Causes of Failure and Collapse of Building Structures in Cameroonian Cities
The phenomena of failure and consequent collapse of building structures in Cameroonian cities is so common that it has become a serious concern to the professionals in the building industry, clients, governments, and general public. In most cases, the architects and engineers who are directly involved in the construction of such building are held responsible for building collapse. This paper is intended to find out the causes of building failure and collapse in Cameroonian cities. Based on personal experience of the authors and also data collected through academic journals, conference proceedings, media reports, internet, and previous works of other authors on the subject matter, the reasons or causes of failure and collapse of building structures in the country are: Use of sub-standard construction materials or use of low quality building materials, wet-dry cycling, use of quacks or artisans, neglect of design and non-possession of approved drawings or nonpossession of building permits, inadequate preliminary works which include inadequate site investigation and foundation, the lack of follow-up by the local authorities after the issuance of the building permit, constructions in swampy areas, heavy rain, design errors/faulty design, erosion, cavitation, abrasion, lack of qualified supervision and unused equipment at building sites, poor materials and workmanship, lack of equipment in the construction industry, faulty construction methodology, illegal conversion of building, change of use of buildings, financial pressures, lack of quality control check, fire disaster, poor management and maintenance in buildings, corrosion of the reinforcement bars, amongst others. The paper concludes by suggesting measures to reduce or minimize or limit building accidents in Cameroon.