The Building Collapse Prevention Guild has said that it has become important for prospective building developers and their clients to engage the services of quantity surveyors before embarking on construction.
Members of the BCPG, Ikeja Cell, at a seminar to sensitise builders, said the Bill of Quantities and Schedule of Materials prepared by quantity surveyors were the veritable instruments that could assist building owners at exercising control, and making checks and balances on building project costs.
The lead speaker at the seminar, Mrs Adejoke Alabi, stated that prevention of defective building construction should begin at the point where the quantity surveyor would use the architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical drawings to determine the overall cost of the project.
Alabi, who is a former Head of Quantity Surveying Department, Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, as well as others, spoke on the theme: ‘Important role of the quantity surveyor in the prevention of building collapse’.
“Once it is discovered that the cost of the proposed project is beyond the available or anticipated funds, the client could request the architect and engineers to review the design of the building to what he or she could afford rather than embarking on a building project that will take a long time to complete, thereby exposing the structure to debilitating weather effects,” she said.
A former Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, old Lagos Branch, Mr Babatunde Johnson, said quantity surveyors had the tendency of over-protecting the interest of the clients to the detriment of the contractors.
Johnson, who is a civil/structural engineer, noted that this should be discouraged so that due process could be followed.
The Chairperson, Women Association of Quantity Surveyors of Nigeria, Mrs Aderonke Oyelami, said quantity surveyors should be made to ensure that clients were not cheated, while the contractor should not be squeezed with unrealistic rates that would tempt them to compromise on quality.
She added that in the contract bidding and pricing strategy, quantity surveyors’ work should serve mainly as a benchmark against which submissions would be controlled.
“In that case, the lowest bidder may not necessarily be the appropriate,” she stated
The Chairman, Ikeja Local Government, Mojeed Balogun, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Works and Housing, Olusegun Aderowo, said quality should always be considered ahead of profit in construction as durability, on the long run, would be cheaper than constant repair of shoddy works.
The Chairman, BCPG, Lagos State Chapter, Mr Solomon Ogunseye, an architect, said some clients were ignorant of the advantages of obtaining Bills of Quantities before embarking on construction projects.
He stated that with reasonable charges, quantity surveyors could assist prospective homeowners to cost-manage their construction funds.
The BCPG National President, Mr George Akinola, said the benefits of synergy that the guild had been promoting among the built environment professionals would bridge the communication gap and reduce the unpleasant role rivalries and conflicts within the country’s construction industry.
According to the Coordinator of the BCPG, Ikeja Cell, Mrs Iyabode Bolarinwa, most clients pretend to understand the architectural design of a building until construction begins.