By Maduka Nweke


Apparently, miffed by the increase in the cost of imported building materials, operators in the real estate industry have advised the federal government to commission research into developing some of the imported materials locally. They pegged their argument on the fact that if local building materials are developed, it will go a long way in helping Nigerians to own their own houses.

Some of the operators who spoke to Daily Sun noted that using local construction materials has various benefits, such as reducing transportation costs, supporting the local economy, and minimising environmental impact.

According to Mr. Andrew Ifenwa, a developer in the built environment, architects should research materials which are abundant in particular regions, like stone, wood, clay, and of course ensure they meet building code standards. “Local suppliers can provide cost-effective options, promoting sustainability in all construction projects. Materials traditionally used in construction are likely to be available locally and could be used as a building product such as mud or even straw. Straw when packed tightly, can be used as a filling material or as support for a roof structure,” he noted.

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In the opinion of Mr. Jefferson Mode, a real estate expert with an American Journal, often, old materials and building methods are more sustainable than new ones. “Wattle and daub and thatched roofing are two examples of sustainable building methods that could see resurgence.

“In the UK, traditional construction often incorporates local building materials. For instance, Cotswold stone is commonly used in the Cotswolds region for its distinctive honey-coloured appearance. In Scotland, granite from quarries in Aberdeen is prevalent in their local architecture.

“Timber from local forests is utilised as standard across the country for framework and construction. Incorporating these materials showcases regional identity and supports sustainable practices. However we need to go further.

“Locally sourced materials don’t have to be traditional in method. How about using materials from a local demolition? Reusing and repurposing all contributes to a healthier build. Steel for example can be removed and reused from one project to another. Reducing construction waste is also a big concern for the sector. It is thought that on average, 13 per cent of building materials delivered to UK construction sites are wasted,” he said.