Document Type : Regular Article


Civil Engineering Department, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria


Building-failure usually results to collapse if not discovered and properly addressed. Building-collapse/failure most times cause loss of properties and lives. A case study of a partially-collapsed one-story building is presented for emphasis with technical-assessment of the actual collapse cause so as to proffer remedy of the structure. This is achieved through detailed engineering-analysis of the building’s structural-elements and identification of remedial-options. Field-inspection through excavation of the soil to assess the foundation condition, taking soil-samples from the collapsed-building for laboratory study and non-destructive test. From inspection, it was observed that the building construction was not properly supervised and as a result were under-reinforced, which led to excessive cracks and deflection. The soil is classified by AASHTO as A-2-4; maximum-dry-density of 2.15mg/m3 and optimum-moisture-content of 9%. The compressive-strength of the structural elements were measured using the rebound-hammer and a mean compressive-strength of 13N/mm2 was obtained which indicates a low-compressive-strength concrete. Analytical-hierarchical-process is utilized as the multi-criteria decision making method to derive the actual cause of the collapse and from the priority vector 6%, 56%, 26% and 12% was obtained for soil/foundation, under-reinforcement, low-compressive-strength and overloading alternatives respectively. The consistency-ratio was obtained to be 0.065 this showed that the decision-maker’s subjective assessment is consistent. The summary of the failure investigation underscored the importance of ensuring proper supervision and quality control in the construction of framed structures. The remediation measures outlined are engagement of experts to re-design the structure using relevant-codes; then cracking, chiseling, and excavation to re-build the structure with thorough supervision.


Google Scholar


Main Subjects

[1]     Salau MA. Design, construction and maintenance measure for preventing the collapse of reinforced concrete structure. J Niger Inst Struct Eng I 2005;113:1–13.

[2]     Onyemachi TC, Uji ZA. Building Failure and its Implication On Real Estate Investments In Nigeria. J Assoc Archit Educ Niger 2005;4:57–63.

[3]     Hamma-adama M, Iheukwumere O, Kouider T. Analysis of causes of building collapse: system thinking approach. Jordan J Civ Eng 2020;14:188–97.

[4]     Michael A A, Oyewale I O, O.A A. Assessment of Building Collapse in Lagos Island, Nigeria. Am J Sustain Cities Soc 2018;1:18–28.

[5]     Ho W, Xu X, Dey PK. Multi-criteria decision making approaches for supplier evaluation and selection: A literature review. Eur J Oper Res 2010;202:16–24.

[6]     Do J-Y, Kim D-K. AHP-Based Evaluation Model for Optimal Selection Process of Patching Materials for Concrete Repair: Focused on Quantitative Requirements. Int J Concr Struct Mater 2012;6:87–100.

[7]     Chendo IG, Obi NI. Building collapse in Nigeria: the causes, effects, consequences and remedies. Int J Civ Eng Constr Estate Manag 2015;3:41–9.

[8]     Ayininuola G, Olalusi O. ASSESSMENT OF BUILDING FAILURES IN NIGERIA: LAGOS AND IBADAN CASE STUDY. African J Sci Technol 2005;5:73–8.

[9]     Olagunju RE, Aremu SC, Ogundele J. Incessant collapse of buildings in Nigeria: an architect’s view. Civ Environ Res 2013;3:49–54.

[10]    Saaty TL. An Exposition of the AHP in Reply to the Paper “Remarks on the Analytic Hierarchy Process.” Manage Sci 1990;36:259–68.

[11]    Saaty TL, Vargas LG. Decision making with the analytic network process. vol. 282. Springer; 2006.

[12]    Saaty TL, Vargas LG. Models, Methods, Concepts & Applications of the Analytic Hierarchy Process. vol. 175. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 2000.

[13]    Saaty TL. Axiomatic Foundation of the Analytic Hierarchy Process. Manage Sci 1986;32:841–55.

[14]    Saaty TL. Decision-making with the AHP: Why is the principal eigenvector necessary. Eur J Oper Res 2003;145:85–91.

[15]    Oloke OC, Oni AS, Ogunde A, Opeyemi J, Babalola DO. Incessant building collapse in Nigeria: a framework for post-development management control. Dev Ctry Stud 2017;7:114–27.

[16]    Oke SA, Amadi AN, Abalaka AE, Akerele RT. Result of subsoil investigation on a collapsed building site in Lagos. Niger J Constr Technol Manag 2009;10:36–45.

[17]    Alamu FB, Gana MS. An investigation on the causes of building collapse in Nigeria. J Environ Sci Resour Manag 2014;1.

[18]    Olajumoke AM, Oke IA, Fajobi AB, Ogedengbe MO. Engineering Failure Analysis of a Failed Building in Osun State, Nigeria. J Fail Anal Prev 2009;9:8–15.

[19]    Onyelowe K, Alaneme G, Igboayaka C, Orji F, Ugwuanyi H, Bui Van D, et al. Scheffe optimization of swelling, California bearing ratio, compressive strength, and durability potentials of quarry dust stabilized soft clay soil. Mater Sci Energy Technol 2019;2:67–77.

[20]    AASHTO. Determining the Liquid Limit of Soils. AASHTO Designation: T89-94, Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing n.d.:17th Edition.

[21]    AASHTO. Determining the Plastic Limit and Plasticity Index of Soils. AASHTO Designation: T90-94, Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing, n.d.:17th Edition.

[22]    AASHTO. Particle Size Analysis of Soils. AASHTO Designation: T88-93, Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing 1993:16th Edition.

[23]    AASHTO. The Moisture-Density Relations Using a 4.45-kg (10-lb) Rammer and a 457-mm (18-in.) Drop. AASHTO Designation: T180-93, Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing n.d.:17th Edition.

[24]    Bernasconi M, Choirat C, Seri R. Measurement by subjective estimation: Testing for separable representations. J Math Psychol 2008;52:184–201.

[25]    Nucera F, Pucinotti R. Destructive and non-destructive testing on reinforced concrete structure: The case study of the Museum of Magna Graecia in Reggio Calabria 2010.

[26]    Standard B. 8110: Part 3, Structural use of concrete–code of practice for design and construction. Br Stand Institute, London UK 1985.

[27]    Standard B. 8110: Part 1, Structural use of concrete-Code of practie for design and construction. Br Stand Institution, London UK 1997.

[28]    Standard B. 6399: Part 1, Loading for buildings-Code of practice for dead and imposed loads. Br Stand Institution, London UK 1996.

[29]    Moseley WH, Bungey JH. Reinforced Concrete Design, ELBS 3rd edn. 1990.

[30]    Kong FK, Evans RH. Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete, ELBS 3rd edn. 1990.