AN INVESTIGATION INTO CAUSES OF BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA

AN INVESTIGATION INTO CAUSES OF BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0    INTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND

Building can be explained as a structural that provides shelter to lives and properties, it could be a school, church, shop, or factory that has roof, walls. A lot of building specifically  in Port-Harcourt and Lagos state have collapsed and thereby causing a huge economic waste and lost of lives of people and properties.

Building failure can be defined as the collapse of structure, while building disaster gives evidence of a structural member being unsafe before the actual collapse. Building failure in a construction sector is an indispensable factor that must be considered with great care and skills (Field, 1986 pp 7).

From the experiment done so far by the researchers, it is being observed that building failed and superstructure failed. Bearing capacity failed due to high moisture content and differential excessive settlement.

However, investigation of structural failure in building is an extensive research work, a lot of laboratory test, observation and analysis, but for the purpose of this project, effort have been made to reduce the research on those aspect considered very relevant.

There are so many factors that could lead to failure in building and these failures have various modes with which they occur, it should be realised, however that errors are major causes of structural collapse and no matter how they are derived they are little help in preventing collapse resulting from them.

Some examples of structural collapse are as follows:

Terrorist attack, Pentagon, Washington DC 2001

Herron Road Bridge, Ottawa 1996

Terrorist Bombing, Murrah Federal Building, Owahoma City, 1995

Second narrow Bridge, Vancower 1958

Tank failure, Ashland oil co, Pitsburgh 1988

Quebec bridge (1907, 1916)

(www.du.edu/jeaivert/failurehtm).

1.2    AREA OF STUDY

The research work took place in Port Harcourt Area of Rivers State which is in the capital city at plot 308 Abacha Road Rumueme, Port Harcourt Rivers State.

1.3    STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

It is observed that plan review and performance standard are very important to everyone involved but most contractors and engineers have abandoned this practices.

The problems which has lead to failure are intended to be studied in this research are listed below.

i.        The omission of some specification of critical element of building envelop by contractors in order to make out some profit from the contract. And also common building practices are generally into prevented building failure.

ii.       Most contractors are not aware of specific details and methods required for difficult or severe indoor environment.

1.4    OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The aim and objectives of the study are:

i.        To find the causes of building failure in construction work.

ii.       To know the extent which this has affected the people involved.

iii.      To provide the means of controlling failures and its effects in construction work.

iv.      To know the different types of failure.

1.5    SIGNIFICATION OF THE STUDY

Since structure is very important for living things, therefore; control of its failure will enhance the performance productivity and profitability in any organisation.

The research work will be of immense to the government, engineers and contractors and even the public.

1.6    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The research is on a case study of failure with more emphasis on its causes, effects and remedies with refrence to particular area of  plot 308  Abacha Road Rumueme  Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

However, this work has studied beyond the areas of specification and it also aimed at looking into the total collapse or failure on structure only with major concern on buildings in eastern part of Nigeria.

1.7    LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Although this research has generally analysed the failures in building to ascertain its causes, effects and remedies but it wasn’t easy for some dreams of research work to be achieved.

Some of the limitations are as follows:

1.      Lack of finance

2.      Time given is limited

3.      The problem of collecting information

4.      Non availability of books and other materials

5.      Lack of adequate statistical, date or numbers of buildings that has failed in Port Harcourt Area of Rivers State.



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