Responsibilities of Nigerian Professionals in the Building Construction Industry
(1)The soil scientist:
The soil scientist work is to determine how suitable is the land for the purpose of which is going to be used for.They check the strength,ph content and gives report on the effects of building on such lands.They are important indeed to avoid settlement of land due to weight of building in the future. They use different ways to investigate soil conditions.For simple residential buildings on reasonable sites digging several holes about three spits deep, drilling holes up to 2 or 21/2m deep with a hand auger or driving a pointed steel bar about 1 1/2m into the ground are generally sufficient. With larger buildings or more difficult sites,the following methods are applicable.
(i)Excavating trial holes about 1 1/2m deep deep outside the perimeter of the building.
(ii)Drilling boreholes by percussion or rotary methods.The percussion method uses a steel bit with a chisel point screwed to a steel rod.The rotary method employs a hollow rod with a rotating bit and a core of strata is forced back up the hollow rod.
(iii)Load testing often using a reinforced concrete slab about 1.20 to 1.50m2 and 300mm thick,to which loads are added at about 2 hour intervals and the amount of settlement is determined with a level .The safe bearing capacity of the soil is found by dividing half the load applied prior to appreciable settlement into the area of slab.
Lawyers are needed right from when you want to purchase your land,they help in all legal dealings. From contracts to agreements between you and the “omo onile” landowners; you need them .It is the job of a lawyer to find out the true owner of the land because the person selling to you may actually not be the right person to do so, they will do a thorough scrutiny on the agreement papers and give their legal advice on your investment.The money you pay for this service may be worthwhile considering the possibility of losing your money if you refuse to contact them.
These people map out the the area or plot of your land.They see to it that your land is properly demarcated from your neighbour with their instruments and skill they will give you the accurate length of your plot .There drawing is what you take to the architect for design of your building. You also needs survey plan for validation of your land when you want to register it.
They liase with you i.e the clients on one on one to achieve the type of building you want .Architects give professional supports to the clients not only on the design of the building ,the execution ,but general support even the viability of the building .The work of an architect is extensive because they are generally closer to you clients than every other building professionals. He is in the best position to know what meets your dreams and how to help achieve it. He conceives or dream and put pen to paper and sketch out what you have in mind,gives you to criticise to suit what you want properly, and make the necessary adjustments .He is the bridge between you and the other professionals and artesans on site ,by his position he is the head of the building team.
This professional estimates and see to it that you won’t embark on a project that is beyond your financial means .They cost and determine the amount of money you will require to build your house so that you don’t end up abandoning your project midway. This people are very important unfortunately Nigerian of today do not see the need for them and that is why we have abandoned projects dotting our landscape. It is nice to have a beautiful and befitting house .It also helps to promote the architects that designed it for you when your house is very beautiful, though for small projects your architect can give you an idea of what your building will cost ,but you may not really get the perfect and non-sentimental estimate as to what a quantity surveyor will give you. The quantity surveyor has nothing to lose if the house is very ugly his job is to make sure you have a financial understanding of what you are about to embark on. On big projects ,they maintain and award money to artesans and labour based on the input each worker is putting.
(6)Civil or Structural Engineers:
The civil or structural engineer in building industry is to see to it that, the stability or structural disposition of your building is not compromised. I mean they give calculations and recommends based on the Architect’s drawing, what kind of reinforcement or iron or any other structural elements that can make your house stable and will not collapse. And they come out with the drawings on this to help the builder on site to carry out is work effectively.
These people see to the mechanical aspects of the building especially large projects they give out detailed drawings and specified on plumbing work in the building, the plumbers work with them and help carry out instructions for the good of the project.
As the word implies they see to it that there house is properly lightened. Dangerous electrical connections has led to the death of several people. I will advise you have the electrical engineer in your plans when embarking on a building project. They give instructions to the electrician on large project sites.
These are one of the most important professionals in the building industry, unfortunately, the Nigeria of today is a case of dog eats dog. A situation where you claim you can do the work of somebody else and no law to discourage you against such impersonation that is what we are seeing in the building industry at presence. “Collapse of buildings” The builder is trained to carry out or execute on site or transform or bring into reality on site the drawings and intentions of every other building professionals, may it be the Architects, the Civil Engineer, the Mechanical Engineer and the Electrical Engineer. His duty is to see to every artesans or workers on site carries out is job effectively. Unfortunately every jobless person with some money in Nigeria are now claiming to be building contractors and people out of ignorance do not even know the difference.
Even other professionals too are jostling for each others job. A situation where a town planner or a surveyor lays claim to the fact that he can design a house plan for you or when a quantity surveyor is doing the work of a builder will not give you the best you deserve. A building contractor yes, is important in a construction industry but their work is not to bypass any professional rather they are to work with the professionals or consult with them to carry out the project effectively except if the contractor is a professional himself. They are probably the one to finance the building project at times, but to get a very good job you must insist on knowing the professional they will be working with.