Building collapsing, explosions, all seems good and spectacular in movies, right? but not so in real life. Part-I of this blog explained about the dangers and consequences involved in collapsing of the building. The blog also described the reasons for various building collapse which were lack of maintenance and inefficient planning and design. Here we solely focus on the inefficiency and practices of the people involved in the construction process with a recent example.
The Latest Example
The latest addition to premature building collapse is the Dharwad building collapse in the state of Karnataka. The incident occurred on March 21, 2019, and it resulted in the deaths of more than 15 people and leaving several injured. It was a four storey building which was partially complete with several parts ongoing construction. In the aftermath of the incident, it was clearly reported the reason for the collpase was caused by lack of proper construction and maintenance.
As per the local reports, construction had been going on in the building for the last two years and work was ongoing on the third floor. The first two floors had shops that were functional. About 150 people were in the shops when the structure crashed. One good news is that the licence of the architect involved in the construction of this building had been revoked by Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation in the aftermath of this incident.
The Reasons for collapsing structures
With no doubt, the reasons point to lack of proper construction and maintenance. For a building to be strong and long lasting, it must be constructed using the right resources which are concrete and the right TMT reinforced steel. Reinforced steel bars are categorized into different grades based on their tensile strength and ductility ratio. Each grade must be determined according to the design of the structure, loads it will have to withstand, cost etc.
A multi-storey structure like this one requires more strength in order to withstand such immense loads. The construction of a building involves many steps, from planning to completion. The thing is that all these steps must be properly done, then only the structure becomes complete and strong.
In the case of steel, using variants that do not have the designated strength values will affect the structural integrity of the building. Not only steel, consider concrete, if it is prepared using alternative materials rather than the preferred materials or if it is not prepared as per the recommended measures, it will directly affect the strength of concrete which coupled with low quality reinforced steel bars will result in premature collapsing of the building.
Even if the right materials are available, the persons responsible for constructing the structure must have prior knowledge about the tools, components etc and must be capable of using the materials as per the right specifications and ratios. Normally to generate more money illegally, some building contractors use materials of low cost and quality and hire people who have no prior knowledge or required skills for the job, therefore their inefficient construction works accelerate the collapsing of the building much sooner.
What should be done to prevent collapsing of structures
As explained in Part-I of this blog, the only logical way to prevent premature collapsing of buildings is to build the structure using reinforced TMT steel bars and concrete. The grades in reinforced steel are very important, and always choose the grades as per the design of the structure.