Tuesday 4 October 2016

The Role of the Construction Industry in Environmental Sustainability

A major player in the infrastructural development of any nation, the construction industry has a wide range of options and sections all for the purpose of birthing a non-existing structure. The industry as a whole has varying options ranging from civil constructions, mechanical and electrical installations.

The different hierarchy in this industry, ranging from clients, contractors, sub-contractors to other participants from skilled to unskilled are all important for the success of any project whether huge or otherwise.

Over the years, in Nigeria, the construction industry, despite all its efforts and enormous strides to become an industry to be reckoned with when discussing national growth, has seen this progress blighted by some negative occurrences such as building collapse due to reasons in project management such as poor and sub-standard materials, poor supervision, negligence, lack of experience for such projects, poor structural analysis, faulty designs, to mention a few.

There exist a gap between regulatory bodies and certified engineers capable of executing jobs optimally in a professional manner according to specified standards. The gulf and bridge not only created a vacuum but also gave rise to the in-betweens who label themselves engineers only to execute job shoddily  - an act that have, over the years, gone unchecked.

Majority of building collapse cases are such that are actually avoidable if proper pre-job and post- job analysis are carried out. Such factors such as sub-standard reinforcements and improper mix ratio as in the case of building constructions are very much avertable. Also, due to a poor maintenance culture, aged structures are seen to still be in use by thousands of occupants.

Again proper drainage channel are sometimes neglected or overlooked for one reason or the other. Road constructions are carried out with less regard for proper drainage channels. Even ones with drainages are channeled improperly.  Coupled with the lack of proper waste disposal culture of citizens, drainage channels are littered and this becomes an issue during the rainy season.

[caption id="attachment_371" align="aligncenter" width="268"]img_20160224_171948.jpg Littered drainage channel along Rumola bridge, Aba Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.[/caption]

For environmentalists and sustainable development enthusiast who are passion-driven as regards environmental sustainability in terms of waste disposal and management, wildlife protection et al., the construction industry also have a major role to play. Proper environmental assessment should be done before any form of construction is done. Structures should not be erected on places which would on the long run, have negative environmental impact on the inhabitants of such environment.

While infrastructural development is pertinent, the need to consider the various impact to the environment is also very much important.
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