The Nigerian Institute of Building has kicked off its survey of pre-independence buildings, some of which are heritage buildings in various parts of the country.
According to a statement issued by the institute on Sunday, the survey is aimed at drawing attention of the society to the periodic need of building survey to preserve housing and building stock and as a part of NIOB’s corporate social responsibility to the country.
Speaking at a recent survey of some buildings on Lagos Island, the NIOB’s President, Kunle Awobodu, also said there was a need to compare buildings whose lifespan had exceeded the theoretical 60 years’ lifespan of buildings and yet were stable and functional.
The exercise will also find out why such buildings are still standing whereas some recent post-independence buildings have given way, according to the institute.
Awobodu said the materials and construction processes were things that were got right in those heritage buildings.
To commemorate the 60 years’ anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, the NIOB engaged in the survey in Lagos State and other states of the federation.
The building surveys in Lagos State were done by NIOB teams led by the Chairman of the NIOB Lagos State Chapter, Sunday Wusu.
The buildings surveyed included the first two-storey building in Nigeria, a church building in Badagry built in 1845.
On the Independence Day, builders led by Awobodu surveyed Shitta-Bey Mosque built in 1892 and the Da Rocha Building constructed in 1874, both located on Lagos Island.
The Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory were also present, giving adequate support to the exercise, the statement said.
The two agencies expressed readiness to collaborate with professionals to rid the state of squalid and unsafe buildings.
With the team expressing delight in the quality of materials used for the surveyed buildings, the NIOB president stressed the need for the development of locally available building materials for the growth of the building industry.
He explained that the vulnerability of the industry became apparent during the lockdown when some building components could not be imported.