Design performance specification for school buildings in the vicinity of gas flaring in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria

Ogbonda, UJ ORCID: 2018, Design performance specification for school buildings in the vicinity of gas flaring in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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It is evident from research that there is a strong link between poor indoor environments, external façade of school buildings, schoolchildren’s health and academic performance. In order to provide a better indoor environment for schoolchildren, meeting strict criteria in relation to indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort, aesthetics and longevity is highly important. Stringent health criteria for school buildings’ design and construction have led to innovations in selecting and manufacturing of materials that meet such criteria. However, the uses of prescriptive specification and outdated national building codes have proved to be challenging leading to the application of Performance Specification (PS). The prescriptive method, unlike the PS which permits innovation, is disruptive and cumbersome; using codes that hamper the adoption of newer and safer materials for today’s environmental challenges.

This study developed a guidance document known as a PS to aid the design, selection of materials and construction of schools buildings in the Niger Delta area (NDA) where gas flaring (GF) is predominant. This excessive pollution poses the biggest challenge to indoor environments and building deterioration. School buildings in Nigeria currently follow the prescriptive specification and national building codes that were last updated in 2006. Such practices are clearly inadequate for tackling environmental challenges in the NDA. Therefore, PS, based on performance requirements and fit for purpose, is more likely to help in achieving clean indoor air and durable external façade of school buildings in the vicinity.

The study adopted the design science (DS) method as the philosophical approach due to its advantages in integrating other research strategies. Literature on GF impacts and the use of PS was reviewed followed by qualitative and quantitative data collection using both open-ended questionnaire and semi-structured interview. While 120 open-ended questionnaires were administered, 102 valid responses were retrieved and 10 expert professionals with more than ten years of experience in professional practice in the primary area of study were interviewed. Consequently, the data that emerged were analysed using Nvivo 11 and SPSS to identify specific environmental issues for potential mitigation.

The final PS was demonstrated in three iterative processes through subsequent data collection exercise using open-ended questionnaires administered to 102 respondents to provide the required environment specific requirements for design and construction purposes. This was carried out through experienced professionals and evaluated by potential dominant users in the study area. It concludes that the developed PS will potentially change current practices in terms of design and selection of materials for school construction. The use of PS as opposed to the sole reliance on the Nigerian building code which is prescriptive in nature is deemed feasible. The research outcomes also included the development of immediate environmental criteria for limits on hazardous substances and space cooling levels for performance requirements, among others. In addition, innovative triple and double filtration systems for use as air purifiers without energy costs were designed. These locally tailored criteria provide environment specific requirements without mirroring international codes to offer clean IAQ for the research environment.

It is expected that the DPS would be used by professionals in the Built environment and policy makers as a guiding tool during the design, selection and construction of buildings in the VGF and/or for (re) designing and renovation process to meet growing indoor air quality needs and achieves building durability in the NDA.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Ji, Y (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Uche Ogbonda
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 10:41
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2022 09:31

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