It is absurd to learn of the decision by the Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers to cancel the practising certificate of Prof. John Senfuma who was the lead structural engineer of the project.
The new and ever changing technologies influenced by complex designs require application of high level technology by management teams including use of sophisticated equipment. The effects of weather should not be underrated.
Human dimension of management need not take simplistic assumptions regarding a construction project to avoid accidents, loss of lives and waste of scarce resources. A construction project is a dynamic entity that is carried out in an environment of ceaseless change.
To be completed successfully, it must respond to the changing conditions and must be monitored through a system which generates feedback for necessary corrective action. The major difficulty is that architects formulate their ideas of building design around design elements rather than consider the operations required for actual construction. Such designs lack rationalisation and simplification but only maintain a level of technical complexity, causing complexity of operational sequence on site.
Therefore, architects need to review current ideas and practices of buildability, because buildability simplifies design, leading to easier construction on site. Investigations made on already collapsed structures recognise that practical implementation of buildability is a current problem of translating the architectâ€™s conceptual impression of construction into work operations which the building operative can physically carry out at the workplace.
construction of basement parkings is no simple task because the exercise leads to exposing the foundations of the adjacent structures which has many risks of building failure and under-pinning is not a cheap solution to implement! Engineers have a significant role to play in abating the collapsing buildings which are still under construction. To do this, engineers need to always establish and carry out site activity analysis of design, promote timely and effective communication and perception of that design and visualise practicality of construction tasks on site. Due to insufficient workforce and bureaucracy, Government personnel delays to effect routine checking of construction projects.
Local authorities after finalising on plan approvals, need to follow up and ensure that in the field, site conditions satisfy building and safety requirements.
The Government should consider establishing a national centre for data collation and analysis of civil engineering works. I strongly disagree that causing loss of lives and waste of scarce resources should be regarded as an unfortunate act of God as the Roko chief administrative officer, Mark Koehler would want the public to perceive it. It is not justifiable.
Building sites must be monitored constantly