Jordan Journal of Civil Engineering

Analysis of Causes of Building Collapse: System Thinking Approach


Mansur Hamma-adama; Obinna Iheukwumere; Tahar Kouider;


Construction industry has rapidly evolved in the past decade. Across some developing nations, the issue of building collapse has remained a disturbing factor, especially in the past three decades. In Nigeria, building collapse has become the subject of much academic discourse, albeit without many tangible improvements. For instance, after every incidence of building collapse in Nigeria, investigations are usually carried out and actions are taken. Unfortunately, the menace appears to have exacerbated in recent times. This study investigates the causes of building collapse in Nigeria from academic literature with a view of identifying the leading causes which may shape future government policies while seeking to address the situation. A system-thinking approach was adopted to build a causal loop diagram showing the interrelationships among all the identified factors. With the aid of a system-thinking software, Vensim, a causal loop model was developed which helped identify key leverage points on which policies can be based to control excessive building collapse in Nigeria. Three leverage points were identified as differential settlement, structural failure and structural issues, which are linked to the civil engineering discipline. Recommendations are made based on the study findings.


Building, Causes, Collapse, System thinking.