NBRRI seeks innovative policy for construction sector

Chioma Eche, Abuja


The Acting Director- General of the Building and Road Research Institute, NBRRI, Professor Samson Duna, has urged the Nigerian government to adopt a policy that will encourage direct patronage of the institute’s innovations in the building and roads in Nigeria.

Professor, Duna, made this call at the just concluded three days 2019 NBRRI international conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital, with the theme: the Construction Practices in Nigeria: Issues, Prospects and Solutions.

He said the policy is as a matter of urgency to support NBBRI innovation in the country.

The patronage should cover designs, material, construction procedure and use of NBBRI inverted innovations. We cannot be boosting that we can do this, if nobody patronages us, when they patronage us all our shortcomings with time will be corrected. For instance all the primary schools in Nigeria can be constructed using NBRRI blocks”, he added.

The Acting Director General of NBRRI also called on the government to explore alternative and innovative ways of making large-scale housing stock delivery programmes that are achievable within a short period.

There has been so much debate on housing deficit over the years hence there is need for NBRRI to fill this gap by taking practical measures that will ensure a paradigm shift from the era of theoretical analysis to justifiable actions. The NBBRI village is a step in the right direction towards addressing this obvious affordable housing deficit. This idea was also borne out of a desire to project the totality of NBRRI innovations for full visibility to the entire country and beyond in projects that display some or all of NBRRI innovations in one location.

NBRRI has clearly distinguished itself by bringing out some meaningful research outputs and innovations all targeted at providing a wide array of more accessible and affordable alternatives to existing technologies in the building and road construction industry. This will also significantly reduce the challenges of shelter, food, security, and general unacceptable living conditions faced by the ever increasing internally displaced persons in Nigeria”, he said.

Professional Practices
Also speaking, the Honourable Member of the Nigerian House of Representative, Honourable Solomon Maren, observed that the construction industry should come up with definite time line that would guide the industry to regulate professional practices.

He assured NBBRI that the Nigerian Law makers will continue to support the construction on any issues by law for amendment.

The Chairman NBRRI Governing Board, Mr William Wadni, in his goodwill message reiterated their support to the Institute especially the management towards meeting its set goals and the general aspiration of the public.

Qualitative Research
He therefore called for more support to reposition NBRRI in order to enhance qualitative research that is needed in the Built and Road sectors of Nigeria’s economy.

Mr William called upon Entrepreneurs and investors to partner NBBRI and avail themselves on successful research

A Representative of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, Engineer Nasir Dantata, said COREN, with the recently amended act is in a better position to participate in the enforcement of real engineering in Nigeria.

He expressed their collaboration with NBRRI to see how the engineering body can incorporate local content into construction in Nigeria.

Positive Efforts
On his part, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr Bitrus Nabasu, commended NBRRI for their positive efforts towards actualising the overall objective of the present Administration’s agenda towards transformation in Nigeria.

Mr Nabasu, said that despite the appreciable progress made so far by NBRRI in the field of Building, Road and Research, he urged NBBRI to strive harder to proffer solution to critical issues in the build environments.

NBRRI History
NBRRI was established in 1978 to take over the affairs of National Construction, Building and Road Research Institute.

The Agency was set up to conduct integrated applied research and development into the various aspects of building and construction sectors of the economy.

It has about thirteen mandates which are centred on construction materials, process techniques and structural designs to increase utilisation, efficiency and effectiveness and also the development of design criteria, specification and codes of practices respectively.

The mandate was later expanded to include Research and Development into all aspects of engineering materials related to the construction industry.

In addition, the Institute provides consultancy services relating to building, Road and Engineering materials to individuals, public and private organisations.

Also the agency support services to medium and  small-scale enterprises in the areas of training, testing and evaluation of products, materials      characterisation, materials specification, feasibility study, materials services, enhancement of product quality and market potential.

In line with these mandate, the Institute has actively promoted the use of indigenous materials and technologies for application in the country.

Other innovation by NBBRI includes the Cement stabilized Earth blocks, which is based on the need to have an eco-friendly environment coupled with durable and cost-effective buildings. The innovation led NBRRI to develop the technology, which reduces the cost of walling in a building by twenty to thirty percent.

NBRRI also has Laminated Bamboo Panel which is a viable research output which was borne out of the need to have an alternative cheaper and durable construction materials used for flooring, wall partitions, claddings and ceilings. These panels are produced from recycled bamboo and utilises tongue and groove joints.

NBBRI has also successfully used the laminated bamboo panel as ceiling material in its moveable house.

Another innovation developed by NBBRI is the Rubberized Asphalt Mat, a technology which was developed at NBRRI: this can be used for quick patch especially for low volume asphalt road pavements maintenance. The mat, which is produced from recycled tyre, bitumen and coarse aggregates, eliminates the need for heavy asphalt placing equipment on site. This saves time and reduces congestion on roads due to maintenance.

Research is currently ongoing on attempt to apply the rubberised Asphalt for the construction of low traffic roads in Nigeria.

NBRRI went further to manufacture the interlocking block making machines. The NBRRI Interlocking block making machines were designed and fabricated specifically for the production of laterite blocks. These machines are simple and robust and produce a minimum of five hundred blocks per day depending on the power source. They are ideal for mass housing delivery and can also serve as a means of economic empowerment in the country. The recent of all these innovations is the Digitised sub-grade soil Map which sub-grade soils from all States in the country and systematically collects and analyse engineering properties.

From this analysis, a map was produced which provides an indication of the engineering properties of the soils within the locations.

The next international conference will take place in 2020 in Abuja, the Nigeria’s capital.