Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
1
UNDERSTANDING THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE 2006 - ...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
2
and demolition of any building or structure anyw...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
3
requirements are cross-referenced and are interr...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
4
general public. It also specifies where fire pro...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
5
A sample form of the Stop work/Removal/Discontin...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
6
Thus some spaces and elements remain inaccessibl...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
7
4.2.3 Professionals in the Building Industry hav...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
8
drawings and specification. This fact puts a gre...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
9
PROVISION IN THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE ACTION/C...
Exploring the National Building Code
By Arc J. O. Toluhi
12th Sept 2012
10
The names and addresses of the builder, archite...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

EXPLORING THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE- text of paper 2012 (1)

125 views

Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

EXPLORING THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE- text of paper 2012 (1)

  1. 1. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 1 UNDERSTANDING THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE 2006 - THE ARCHITECT’S RESPONSIBILITY: Text of a Paper presented to NIAPPE candidates at the Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja on 12th September 2012, by Arc. J. Toluhi 1.0 INTRODUCTION A Code is a set of rules, laws or principles of acceptable good practice. Thus the National Building Code is a publication of rules setting minimum standards on who designs a building, how it is designed, who carries out the building works and how, who supervises the building construction and how, what building can be occupied, when and how, how a building can be maintained, improved, changed in use, or demolished. These minimum standards are to ensure good quality in the interest of health and safety. Health and safety are big issues in today’s world and without paying attention to them, lives, property and the environment are endangered. These lives could be anyone’s and they can be lost through disasters that make news or through accidents or health compromises that are often not reported. Incidentally the occurrences of accidents or ill health can be in the city or in the village and the lives affected are of equal value: It therefore follows that the enforcement of the National Building Code is as important in the village as in the city. One may however say that the scale of effect is greater in the city or urban area. The National Building Code is a document that was evolved to proffer a lasting solution to the hazardous trends in the building industry which include incessant collapse of buildings, building infernos and other built environment abuses and disasters. These trends have come about by the planlessness of our towns and cities, use of non-professionals, insufficient referenced design standards for professionals, use of substandard materials, and lack of adequate regulations and sanctions against offenders. 2.0 AIM, SCOPE AND BACKGROUND OF THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE The aim of the National Building Code is to set minimum standards for design, construction, occupation, maintenance and demolition of buildings. This is with a view to ensuring quality, safety, health and proficiency in the building industry, by setting minimum standards to safeguard life and property and to guarantee public health and safety and effectively regulating the processes of design approval, construction, quality of materials, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all buildings and structures taking into consideration the traditions, culture and economic circumstances of Nigeria. The Code which was evolved from various interactions and brainstorming sessions at which then seven professional bodies in the building industry were effectively represented, was presented to and ratified by the Federal Executive Counci, subsequently presented to the National Council of States and was launched into operation by the then President in the Council Chambers of Aso Villa 25th January 2007. It has therefore been approved to be adopted by all the States to control all matters concerning the design and specification, construction, alteration, repair
  2. 2. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 2 and demolition of any building or structure anywhere within the Federal Republic of Nigeria as local building regulations and bye-laws. 3.0 EXPLORING THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE The National Building Code as compiled consists of 15 sections in four parts as follows: Part I - Administration Part II - Technical (Professional) Classification Pre-Design Stage Requirements Design Stage Requirements Construction Stage Requirements Post Construction Stage Requirements Part III - Enforcement Part IV- Schedules and References Part I on administration contains 3 sections (1-3) and gives the preamble, aim and scope of the Code as well as abbreviations, definitions and interpretation of terms used in the document. It also introduces the establishment of a Building Code Advisory Committee (BCAC) outlining its functions, tenure and mode of operation. The BCAC is responsible for the periodic review of this Code. Part II has 9 sections (4-12) and deals with technical or professional classifications and requirements. Section 4 classifies all buildings and structures according to their uses. 12 use groups (A-L) are established including subgroups. Buildings and structures are also graded according to the degree of fire hazard entailed. The essence of this classification is that certain requirements and standards of design are later on in the Code attached to different classes. For example the provisions required for means of access and egress are different depending on whether a building is in use Group A (assembly), use group D (factory and Industries) or use group H (residential). An architect or other professional having a design to do should therefore find out what use group it belongs to and then find out what is required for its design, structural, mechanical and electrical services design and its construction requirements. It is now our responsibility to ensure that all our designs and construction comply with the requirements of the National Building Code for the class of such buildings, but compliance needs enforcement. Section 5 classifies all buildings and structures according to their type of construction. These provisions represent varying degrees of public safety and fire resistance. All buildings and structures erected or to be erected, altered or extended in height or area are classified into one or a combination of 5 construction types defined in a table. These different types are classified according to the fire resistance of the building elements namely: exterior load bearing walls, interior bearing walls, exterior non-load bearing walls, structural frame permanent partitions, shaft enclosures, floors/ceilings, roofs/ceilings and exterior doors and windows. Knowing the construction classification of a building or structure that you are designing will influence the design and choice of structural materials and finishes to be applied to your project. These
  3. 3. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 3 requirements are cross-referenced and are interrelated from section to section. E.g section 5.17 on guardrails is referenced to section 7.17 and 7.20 Section 6 outlines the environmental and general building requirements of the pre-design stage. The provisions of this section govern the means of light, ventilation and sound transmission control required in all buildings intended for human occupancy. This section gives general area and height limitations of rooms and spaces and size limitations of openings in order to ensure adequate lighting and ventilation. For example in section 6.2.6 on room dimensions, habitable rooms other than kitchens, storage rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height not less than 2.4m and any habitable room other than a kitchen shall not be less than 3.0m in any dimension. These requirements are to ensure that a building meets minimum standard for ventilation. This section therefore gives you guidelines on what is permitted or not, what minimum sizes and dimensions are to be applied to various aspects or details of a building. Section 7 gives the architectural design requirements. It is the longest section of the code with 142 pages and contains controls of requirements such as location on property, construction height, allowable floor area, etc, which are given according to occupancy use groups. This section needs to be carefully studied by architects as it contains requirements that directly relate to design parameters in different buildings such as occupant load, number, width and type of exits, requirements for safety and precautions during building operations, protection of public and workers, health hazards and sanitation related to building operations. Section 8 contains provisions controlling the structural design of all buildings and structures. It is directly relevant to the work and design input of the civil or structural engineer but should none the less interest architects and other professionals to know what provisions are contained therein. Section 9 contains provisions that control the design, installation, construction, inspection and maintenance of all mechanical equipment and systems with respect to strength, fire safety and operation. It also covers the design and construction of all new electrical conductors, equipment and systems in buildings and structures. Section 10 is the section dealing with requirements of building materials and components like stones, concrete, sand, glass, steel, etc. the application of such materials and components is to achieve aesthetics, durability, functionality, character and affordability. Hazardous materials are not allowed by the Code and asbestos materials are specifically mentioned as hazardous to health and should be restricted in use. Section 11 which is a very short and brief section has provisions relating to all construction operations in connection with the erection, alteration, repair, rehabilitation, demolition or removal of buildings and structures. Section 12 gives the post construction requirements of maintenance, fire protection and fire resistance of all building construction. This section provides for all construction equipment and safeguards to be constructed, installed and properly maintained to ensure protection of workers engaged on such and the
  4. 4. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 4 general public. It also specifies where fire protection systems are required in all buildings structures and governs the use and design of all materials and method of construction with respect to required fire resistance rating and flame resistance depending on the potential fire hazard of the particular use and occupancy of that building or structure. These are minimum functional performance standards for fire protection purposes. Part III contains only section 13, which is on control of building works. It touches on approvals to be obtained before commencement of actual building, inspections that are required to be carried out during the building operations, notices to be issued when violations occurs, and sanctions that could follow violations. This section talks about the establishment of a code Enforcement Division, section or unit in the Development Control Departments of Federal, State and Local Govt Urban Dept Agencies. This unit is to consist of all the professionals in the Built environment and public health officers and is to carry out enforcement or the implementation of the provisions of the National Building Code in order to secure its intent. The requirements for approval of drawings and requirements to be met before buildings are satisfied fit for occupation are listed in this section. Some of the significant provisions of this section include:  That a building or structure henceforth erected shall not be used or occupied fully or partially until a certificate of use and habitation has been issued by the Code Enforcement Division/Section/Unit  All building works shall be supervised by a registered architect and engineer in line with their inputs into the design.  The management and execution of building works shall be carried out by a registered builder.  It shall be unlawful to make any change to the use or occupancy of any building or structure without the approval of the Code Enforcement Division/Section/Unit.  Building Condition Survey Report for buildings 5 floor and above shall be carried out every 10 years by the registered professionals involved in the original design and construction stages of the building or structure. Part IV contains 2 sections (14 and 15), which are referenced standards and compliance forms. In the last section 15, eight compliance forms have been introduced in the code to be completed by the registered professionals involved in construction and supervision of various stages of building works. These are to be submitted to the Code Enforcement Unit as an attestation to the fact that the works at each of those stages have been satisfactorily carried out under the supervision of such professionals. These forms include: i) Setting out compliance form ii) Foundation/Basement compliance form iii) Roofing and closing up compliance form iv) Superstructure compliance form v) Mechanical Installations compliance form vi) Electrical Installation compliance form vii) Finishes compliance form
  5. 5. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 5 A sample form of the Stop work/Removal/Discontinuation notice is also included among the forms in this section of the Code. 4.0 PROVISIONS FOR ENFORCEMENT IN THE CODE The greatest challenge of the National Building Code lies in its enforcement, which is vested in the Code Enforcement Department, Section or unit as the case may be. The modalities for such enforcement include  inspection of building plans before approval for construction to ensure that minimum standards stipulated by the Code are adhered to,  inspection of buildings under construction to confirm that there is no breach of these standards and also  inspection of buildings in occupation or use in order to ascertain that minimum standards of health and safety are not compromised.  Compliance forms are also required to be completed by relevant professionals responsible for supervision of the works. These forms are to ensure that every stage of the building works is properly supervised and that relevant professionals take responsibility for their input. The Code Enforcement Section relies on such attestation to issue their Certificate of Use and Habitation. In all the compliance forms, the professionals engaged to manage and supervise the building works sign and seal the forms to attest to the fact that they have supervised the work and that they are in accordance to the drawings and specifications. This fact puts a great responsibility on the professionals, which in legal terms is referred to as the duty of care. Any thing going wrong with the work makes the professionals liable for negligence for which they should be held responsible by the law. Safety is the word…and health Safety is now a big issue as the value of a life cannot be easily computed or derived. Our buildings must be safe in construction, in occupation or use, in maintenance and even in demolition. in construction as a lot of accidents and health hazards abound on our construction site that demand that attention be paid to the issue of safety on our sites. in occupation as we have heard of slips and falls in bathroom, on staircases, stampedes in public gathering spaces, assemblies, cinemas and stadia due to improper design and specifications of means of access and egress in use ……collapses have occurred due to indiscriminate, of course unapproved change of use of buildings and structure from private dwellings to places of public gathering, etc. People are known to have been trapped in fires, in buildings which should have otherwise been designed and built to offer them safe escape even in such disastrous circumstances. We should also consider health hazards posed by inadequate lighting and ventilation in buildings, which many of our citizenry have been exposed to due to designs that fail to meet minimum standards for such requirements. in maintenance… many structures lack adequate maintenance because our designs have failed to consider this important aspect in the life of a building.
  6. 6. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 6 Thus some spaces and elements remain inaccessible or their accessibility is prejudicial to safety of the maintenance personnel. in demolition…. We have had the first known challenge in this area on Broad Street, Lagos where it took a long time to be able to bring down the building of the Bank of Industry that was partly damaged by fire but which became structurally unviable. 4.1 CHALLENGES OF ENFORCEMENT The application of the National Building Code is yet to be effected in most of States of the Federation despite the fact that all State Governments were represented from the preparatory stages to the final presentation to the National Council of States when it was launched and copies were dispatched to all the State Governments. The contents of the Code are also yet to be fully explored, known and understood by all the actors in the building process. This group of people and organisations will be caught napping and in fact may be in shock when the Code comes under strict enforcement. For example, one still finds a fire exit door padlocked but with a bold sign above it reading “fire exit” despite provisions. It is also common to see escape staircases or other means of access and egress blocked with junk in many public places. Many buildings are under construction without proper supervision and often utilising substandard personnel and materials. All these acts or omissions are in violation of the national Building Code but occur without any challenge or sanctions. The country and its citizens suffer for it. The actors who are expected to comply with provisions of the Code include: i) Federal Ministry of Works, Housing & Urban Development ii) Building Code Advisory Committee iii) Code Enforcement Authorities/Departments iv) Developers of buildings or Building owners v) Individual registered Professionals in the building Industry vi) Registered firms of Professionals vii) Building firms or contractors viii) Building users or occupiers 4.2 THE IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT PROGRESS REPORT 4.2.1 As a follow up to the launching of, and as required by the Code, the first Building Code Advising Committee (BCAC) was set up in 2007 and another in 2010 by the then Honourable Minister of Environment Housing and Urban Development comprising a Chairman and nineteen (19) members charged with the responsibility of periodic review of the code among other duties. This committee whose tenure is three (3) years and required by the Code to meet at least twice a year has met only once after its inauguration. 4.2.2 The National Building Code requires to be established in all Development Control Departments in Nigeria a Code Enforcement Division/Section or Unit as the case may be. Perhaps only a couple of State Development Control Departments have established this. Therefore, the Code exists since 2007 but its enforcement is still unstructured.
  7. 7. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 7 4.2.3 Professionals in the Building Industry have since the launching of the National Building Code been buying the beautifully bound 497 page book and have been organizing workshops and seminars to educate themselves on the implications, provisions and requirements of the Code. But there has been no enforcement as the structures for enforcement even though established by the Code have been non-existent from the Federal level down to the Local Government. Everybody agrees that the introduction of the National Building Code is a welcome relief and an antidote of the chaos that have bedevilled the Building Industry for long. But the greatest challenge lies in its enforcement, which is vested in the Code Enforcement Authority, Division, Section or Unit as the case may be. 4.2.4 The National Building Code is not a law, neither do professionals want it to become a law because we expect it to be subjected to review as we come across new trends, processes, procedures, materials and technology in the global building construction arena. Everyone knows that a law is not easy to amend or review no matter how desirous we consider it. The case of the Land Use Act is a lesson to learn from. But a law to enforce the provisions and requirements within the FCT is in the making at the National Assembly. The National Building Code must not just be another set of unimplemented rules or recommendations that exist only in the books. 5.0 SANCTIONS/PENALTIES All building works not executed in accordance with above requirements or any act or omission that is in conflict with any provisions in the Code constitute a violation of this law (13.3). The Code provides for notice of violation to be served by the Code Enforcement Authority/Section/Unit. Any person who violates any provision of the Code or fails to comply with any of its requirements or erects, constructs or alters or repairs a building or structure in violation of an approved plan, permit, certificate or directive of the Code enforcement Authority shall be guilty of an offence punishable under the existing law. 6.0 THE ARCHITECT’S REPONSIBILITY The greatest challenge of the National Building Code lies in its enforcement, which is vested in the Code Enforcement Department, Section or unit as the case may be. The modalities for such enforcement include  inspection of building plans before approval for construction to ensure that minimum standards stipulated by the Code are adhered to,  inspection of buildings under construction to confirm that there is no breach of these standards and also  inspection of buildings in occupation or use in order to ascertain that minimum standards of health and safety are not compromised.  Compliance forms are also required to be completed by relevant professionals responsible for supervision of the works. These forms are to ensure that every stage of the building works is properly supervised and that relevant professionals take responsibility for their input. The Code Enforcement Section relies on such attestation to issue their Certificate of Use and Habitation. In all the compliance forms, it will be seen that the architect signs last to attest to the fact that he/she supervised the work and it is in accordance to the
  8. 8. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 8 drawings and specification. This fact puts a great responsibility on the architect, which in legal terms is referred to as the duty of care. Any thing going wrong with the work makes the architect liable for negligence for which he could be held responsible both by the client and the Authorities. The architect must exercise his duty of care and diligence and acquaint him or herself with provisions of the National Building Code and regard it as book of information and instructions that must be adhered to in order to achieve orderly development of buildings that are safe and healthy. Ignorance is still an enemy that the Nigerian architect must fight and we must not be ignorant of the provisions of this new document. Architects must regard themselves as the first line of enforcement first, by knowing and second, by sticking to the provisions of the Code without allowing themselves to be swayed by clients or contractors/builders who may have differing ideas and opinions on technical matters. Remember you don’t have to do that job if the outcome offends society, and that is what you do when your work goes contrary to the provisions of the National Building Code. I’m sure you are aware that many of us have done things which run against professional training and ethics only to plead that our clients insisted and made us do such. Self-regulation is the best form of regulation so we must see ourselves as the enforcement officers in our own rights. We must therefore aim at zero deviation from the provisions of this Code which was evolved with the active participation and collaboration of the Nigerian Institute of Architects. Our various experiences in design, construction and use of buildings have a major impact on the compilation of a building Code and will still necessitate future reviews to accommodate scenarios not yet experienced but whose occurrence will demand our preparedness for such eventualities. For example before September 11 we never had any aircraft deliberately crashing into a tall building as was experienced. That incident will definitely require that design and construction of such skyscrapers take such possibilities into consideration. Because of the terrorist acts of the 9-11, also it is now required in the US that all windows in such public buildings must be glazed with shatter-proof glazing. That would require some sort of revision of their Building Code. And recently, Nigeria was facing the challenge of how to demolish the Bank of Industry Building at its Broad street Lagos location having suffered a major fire disaster that occasioned the collapse of the last 2 uppermost floors, and which was pronounced as structurally indeterminate. How this building would be safely brought down saw Nigeria looking abroad for experts at such demolition which had to be done else it will be worse if it came down by itself. Now this experience of a building gutted by fire without any hope of salvaging it was new and got us thinking. If in the course of our operating this Building Code we find provisions that are unrealistic or no longer in tune with present realities, let us catalogue such contradictions and forward same to the Building Code Advisory Committee (BCAC) who is charged with the review of this Code. The BCAC is now in place and if you have such observations or recommendations for review, please write to the Honourable Minister of Environment, Housing & Urban Development who appoints and supervises the Committee.
  9. 9. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 9 PROVISION IN THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE ACTION/COMPLIANCE BY Building Code Advising Committee (BCAC) already established should be in operation FMWHUD Code Enforcement Division/Section or Unit should be established in all Development Control Departments in Nigeria. No building works or operations should be carried out without having drawings (or building plans) duly approved by the Code Enforcement Authority/Division/Section BUILDING OWNER/ REGISTERED BUILDER No building approval shall be granted for drawings for any development whose design has not been carried out by stipulated registered professionals (Architects & Engineers). CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY Drawings for building approval shall be prepared, signed on affixed stamp and sealed by relevant registered design professionals or firms CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY Building approval shall be granted by relevant professionals in the Development Control Department of the Building Code Enforcement Authority / Division / Section / Unit for the various drawings submitted CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY The management of the execution of all building works including the supervision of artisans and tradesmen shall be carried out by a Registered Builder. BUILDING OWNER/ CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY The supervision of execution of all building works shall be carried out by a Registered Architects and registered engineers in line with their professional/technical input BUILDING OWNER/ CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY A developer shall apply for and obtain a setting out approval from the Code Enforcement Authority before the commencement of physical erection of the building, stating the names of the registered builder to execute and the registered architect and engineers to carry out the supervision of the Building works REGISTERED BUILDER/ CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY
  10. 10. Exploring the National Building Code By Arc J. O. Toluhi 12th Sept 2012 10 The names and addresses of the builder, architect and engineers shall be displayed on a board erected at the entrance gate of the building site for every building except for single bungalow sites REGISTERED BUILDER/ CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY All drawings submitted for approval and all buildings works executed in accordance with such approved drawings shall comply fully with the requirements of the National Building Code. Therefore all registered professionals must be conversant with the technical classifications and design requirements The above provision shall be ensured by submission of duly completed compliance forms to the Code Enforcement Authority by the Developer and obtaining a certificate of Use and Habitation REGISTERED BUILDER/ CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY No building or structure executed shall be put to use in whole or part without a Certificate of Use and Habitation obtained from the Code Enforcement Authority REGISTERED BUILDER The Certificate of Use and Habitation shall be issued by a registered architect within the Code Enforcement Authority / Division / Section / Unit CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY Building Condition Survey Report for buildings above five floors shall be carried out every ten years by the registered professionals involved in the original design and construction stages of the building and submitted to the Code Enforcement Authority. BUILDING OWNER/ CODE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY CONCLUSION The National Building Code is now a national working document that an architect must have and keep just like you will always find on the bookshelf of a lawyer, the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. All architects should get acquainted with the document and it will be well with architecture and the Nigerian built environment. Arc. J. O. Toluhi 12 September 2012.

×