Building Maintenance: an Posteriori Culture in Nigeria- The Quest for Economic Sustainability
Inaugural Lecture Series 2018
The word 'maintenance' comes from the French verb 'maintenir', which means 'to hold'. In the present context it means to hold, keep, sustain or preserve equipment, building or structure to an acceptable standard of serviceability. Maintenance is as old as creation. God, our Creator, is a Chief Builder who maintains and sustains the Earth. This much is revealed in the Bible, Book of Genesis 2: 7,8 and 15: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust - of the ground, and 4 breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed into the Garden of Eden .... to dress it and to keep it". Mr Vice-Chancellor sir, we are all here to witness this inaugural lecture today not because of what we have been eating or the medical care we receive but by the Grace of God which maintains and sustains us on a daily basis. Upon the emergence of civilisation, when ma.n ~ecide~ to settle and abandon a wandering lifestyle, his Immediate requirement was a suitable shelter. He used to live in caves and shifted to man-made huts constructed with materials available in nature. Living in the huts, man found that the tasks of repair and maintenance were easy. At the same .time t~e required materials for such purpose were avalla~le In abundance in nature. There was no worry about repair and maintenance and both had no relevance in nature at that time. The huts were constructed at locations which were least affected by natural calamities. This very act of construction slowly transformed into a science of constru?tion technoloqy over the centuries. The factors of man, material, machine and money started playing an important role in construction. The skill of man developed further and he could make so many complex, beautiful monuments and intricate ~tructures in addition to magnificent residential accommodations. Among such examples were The Pyramids of Egypt, the Papal States in the old Vatican City, Planetariums, The Golden Temple, and more recent structures like the White House and many others. As time went on available materials in nature were used along with artificial materials for construction of buildings. The use of these materials not only enhanced the aesthetics but also increased the lifespan of the structures. Over a period of time, some of these buildings retained their original glamour and serviceability while others did not. In view of this a ~ew questions arise.