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This study was carried out on analysis of building collapse in Lagos state using GIS. The study identified and evaluates the causes of building failure and examined the effects of building failure with respect to cost in Lagos State, Nigeria.  The method employed in the collection of data includes the administration of questionnaire to professionals in the construction industry and case studies for the sites. A purposive sampling technique was used for selecting the sites visited, and selecting the construction professionals. Descriptive statistical techniques such as frequency distribution and percentages and mean response analysis were used to analyze data. The study revealed that the major causes of building failures were bad design, faulty construction, over loading, non-possession of approved drawings, Possession of approved drawings but non-compliance, and the use of quarks. In the two case studies considered, the total direct loss to the building owners was thirty eight million three hundred and eight five thousand, seven hundred and twenty one naira (38,385,721) which is about One hundred and ninety four thousand, eighty hundred and fifty one dollars ($194,851) at one hundred and ninety seven naira to one US dollars, central bank Nigeria of exchange rate as at 14th March, 2021.




1.1    Background of the study

Buildings are structures, which serve as shelters for man, his properties and activities, when properly planned, designed and erected it gives desired satisfaction to the client or user. Some of the factors to be considered in measuring the standard of a building include durability, adequate stability to prevent its failure or discomfort to the users, resistance to weather, fire outbreak and other forms of accidents (Ikpo, 2006). The styles of building construction are constantly changing with introduction of new materials and techniques of construction. Consequently, the work involved in the design and construction stages of buildings are largely that of selecting materials, components and structures that will meet the expected building standards and aesthetics on economy basis. Several codes of practice universally accepted are available for the design and construction of buildings.

In 2006 the Federal Republic of Nigeria published the National Building Code which is undergoing review and in the processes of being passed into law by the national assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in response to the number of cases of collapsed buildings recorded in the country. This has not yielded the desired results as most States in the country have not passed the Urban and Regional Planning Law to make the National Building Codes operational in their respective States. Building Code is a set of legal requirement of which the purpose is to promote good practice in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings, in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of people who use buildings. The Code sets out the basic requirements for the design and construction of buildings which represents a code of good building practice (Obiegbu, 2006).

Building collapse is a menace that not only plagues Nigeria but other developing countries as well. However, Nigeria has suffered its share of building collapse in the past with several cases of buildings collapsing and killing scores of people. Many lives and properties have been lost in the collapse of buildings in Nigeria.

Despite the availability of building codes and professionals in the Nigerian construction industry, the reported cases of building collapse had become very alarming and worrisome (Dimuna, 2010). The incidence of building failures and collapses has become major issues of concern in the development of the Nigeria nation as the frequencies of their occurrence and the magnitude of the losses in terms of lives and properties are now becoming very alarming, to the extent that it has become familiar occurrence, even to layman on the street in Nigeria (Fagbenle and Oluwunmi 2010). Many lives and properties have been lost in the collapse of buildings mostly in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos (Fasakin, 2002; Dimuna, 2010; Olagunju et al, 2013).

Building collapse, though a common phenomenon all over the world is more rampant and devastating in the developing countries. The incidence of building failures and collapses has become major issues of concern in the development of this nation as the frequencies of their occurrence and the magnitude of the losses in terms of lives and properties are now becoming very alarming. In fact, building collapse has now become a familiar occurrence, even to layman on the street in Nigeria.

Failure in building can be described as the inability of the building components not being adequate to perform what are normally expected or required of those components. On the other hand, when part or whole structure has failed and suddenly gave way in a way that as a result of this failure, the building could not meet the purpose for which it was intended, the building has collapsed. Failures in building can occur during different stages of construction process itself, as well as after. In Nigeria, the common causes of building collapse have been traced to bad design, faulty construction, use of low quality materials, hasty construction, foundation failure, lack of proper supervision, ineffective enforcement of building codes by the relevant Town Planning Authorities, lack of proper maintenance etc. (Folagbade, 2001 and Badejo, 2009).

The trend in the country is becoming quite worrisome and a source of concern to stakeholders. According to Ayedun, Durodola and Akinjare (2012), the spate and frequency of occurrence have become a major source of concern not only to the governments but to all meaning Nigerians and most especially the stakeholders in the building industry as the magnitude of the incidents are becoming very unprecedented. That building collapse incidence is still regularly occurring despite the fact that there has been the increasing diffusion of engineering knowledge over the years have brought to question whether these stakeholders have critically examined the reasons for building failure and the roles they can play or the strategies they can articulate that would help to arrest the incidents.

According to Bertram (2018), the southwest zone of Nigeria has the highest record of building collapses in the last eight years, with Lagos accounting for about 134 deaths and 159 injuries. He added that the figure was without reference for the tragic incident at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which took place on September 12, 2014. It was an incidence of a collapse of a six-storey SCOAN guest house that led to about 115 deaths and 131 injured. On December 10, 2016, Nigeria was hit by a tragedy when a church collapsed in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom; killing over 200 people. On September 22, 2015, a building collapsed in the Lekki axis of Lagos State. In May 2016, a four-storey shopping complex collapsed in Ogun State, which left many dead. In October 2015, a three-storey building collapsed in Lagos. (Samod, 2017). Sadly, there has been an increase in the rate of building collapse in Nigeria in recent years. Despite the absence of highly destructive natural disasters in Nigeria, the hazard of building collapse continually leaves an indelible mark on the country’s timeline.

The contribution of buildings to Nigeria’s development has not yielded the desired potentials because of building failure/collapse and more recently their poor functional performance (Windapo and Rotimi, 2012). Therefore, the study assessed the causes and effects of building failure with a view to bringing out the implications on national economy. The research examined the occurrence of building failures in Lagos state, Nigeria; identified and assessed the causes of building failure and also examined the effects of building failure in the study area with respect to cost.


1.2       Statement of the problem

Building collapse is a defect or imperfection, deficiency or fault in a building element or component. It may also be as a result of omission of performance. The degree of building collapse can therefore be related to the extent or degree of deviation of a building from the “as – built” state which is in most cases represent the acceptable standard within the neighborhood, locality, state or country. (Ikpo, 2018). However, building collapse can simply be defined as a total or partial/progressive failure of one or more components of a building leading to the inability of the building to perform its principal function of comfort, satisfaction, safety and stability. The incessant buildings collapse in Nigeria has become a great concern to all the stakeholders – the professionals in building industry, government, private developers, clients and users, as well as the neighborhood residents.

Nigeria especially Lagos State, has been reported to be the “world’s junk-yard” of collapsed buildings running into billions of Naira (Folagbade, 2011). The losses caused by this problem in financial terms may be far above N500 billion (N 360 =$1) since independence in 1960 (Folagbade, 2012).  Building collapse, therefore, attracts much research attention in countries like Nigeria (Makinde, 2017), most of which are dedicated to identifying the causes of building collapse. Existing studies have, however, not pointed out the most critical causes of building collapse in Nigeria to guide policy formation.  Secondly, despite the preponderance of studies on the collapse of buildings in Nigeria, there are insufficient attempts in literature to statistically group these causes to ease implementation of preventive measures. Apart from identifying the causes of building collapse, some studies have also pointed out the buildings that collapsed and their dates of collapse (Olagunju et al., 2013). To enhance the coordination of measures for preventing building collapse in Nigeria, it will be necessary to obtain an unsupervised grouping of the causes of building collapse. Such a grouping is required for assigning responsibilities to undertake appropriate preventive measures to the different stakeholders in building production. Two prominent causes of collapse of buildings are disasters and human negligence.

Fall out of the researcher’s concern about the increasing incidents of collapse building nation-wide form the basis for this study to find out the major causes, effects and probable remedial measures to collapse of buildings in Lagos state, Nigeria.


1.3    Objectives of the study

The main objective of the study is to analyze the building collapse in Lagos state using GIS. The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Examine the factors responsible for building failure/ collapse.
  2. Identify the effects of building collapse in Nigeria.
  3. Examine the factors that would help to checkmate the incidence of Structural Failure and Building Collapse at Pre-Construction and Post Implementation Phases of Building Development.


1.4    Research questions

  1. What are the factors responsible for building failure/ collapse?
  2. What are the effects of building collapse in Nigeria?
  3. What are the factors that would help to checkmate the incidence of Structural Failure and Building Collapse at Pre-Construction and Post Implementation Phases of Building Development?


1.5    Significance of the study

The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to the public, building clients, the construction industries, industrial technical educators, and the Local, State and the Federal governments. The entire residents of Lagos State will benefit from the findings of this study because, after some of these structural factors as well as the review of the informal sector influence as a factor have been identified and the recommendation proffer is strictly adhered to without favouritism, this will reduce building failure.

The public will benefit from the findings of the study, because the building owners and the occupants are assured and guaranteed of safety of lives and properties in their respective buildings if the buildings are built to normal specifications. There will also be good condition of shelter with reduced risk of hazards, adequate security, and comfort of a well designed and constructed building in the situation where the floor and wall of building has high resistance to fire and moisture. The draftsmen will be able to appreciate the advantage of training and retraining in order to meet up with the dynamic change in the world technology. The technicians will stand to benefit new skills from new discovery and emerging technologies.

The findings of this study will be of benefit to the architects, engineers and builders in the area of load bearing, it will enable them to be aware of the varied forces being imposed on building, and of consciously working with trained and certified experts not just people from the informal sector. The study will enable the stakeholders to consider the load-bearing capacity of each of the structural component, during construction, and make them to know that loads play a role in how a building is designed, where it is located, what materials and methods are used in its construction, and how it is maintained and used. The engineers will be able to acquit themselves with the modern techniques calculating the load bearing capacity of any building.

The findings of this study will equip the Lagos State Government Physical Planning Authority and the Nigerian Institute of Building to know which of the factors mostly the failure due to the use of sub-standard buildings materials and the level of influence of the informal sector on this menace. The findings of the study will help in promoting standards and quality of the building construction industry and reduce the risk of building collapse in Lagos State and its environs. This development will help towards the effective construction of building with less risk of failure.


1.6       Scope of the Study

This study is delimited to investigate building failure and collapse in Nigeria, the influence of the informal sector in Lagos State. The study covered Lagos State of Nigeria.

The study is delimited to determining the factors causing building failure; foundation failure, wall failure, floor failure, failure in columns and beams and failure of roof in buildings as influenced by the informal sector lack of professional training and incompetence around Lagos State.



1.7       Limitation of study

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


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