Following the collapse of Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, there have been lots of comments circulating about the unfortunate event as many people blame it on the church some others blame it on the contractors and engineers.
Well, here is an analysis by a reader of what could have possibly gone wrong:
I have seen various comments blaming the collapse of the church building on the unavailability of columns in auditorium here on nairaland, Facebook and even WhatsApp. I’ve so therefore decided address the issue based on my personal views and experience.
I must say that I’ve personally been to sites , churches and mosques that adopted the same pattern of design and and have stood the test of time.
Let’s not forget that Canaan land is “I think” the largest church auditorium in the world but yet you can find no columns within the auditorium. It should be ten times bigger than Reigners bible church if not more .
However, there are factors that could lead to the structural failure and building collapse
Constant vibration: We all know the earth is always in constant vibration. Let’s assume a proper soil test was carried out which gives them a go ahead.
Things that has to be considered also are the effects of mining , closeness of airports, railways and even ordinary borehole drilling.
But in the absence of the aforementioned activities, we can’t ignore the fact its a church where about a 7000 out of 10000 capacity will be expected to jump ,dance , run and exhibit various aggressive actions . This is a huge church where “mad” sound systems are required. Vehicular activities can’t be ignored also.
Imagine the vibration produced and the effect it will have on a structure that is under construction and might still contain wet/weak concrete.
You can’t give the structural calculations allowed for a mosque where the worshippers only touch their forehead on the ground to a church where aggressive actions take place coupled to a wide range of instruments and sounds .
In other words, the structural threshold and allowance required should be wider.
Site supervision/ workmanship: I have personally been to sites where artisans would tell you that “bros, if you sabi this work pass me, na for book o” . If you are not careful, this artisans would intimidate you with their age of experience.
They would try to convince you that whatever they do is bound to work as its not their first time.
We can’t also ignore the type of materials supplied. Where you use and I-sectional steel in place of T-section or whatever, then the trouble has just started .
When you try to cut cost, manage, ignore the curing time before imposing load on concrete, refuse to erect a column, ignore the proper mix ratios – your structure is bound to fail.
The structural calculations contained in your “calculation sheet” (those who use softwares like Orion will understand) are purely standard. It tells you that the construction will work and if it won’t work, you will know. But the moment an engineer gets to the site and starts cutting cost or dance to the tune of the contractors, hmmm, na u know the rest o .