1.1 Background of Study

The quest to provide affordable buildings in Lagos state has been subject to a lot
of discussion in recent years, however, the solution is one which has eluded the
government, developers and other players in the Lagos state real estate landscape
due to the  numerous challenges  mostly  associated  with  our  reliance on
reinforced concrete and Sandcrete blocks and the high labor rate which comes
along with it. This sparked a thought as to what could be the possible alternatives
to provide affordable housing for Lagosians in the 21st century, hence the initial
inspiration for this research.

Truck and containers are a widely available, relatively affordable resource that
Nigerian architects, developers and builders are not using, the reason why may
be related to the non-availability of building codes, the scarcity of pioneer
projects, dimensional limitation of ISO truck and containers, and unwillingness
to divert from the known conventions in the Nigerian building industry.
However, the ISO truck and container has been designed to not only withstand
the most extreme of weather conditions on sea voyage, but to withstand stacking
of 9 fully loaded containers, making them an ideal structural component. The
standard dimension of the containers means that they are an excellent modular
unit and their inherent strength, weather proof nature and availability makes
them ideal habitable structures. The availability of truck and containers in Lagos is as a result of its role as Nigeria’s port city and Nigeria’s trade deficit – Nigeria imports more than she exports – this ensures the sustained surplus of truck and containers in Lagos. This potential reuse of truck and containers to address the city’s housing needs which this research seeks to analyze, is a sustainable building practice which should be encouraged, and nurtured in order to provide mass housing quickly and with greater efficiency.




1.2    Statement of the Research Problem

Shelter or housing is not just a human right; it is a human need. Abraham
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs identifies shelter as a physiological basic need,
alongside food and clothing, this implies that without housing we as humans
cannot function properly or cannot function at all. “About 108 million Nigerians
are estimated to be homeless, based on an average family of six people per
housing unit. While Nigeria needs to build about 700,000 housing units every
year to bridge the housing gap, the country barely builds 100,000 such units per
year” The Sun newspaper, January 2018. About 86.9 million Nigerians are
living in extreme poverty, the most in any single country in the world. This
statistic released in June 2018 by the World Poverty Clock shows that there is
a need to provide affordable housing and not just low-cost housing solution as
the government has since attempted. The current model employed for the
provision of low income housing leaves a lot of room for innovation and
creativity and the adoption of truck and container homes as an alternative gets us
closer to this housing delivery goal while creating a sustainable urban fabric for
the city of Lagos.

However, it along with it comes some unique problems including;



  1. Where to source truck and containers
  2. Cost comparison to conventional building methods

iii.                  Acceptability of modular container living

  1. Establishment of state building code