Poor engineering design and improper installation of plumbing systems can lead to structural weakness of buildings and contribute to their collapse, says PPC, Nigeria’s leading engineering and infrastructure development company.
The Head of Building Services Engineering Division at PPC, Anand Kumar, while responding to the frequent building collapse in the country, said such incidences could be prevented with proper engineering practices firmly established and quality materials utilized.
He added that leakages in damaged water or drainage pipes can lead to the seeping of water into the building’s foundational structure, deterioration of the foundation and eventual collapse of the building.
The expert also identified corrosion of pipes as one of the causes of building collapse as the piping system may weaken when not properly maintained, leading to a potential building collapse.
He advised that the terrain, soil structure and topography of an area where a building is to be constructed should be assessed before embarking on any project.
In today’s modern construction projects, Kumar explained that MEP engineers are essential in the professional layout of the piping system, drainage system, sinkhole as well as surface water drainages.
According to him, the seamless integration of the plumbing system with both mechanical and electrical systems is critical to ensure that there is no overload that will jeopardize the efficient performance of building systems.
Kumar said, “The frequent reports of building collapse in the country is disheartening because the resultant destruction and deaths are avoidable. Where the structural design is effectively done, quality materials are used and the installation of pipes is done by professionals, such hazards can be prevented.
“It is important for the MEP engineers to collaborate with architects, building owners and other contractors to carry out pre-construction and project management activities that will ensure the integrity of the structure.”
“One of the ways to avoid building collapse in the country is to ensure that samples of plumbing materials to be used for construction are subjected to compliance tests in order to ascertain their integrity.”
The latest industry data from Building Collapse Prevention Guild has shown that over 271 buildings have collapsed in Nigeria in the past 10 years with at least 531 persons losing their lives in the devastating incidents.
The guild linked professional ineptitude, excessive loading, use of substandard materials, faulty design, poor workmanship and weak foundation to most of the collapsed buildings.
Kumar urged building owners to engage professionals to avert building collapses, leading to loss of time, resources and of life.
PPC Building Services Engineering division has over the years developed professionalism in the design, installation, monitoring and management of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and safety systems in buildings while ensuring interoperability and optimal functionality.