanctions against erring professionals and landlords - Governments lukewarm attitude to punish offenders Report of soil test of any site is very useful to the architect and the structural engineer. This will enable them to specify what type of foundation is to be used. And also they will know what precaution to take in order to avoid collapse of the structure due to settlement and other foundation problems. In some cases, buildings that are above the ground floor level do not have structural designs and details, and often times lead to failure of the structure. On the whole, the professional bodies such Nigerian Institute of Architects, the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Nigerian Institute of Building and the Planning Authorities, who represent the government share in the blame (as stated in the possible causes of building

Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 3(2):123-130 (ISSN:2141-7024)

Plate 7: Clearing debris on building construction site Plate 11: Ruins of a collapsed residential building

Plate 8: Collapsed building under construction Plate 12: Evacuation of debris from the site of disaster in Surulere

Plate 9: Another incident of design failure an occupied building

Plate 13: Clearing of Ruins of a collapsed residential building - Surulere, Lagos REFERENCES Arayela, O. and Adam, J. J. (2001) Building Disasters and Failures in Nigerian: Causes and Remedies. AARCHES Journal. 1(6), 7176. Arum, C. (2008) Verification of Properties of Concrete Reinforcement Bars: Nigeria as a Case Study. In Indoor and Built Environment Journal of the International Society of the Built Environment. 17(4), 370-376.

Plate 10: Ruins of a collapsed residential building in Surulere area of Lagos State, Nigeria

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