Architects have expressed the need for sustainable architecture designs that minimise negative environmental impact through improved efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy and development space.
They spoke at the founder day/ first memorial lecture in honour of first Nigerian architect and planner, Michael Onafowokan titled, ‘Architecture legacy: the challenge of sustainability,’ organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Ikorodu branch.
Late Onafowokan was the first president of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and one of the founding fathers of the profession in Nigeria.
The experts observed that old buildings are testimonies to the aesthetic and cultural history of a city; give the people a sense of place and connection to the past while preservation of such structures involve conserving the history as used throughout the years.
Speaking at the forum, the chairman, Lagos chapter, NIA, Mr. David Majekodunmi, explained that sustainable architecture involves the use of design strategies to reduce negative impact on the built environment, adding that sustainability is not only related to environment issues but also to social equity and economic development.
However, he said sustainability is still strongly correlated with the preservation of a communal environment for future generations.
Majekodunmi said: “When it comes to sustainability, we do not need data to demonstrate the performance of older buildings, their continued existence already proves that they have, in fact, been sustained over time.”
He noted that the late Onafowokan’s contribution to architecture profession and nation building should never be forgotten, having laboured tirelessly with great tact, intelligence, boldness and confidence while working together with other shining light of the profession.
The chairman, Ikorodu branch, Mr. Victor Achime, said the branch had packaged a compendium of historic and iconic buildings in Ikorodu, aimed at preserving the disappearing heritage of Ikorodu town for posterity.
Urbanisation and retrofitting due to changes in uses of building, especially by investors, he said had continued to eliminate some of the monuments and historical buildings in Ikorodu.
“We have therefore decided to document some of such remaining buildings in pictures and writings as well as keep them in palaces, families and libraries. School of architecture should also have them as good readings for history of architecture,” he said.
NIA President, Enyi Ben-Eboh, said as custodians of the art of building and urban design, architects must use opportunity of such forum to appraise their role in defining how accessible the product of their trade is to the average Nigerian within the context of sustainability, energy efficiency and affordability.
Ben-Eboh said: “Across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, activities are going on simultaneously to sensitise the public about the unique role architecture plays in shaping our cities, showcasing our identity as a people and defining our civilisation,”
“Looking back these last 62 years, we have had our fair share of the good, the bad and the ugly and I need to commend the resilience of our members as we weathered the storms with dignity and celebrate the high points with pride.”
He further said in view of the exceptional virtues of late Onafowokan and the leadership qualities, the NIA would in conjunction with the Lagos state chapter and Ikorodu branch, elevate the lecture to a national event due to the significance of Onafowokan to architecture profession.