Experts seek collaboration as new law on structural engineering practice comes on board

By Onyebuchi Sampson

A new law guiding structural engineering practice in Nigeria is expected to come on stream in few months.

The law is intended to check spate of construction failures and prevent wanton loss of life, property and resources as a result of collapsed buildings in Nigeria.

President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Rabiu Ali, disclosed this at the Inauguration of Engr. Peter Osarodion Igbinijesu as the 21st President of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStrustE) in Abuja.

He said since COREN lacked the requisite manpower to carry out some of its mandates, it relies on NISTructE and other institutions under the Nigeria Society of Engineers(NSE) to carry out its mandate.

He pledged to partner with NISTructE and others to ensure that COREN delivers good infrastructure to the country.

In the event, themed: ” Professional Harmony in the Built Environment “, former President, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Tonye Oliver Braide, called for urgent collaboration between engineers and architects to ensure the preservation of the built environment, The Trumpet gathered.

Braide, who was the guest lecturer at the Inauguration, said cities should be seen in the totality of a complex whole and not in the individuality of singular buildings.

He noted that architecture is much more than just drawings but can form the connectivity that creates the life and soul of a community in the built environment.

In his lecture titled: “An Architect’s Perspective in the Built Environment”, Braide stressed that every living thing is a good enough architect and engineer for himself.

According to him, while they may work in areas of specialisation, they all work in tandem towards the success of a collective goal.

He said the life of the beaver and the biomechanical design of trees has shown that engineering is everywhere and knowledge of engineering should be the first principle in the design process. Braide noted that engineering is universal for every one who carries out basic engineering tasks in our daily lives.

According to him, these principles are the keys that all must seek to create the built environment.

He said:  “As partners in the development of the built environment, architects and engineers should form the right synergies to achieve a seamless cooperative template.

“This will give the professional impetus to drive a new order in the built environment to create a wonderful living experience.

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“There should be no difference in the city fabric in Paris, New York, Sydney, Tokyo and Abuja or Benin, but points of deviation may occur which could be in the cultural identity of each city.

” Cities are developed for man by man, and there should be a global parity of performance indicators in every city. All knowledge comes from God and as the ants of Australia will build their environment in a similar fashion and technique with the ants of Senegal, design and engineering parity should become a global operational matrix in the built environment.

“Beyond this vision, shall be the need for an act of political will.

“Good designs and engineering can produce fantastic designs for flyovers, skyscrapers and a couture of urban indices, but it is the act of political will that determines who builds ten flyovers in one year or one flyover in ten years.”

In his inaugural speech Engr. Peter Osarodion Igbinijesu, pledged to implement the soon to be approved structural engineering regulations.

He also pledged to adopt existing policies of the institution to give room for continuity, especially in the area of training and continuous professional development.

The NIStructE president sought collaboration with the government and all stakeholders, including COREN, NSE and private institutions to ensure safe built environment.

He further pledged that his administration will be proactive in response to the scope of collapsed buildings and challenges of impunity in the built environment as well as ensure the adequacy of the existing laws and the currencies in the present age.

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