The much debated deficit of 17-22 million housing units in the country may not close any time soon, because of several supply and demand issues, according to participants at a forum organised by Fine and Country West Africa, recently.

They believe the challenge faced by the housing sector in Nigeria is on the rise on account of unfavourable land laws, difficulty in land registration and titling, the dearth of construction finance, restricting tenors of mortgage banks and general sector illiquidity.

They recommended the development of Tiny Houses, as done in some developed countries, as a sure way out of the challenge of increasing homelessness.

Those who recommended this system said, “The tiny house movement reflects people’s growing desire for smaller and simpler living spaces. Tiny houses are designed to minimise the impact on the environment and reduce society’s excessive resources consumption.

“The tiny home focuses on providing for strict functionalities for a house and ensures people are able to live healthily and be included in the society.”

Another component of the challenge, noted by Builders, is the dearth of artisans like Carpenters, Bricklayers/Masons, Painters, Electricians, Tilers, among others. Builders believe young Nigerians shy away from technical colleges because of stigma.

This reason is also presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) of the United States, said it “is attempting to change the stigma of working in the trades by increasing awareness to teens and parents, and providing them with education and the skills they need to succeed.”

In a related development, the construction industry is witnessing the use of drones for guidance.

Surveillance
As drones become more and more popular in construction, it seems as though they are slowly replacing traditional land-surveillance methods. More companies are opening their minds to the idea of this advanced way of monitoring the whole job site at once.

Drones can easily show your client the progress of the project in real time whether it be the progress of the building, renovations, or inspections. This makes tedious commutes to the job site for your client a thing of the past.

Drones can even help with construction projects that haven’t started yet. Designers and architects can now get an accurate idea of what the site looks like and measure how much space they have for their project. Drones can fly for roughly 30 minutes before the battery is completely drained. In that time the machine can easily collect up to 30 gigabytes of photos which is more than enough to get an accurate reading of the site.

“If you look at surveys done five years ago and even today, it would take two weeks to gather 500 points of date, and you would give a report within a week or two,” said EL-Moursi, the general manager of construction and facilities management at PrecisionHawk in Raleigh, North Carolina, “A drone can get about 2 million points in about 30 minutes, and give a report within 48 hours.”

Labour
Adapting drones into the construction industry not only helps improve surveying techniques but also lessens the amount of labor and time needed to create accurate surveys. Drones also lessen the risk of human errors and capture crucial data in a fraction of the time as traditional methods.

One of the main jobs of any project manager is to keep your workers productive. Energy levels of workers will understandably range and change day to day, sometimes even hour by hour, but with the help of drones you can monitor overall productivity. Drones can also help with equipment inventory, whether it gets damaged on the site and how, or if any equipment goes missing or gets damaged.

Drones can be used for a variety of different things throughout the construction industry. Survey your job site or your workers and even integrate it with software your company may already be using.

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