Building failure: Lagos, experts mull domestication of nat’l building code

Lagos State government and industry experts are pushing for the domestication of the National Building Code (NBC) which provides standards to check recurring construction failures and building collapses in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.

However, Idris Salako, the state commissioner for physical planning and urban development, says the NBC will not be adopted and domesticated in its entirety as some of its provisions and guidelines may have become obsolete, hence the need for experts’ inputs to produce a cleaner document that takes into cognizance technological advancement in modern construction.

The drive, according to the experts, was not only meant to domesticate the NBC in Lagos State, but also to ensure the integration of the Building Energy Efficiency Code (BEEC).

Idris and the industry experts, including surveyors, engineers, town planners, architects, estate surveyors and valuers, builders and quantity surveyors, and those from the academia, spoke at a one-day workshop organised by his ministry in partnership with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), Wednesday, in Lagos.

Salako said the move to domesticate the national building code was in response to agitations by building professionals for its adoption in regulating the built environment to enhance construction standards.

Read also: Building collapse: Govt should have political will to stem incidence—Experts

“Without doubt, the successful domestication of the NBC and the subsequent evolution of a Lagos State Building Code will go down in the annals as first by any state of the federation.

“While helping to depart from recourse to standards from other polities such as the British and American standards.

“The advantage of this is legion, and it includes the opportunity to focus on the peculiarities of our state, especially as a coastal, low-lying entity with urbanisation challenges. It is also a formula for tackling incidents of building collapse in the state effectively,” he said.

David Majekodunmi, chairman, Lagos State chapter, Nigerian Institute of Architects, who gave an overview of the NBC produced in 2006, described the code as a set of rules and regulations needed to protect people and property from danger as well as offer environment-friendly designs to reduce carbon footprints.

Majekodunmi said the Lagos State government on its part set up various agencies to deal with building regulations, adding that the building code was needed to eliminate all infractions in the construction sector.

According to Majekodunmi, construction had four stages, which included pre-design, design, construction and post-construction, all captured in the code. “If everybody goes by this book, we all have our roles to play,” he said.

On his part, Aramide Adeyoye, the special adviser to the Lagos State governor on works and infrastructure, represented by Adebayo Ayodeji, said the code would guarantee standards and ensure the the safety of lives and property in Lagos.

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