Safe construction of appendages to residential buildings - a case study of Kaneshie Awudome Estate, Accra – Ghana

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The term ‟appendages ˮ in the building industry refers to after construction activities such as addition or alterations and such structures are normally attached to the external envelope posing threat not only to the occupants but also passers-by and the properties as a whole. In addition to numerous threats posed by the built environment on community safety, the rapid growth of appendages has long been a major problem in Ghana. Interestingly, associated empirical studies have been rare, even though much has been said on this topic. The objective of this study is to assess the extent of the appendages and also, to establish the actual effects of the appendages on residential buildings with the view of developing a framework to aid in the design and safe construction of these appendages to residential buildings. Using random sampling technique, 100 household questionnaires were distributed to residents of the study area from a population of 754 houses. Eighty of them were retrieved and this represented a response rate of 80%. The data was analysed using descriptive statistic and means scores. The findings indicated that 86% of the houses surveyed at Kaneshie Awudome Estate have some form of appendage. The findings also indicated that, growth in population, mismatch between architectural design and actual needs of the owners, commercialisation of the facilities, were some important factors that led to the construction of the appendages to the residential buildings. With the effects posed by the appendages, lighting and ventilation, deface of building, devalue of buildings were some of the major effects. On safe design and construction of the appendages, it became clear that, provision of access roads, adequate lighting and ventilation, were some of the measures needed to be taken. It is recommended that, Building Inspectors should be given the needed mandate to monitor the various suburbs. Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) should liaise with various assembly members. It is further suggested that, The AMA should make it mandatory to landlords to follow the framework for safe design and construction of the appendages. The researcher is of the view that, this study will provide insights for the powers that be and the general public in addressing the problem of unsafe construction of appendages to residential buildings.
A thesis presented to the Department of Building Technology College of Architecture and Planning Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Construction Management Programme, 2013