Recently, scientists and Earth-watchers have alerted the human society about the Earth’s new trends of inclination; otherwise known as Earth-Tilt. There are incontestable proofs showing that the Earth, our Planet and present abode in the universe formerly inclined facing the Eastern direction of the Universe at 661/20 at its geomagnetic inclination or the eliptics, is presently tilting in the opposite direction towards the West – an additional onerous challenge to those of Global Warming and Climate change.
Against this backdrop, experts in building and geo-techniques are full of anxiety and questions over the nature of impact this new trend of Earth’s swing will pose on buildings and other geotechnical structures such as bridges, etc, and are divided in their submissions.
Mr. KamoruKeshinro, an Executive Director in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Lagos State Secretariat, AlausaIkeja, Lagos, who also is into property business, while responding to Daily Times, said he believes strongly that the Earth is a huge magnet with enabling shock absorbers, that lend it the rare capacity to carry everything it contains and those on its surface safely, including buildings without impacting dangerously on the building substructures; the roots of trees; on the baselines of rocks and minerals as it tilts.
His words, “I believe strongly that the Earth, our planet is a magnet of huge blessing, capable of holding everything within its scope as it tilts.”
Keshinro continues, saying, “You know the Earth pursues several movement courses – rotation (1860kmhour), revolution (107,200kmhour), tectonics, and each at very unimaginable speed, yet the high-rise buildings and the high mountains still stand in their positions.” He refuses to agree that the current Earth-tilt will pose any threat on the foundations of buildings.
This view was corroborated by a Principal Architect in the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), who craves for anonymity, citing examples with mighty edifices, such as the Pentagon at AlingtonVaginia (USA (with 344, 243 square metres of offices); the Sears Tower in Chicago (USA) as the tallest building in the World (standing 443 metres high), the TajMahal in India, the former Twin-Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York and so many other high-rise buildings including modern Sky-scrapers in China, Brazil, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a few in Nigeria, saying, “can it be that the Earth-tilt phenomenon, regardless of the stage it has advanced to, is affecting the substructure of buildings, these very tall buildings would have collapsed.”
He went further and noted that every building has two parts which must be given serious thought consideration during the design and also in the construction. According to him, the first part is the substructure which is the base-walls or foundation, and the second part which is the superstructure is the wall formation on the foundation above the ground.
He sounded a note of warning to his colleagues in the profession, urging both the Architects and the Building Engineers to respect the Code of Practice Standard Specifications and By-laws; and to ignore selfish demands by house owners who may want them to subvert the By-laws to satisfy their desires, which have more than enough elicited numerous collapse of buildings as aftermaths.
Daily Times learnt from Engineer Chukwuma Andrew Oditah, a building Engineer with a construction firm based in Ikeja, that the Earth-tilt saga is a natural fulfillment and being natural, it must follow the Laws of Earth’s movement and geodynamics . According to him, Earth-tilt cannot become any threat to the foundations of buildings and bridges (whether overland or overwater) for so many reasons, amongst which are, first of all, the Earth’s gravity, and the fact that the Earth’s tilt mechanism involves a gradual turning sequence of the whole orb, not just a part or a small portion of it, such as during earthquakes when only a small portion of the area is involved.
Concluding, Oditah said that the likes of the Union Bank Multi-storey in Lagos, Nigeria, the Man-mountain or Sears Tower in Chicago, and the 24-storey Crust-scrapper in Jakarta, Indonesia which is built inside the ground, such structures cannot collapse because they stand on pile foundation on steel framework, coated with concrete formations as superstructures.
But Professor E.A Antai of the Great Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel (a Geologist and Geotechnical Engineer); from his 25 years of lecturing in Geosciences said it is unthinkable that the Earth-tilt will do no harm to the foundations of buildings. He therefore put forth the rhetoric question, saying, “If other components of the Earth decide to remain calm as the Earth tilts, what about the geologic plates, won’t they shift!”
Antai urges builders to ensure proper geotechnical installation of their buildings to ward-off crumbling of foundations and collapse.