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PROJECT TOPIC: THE NEED FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN RESIDENTIAL HOMES

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CHAPTER ONE

BACKGROUND STATEMENTThe subject, ‘Sustainable development’ is relevant and applicable to all areas of development and management. Its grand characteristics are its abilities to enhance, protect as well as sustain growth in all ramifications. The word ”sustainability” is a very diverse subject. It is not limited to the environment. It equally has its relevance in all spheres of life including socio-cultural, economic and all development policies. The path to a truly sustainable society begins with the objective of improving and sustaining efficiency and safety in all forms of development. It is however a long-term process. The focus is on enhancing and sustaining an existing system or development over a period of time or life-span; thus, the term sustainable development.Sustainable development is basically the act of balancing the fulfillment of human needs alongside protection of the natural environment to ensure human needs can be met presently and in the future. Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (World Commission On Environment & Development, 1987).Housing is recognized by the United Nation as a human right, yet Nigeria’s low-income households in particular struggle when it comes to adequate shelter. The urban population in the country has increased from 10% in 1952 to 47.8% in 2015 with a housing deficiency of about 14 million units. Most of the housing schemes delivered in Nigeria to date target the high-end luxury market segment and, to some extent, the middle class that has emerged over recent years and may increase due to the economic growth and continuous industrialization. Housing scheme provided by government has not been termed sustainable over the years and therefore it has created maintenance problems to both the occupants and the managers.Over the years, the construction of residential houses in Nigeria has been the traditional style of concrete structure, with block or brick wall partitions and different kinds of floor, wall, electrical and plumbing fittings according to the availability of funds of the user or owner. Lack of design innovation to a better and faster way of construction has characterized the industry. The rate of urbanization in Nigeria has witnessed tremendous increase in the last two decades. Census in the early Fifties showed that there were about 56 cities in the country and about 10.6% of the total population lived in these cities.The goal of Sustainable Housing Development (SHD) initiative as contained in Goal 11 of The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is “increased access to sufficient, safe and low-cost housing for the world’s poorest people residing in slums by the year 2030”.From this viewpoint, a sustainable house is characterized by futurity and equity issues which aims to ensure that everyone today and the generations to come have a decent place to live that is cheaper to run than existing houses. In addition to considering land use, orientation, shadow and light, concern needs to focus on the long-term costs – social, environmental and economic. The purpose of sustainable housing is to raise the standard of living and to offer an opportunity for people to have a decent house to enhance social unity, well-being, economic growth and social improvement. Sustainable housing concerns not only the fabric of buildings but also the social and environmental context of construction practices. In sustainable housing construction, the concept of eco-efficiency is important and implies that a reduction in the environmental impact of housing construction can be undone by trends such as an increase in the average size of houses and decreasing the average number of persons per house (Klunder 2004). Sustainability is not just about low energy, it also means that people are happy to live where they live and that they live in a healthy environment.PROBLEM STATEMENTSustainability issues in residential buildings in many cities of the world and the search for factors that influence the level of maintenance of residential buildings, with appropriate measures to assist in the solutions to the problems of building maintenance has been an issue of concern, most especially to the house designers and developers in Benin, Edo State, Nigeria. Sustainability issues of building include ways of constructing, maintaining and cleaning a facility that maximizes its health, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and durability.Maintenance of residential buildings is one major factor of housing ills in many cities of the world which needs urgent attention and cure. This problem seems pronounced most especially in developing countries (Nigeria inclusive) where very little emphasis is laid on building maintenance functions and management. Consequently, maintenance of the existing housing stock in habitable condition still remain a great problem to be solved in Nigeria among other countries and Niger state among other states in Nigeria (Olagunju, 2011).Newtechnological and relational challengesarehavingprofound impact on housing requirements. Housing is expected to respond to changingsocial norms, re-definitions of family, demographic trends, and the need for sustainable living patterns (That the built environment should serve users’ needsthroughthestagesoflife,and respect cultural diversity is yet to become a research and design priority in many developing nations (Shakur, 2005; Till,2009). chneider and Till,2007).



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