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NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE PROGRAM - ARCHITECT

by Kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu

kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu - Geometrix
from right: Geometrix studio head aikay,kosi, anele, mamman salaudeen
The one year national youth service program NYSC - is an initiative by the federal government of Nigeria to help integrate graduates of the country into the workforce. It requires the graduate to serve the nation under any parastatal of the government at a state other  than that of his origin for a period of 12 months. This interstate arrangement ensures that young people from different ethnic backgrounds mix-up, exchange and learn social values.

Asides this sociological dimension, there is also an economic implication to this. During the service year,  the young graduates are subjected to rigorous enterpreneur training programs which aim at imbibing the need to be self employed as a remedy to the un-employment rocking the nation. 

For graduates of Architecture, who want to pursue a career in the field, the service year is a time to gain relevant experience in the profession. One should endeavour to get into an insightful Architecture firm where he can build a future after the service year.

I was attatched to Geometrix consultants and builders ltd. Abuja during my service year. It was a very educating experience. I had the opprtunity to participate in two MAJOR projects The first is the ENSIBUM market; Enugu where I took active part in the design stage, presentation, and now the construction. The second is the Oranto international hotel project Enugu. This particular project afforded me the opportunity to meet a very influential politial figure - Chief Dr. Arthur Eze. He was interested in investing in the hospitality industry and Geometrix was priviledged to be his consultants. with guidance of my principal consultant Arc Uche J. Uche, I developed the initial deaign concept and produced the renderings for the presentation. I accompanied him to the said presentation and am still involved in its construction as the assistant project cordinator.

Generally, my service year was full of  enlightening experiences. I attended a lot of meetings  with my principal and some alone. I collaborated with project Engineers on site, surveyors and artisans. The pay was argood. I also started my own: MealsWorth Restaurant & Bar. and I thank almighty God for all this, I know his hand is in my sucess and he has more in store for me.

For the younger ones coming up  and planning to make a good time out of their service year, I say be dilligent, keep working smart, and trust in God. he wont fail you!



Young Architects collaborating with Engineers


kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu
left-right svyr. Chinedu Bekee ,Arc Kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu
Posted by
Kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu

Collaborating with Engineers is an unavoidable part of an Architect’s work. It begins with having to convert your beautiful Architectural renderings to construction/specification dawings which the Engineers will understand and use better; and lasts up to actually meeting and working with them on site. This usually requires a lot of: precision, measurability, scale conformity, accuracy, legibility of specification characters, disambiguation of terms and conditions, punctuality, a good sense of responsibility and clearly designated functions for everyone.

For me at Geometrix, It was a learning and un-learning period. There were times I was required to translate my original Architectural renderings (I was more of the presentation guy) into precise, unambiguous construction details. Initially I had tough times at this because prior to the time, I did mostly presentation drawings -In this, slight variations from reality are condonable. There was a time when I had supplied an Engineer a drawing with few dimension statements and a lot of half-baked design elements that needed more specification. The drawings were returned in request for more clearity. I then had to sit and actually explain what I meant. I had to make the final construction decisions then or forever live with the consequences.

Below is a summary of what I have learnt while working with Engineers and other professionals:

1.) Every Drawing leaving the studio needs precision, because they will just be built the way you have indicated: No matter what great 3-D software you use for your presentations, a good knowledge of AutoCAD will help while sending and receiving drawings from Engineers.

2.) Always Be ready to improvise: think faster than every other member of your team, carry them along by teaching and encouraging them; don’t expect everyone is as knowledgeable as you are. Be proactive.

3.) It is the real deal: the wealth of experience you will gather from such collaborations is actually the real deal! And surpasses any school teachings you have received.

4.) Be humble: Even though you’ve been placed in charge of a construction team, (as a project Architect) never forget that you didn’t secure the commission, your boss did; You didn’t contract the Engineers, your boss did; and you don’t pay them, your boss does; so you will be wise not to fall out on a personal note with anyone. Report any misunderstandings to your boss and let him take action, not you!
Make the period Worthwhile: while working with a senior Architect, establish cordial relationships with the contractors and Engineers, friends and associates. You never know who will be there for you during the ‘rainy days’.

THE ORANTO HOTEL PROJECT

by Kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu
http://www.scribd.com/doc/235624549/Proposed-ORANTO-Hotel-by-Geometrix-Consultants
Proposed Oranto Hotel Abuja, by Geometrix Consultants.
Proposed Oranto Hotel Abuja; Prototype Suite Bedrooms
Typical Floorplan




Proposed Oranto Hotel; Terrace Bedrooms
Proposed Oranto Hotel; Standard Bedroom

 
¢  















       Oranto petroleum is an independent Nigerian company with operations since 1991 and the company is an active operator in 14 blocks in West Africa and Gulf of Guinea. Its CEO is prince Dr. Arthur Eze of Ukpo in Anambra State of Nigeria.

¢  The CEO recently expressed interest in developing an epitome of Hospitality in the form of a Hotel and has bestowed the task of doing this to the Architects at Geometrix.
¢ The city of Abuja being the nation’s seat of power, hosts hundreds of conferences domestic and international and as such is a viable ground for the Hotel business. The choice of Asokoro, Abuja; only complements this.

¢  This is a presentation of our initial design submission. Hope you like it.
View of the Proposed Terrace Garden

View Of The Main Auditorium
You can find full powerpoint slide presentation live at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/235624549/Proposed-ORANTO-Hotel-by-Geometrix-Consultants

FILING IN THE ARCHITECTURE OFFICE

by Kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu

File-store, Geometrix Consultants & Builders ltd. Abuja.
photo credits: Kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu
files are the backbone of every office. In an Architecture office, these files will typically contain drawings, contract papers, bidding arrangements, quantity estimates for proposed construction works, and the list continues...

My first task as an intern at Geometrix back in 09' was to clean and arrange dusty file jackets, the likes of which can be seen in the image to the left. I remember I was thrilled by the experience. I wondered how one man and one office could have accumulated such hefty portfolio in one life time - and still counting... I was inspired. But that is only a bubble compared to the filing ingenuity that was in-place at the office. The system was solid and error proof. This post is dedicated to helping Young Architects, interns or project managers, with a glimpse into what filing should be in an Architecture consortium.

First: There are A4 and A3 files. They are seperated in location. Then there is a list for each of them. This list is printed and handy. In this print-out, the file name eg: 'ORANTO Hotel Asokoro' as well as the file number eg: 'DS 757' are indicated. It is also standard practise that all presentation drawings made before the project is awarded, are stored in the A4 file, while all eventual working drawings which were prepared and sent for approval from the office are stored in the A3 folder of the same project.

TO- AND -FRO ABUJA ON A MONTHLY

by Kosi Emmanuel Chukwujindu

Once every month, I go to Abuja from Enugu and back. I go to the office, to report for the previous month's work at Enugu. Then I go to NYSC secretariat to sign for my monthly stipend clearance. I go by bus all the time except on few occasions when my boss requires me to be faster or earlier, in which case I fly Arik.
I enjoy the intermittent sleep while in the bus, and its usually another time to meet new people as well as my old classmates; chike ben, egbons etc. who live and work in Abuja.
This time, I travelled with Ikenna, my friend's brother. He is also an Architect from my school. He is done with his NYSC, and is now searching for a part-time job to keep him busy till he resumes his M.Sc. I offered to introduce him to my boss - maybe they could work something out.

...okay, so how is Abuja?

Abuja is not as sunny as before, this time. I think its the rain. but the rush is the same. Everyone still rushes out in the mornings and back at night, tired. one could smell the fear of 'Boko Haram' in the air everywhere. They have claimed responsibility for most recent terrorist killings, and still counting. So even I am in a hurry to get out of the city!
As if ignorant of this, the politicians are going about their usual activities, we were even held up for close to 5mins this morning for the president to pass. yea that's what happens when you live in Abuja!

and while here?

while am here,  I intend to see as much old friends as possible, and oops! i also have family here. Outside this, take a good rest and plan about the restaurant period!

NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE SCHEME


Every graduate of a higher institution in Nigeria has a mandatory one year service to render to the nation. This is also binding on Nigerians who studied oversees but who wish to return home and make a practice here. Within this one year, you are regarded as government property and treated as such. You are deployed to a state other than that of your origin, and assigned a job at any parastatal where you are expected to devote the next one-calendar-year of your life. You receive monthly stipends from the government, and a lot of business-motivational lectures. The government wants the Youth to be more enterprising than employable – and this is good. The thing however is that, for an Architecture graduate, One year is a lot of time!  You cannot afford to be away from Architecture for that long.
The Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA is the governing body of Architecture practise in Nigeria. Working together with the Architects registration council of Nigeria, ARCON they regulate who can and who may not practise Architecture in Nigeria. As such there are laid down set of rules. In this, a very important requirement is a minimum of two years practise experience after obtaining the master’s degree. This may include your service year, - If you were attached to a registered Architecture firm with a financially registered Architect as the principal. After these two years is completed you may apply and sit for the professional practice examination, PPE. If you excel in this, then you are conferred the title of “Architect”, and you are entitled to a professional seal, a practise license (subject to annual financial renewal) and are now eligible to practise Architecture within the state of Nigeria.
This is why you cannot allow the service year pass you by.
-So what do you do? You act smart!
Find out which Architecture firms in town are hiring youth corpers. From them, find out which have NIA financially registered Architects as the principal. Get in touch with them early enough and inform them of your coming service and how you would like to serve with them. If they agree and possibly employ you before the service, you are lucky, you may get a package that is a bit higher than the regular service year stipends. But if they request you to commence only during your rightful service duration, then that’s still okay.
When you resume working there, you have just stepped into the next step to becoming an Architect, after the formal education. Your service year is just like your internship with higher responsibilities and much more maturity-on your part. You are also there to learn, but this time you are grown and have learnt a lot more than you knew then. The biggest challenge at this level is making ends meet. You typically earn little compared to all your dreams, so you are in a haste to get rich.
I was a victim of this misunderstanding. I was indeed carried off by monetary ambitions that I almost couldn’t keep up with my fundamental duties. It took a lot of re-evaluation and re-positioning to call me back.