After it was found that foam and cooking oil cans were used as filler inside some of the building's concrete beams, the developer and architects associated with the felled 17-story Wei-guan Golden Dragon apartment building in Taiwan have been arrested. The building came down after an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 struck the area. According to BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, amid the despair, there is anger. To date, there have been 116 casualties, with 114 of those being from this building. On the night of the earthquake, more than 380 people were reportedly inside when the earthquake struck. Both parties involved with the building's construction, including developer, Lin Ming-hui, and two (unnamed) architects of the Wei-guan Construction Company, have been arrested by the Tainan district court on suspicion of professional negligence leading to deaths and injuries. https://twitter.com/cctvnews/status/698783260369936384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw The companies that developed the building went out of business after its construction in 1994. Tainan’s Public Works Bureau stated that the structure had not been deemed hazardous after a more powerful earthquake that hit the region in 1999. Acting on behalf of the 93 families involved, the government has sought to freeze the assets of nine people involved (including Lin Ming-hui and the two architects), estimated to be worth $6.6 million.
Posts tagged with "Building Collapse":
Until the end of time, people will disagree on the architectural merits of Zaha Hadid's work. Honestly, nobody gets AN's comment section going quite like the Queen of Swoop. But there is one thing that everyone can agree on when it comes to Hadid: pieces of her buildings should not just fall off. But, well, that's exactly what happened this week in Vienna. Austrian newspaper Die Presse reported that a 176-pound piece of concrete cladding came crashing down from Hadid's Library and Learning Centre at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. You would want to write this off as a freak accident, but it's actually the second time a piece of the building has detached since it opened in October 2013. As Die Presse noted, back in July, a roughly 80-pound piece of fiberglass-reinforced concrete took a dive as well. That accident was blamed on "selective assembly error." Contractors are reportedly looking into what caused the latest event and are expected to issue a report on Thursday. In the meantime, the building remains open, but parts of it have been cordoned off. Luckily, nobody was injured in either accident. [h/t FastCo]
Watch for Falling Libeskinds. The breaking news of the day from Building Design: Daniel Libeskind's $555 million Westside retail center in Bern, Switzerland has collapsed for a second time in three years. An elevated swimming pool fell into the building injuring two people. An investigation is pending. In 2008, shortly after the building was completed, the roof of a fast food restaurant inside the center collapsed, injuring two children. Transporting Chicago. Transportation Nation reports today that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has tapped Gabe Klein to head up the city's DOT. Widely viewed as a pro-bike kind of guy in his former role as head of Washington D.C.'s DOT, Klein helped launch a bike-share program, expand bike lanes, and install electric car charging stations across the city. Could more alternative transportation be in store for the Windy City? Gaudi Burns. An arsonist set fire to Antoni Gaudí's Segrada Familia in Barcelona said the Guardian. The cathedral's sacristy was destroyed and the crypt heavily damaged during the attack. Some 1,500 tourists were evacuated and four treated for smoke inhalation. Wisconsin Bamboo. Sarah F. Cox talks with NYC-based architecture firm Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis for Curbed about a recently completed student center at the University of Wyoming which includes a stunningly intricate bamboo-lattice screen.
Architects have, for obvious reasons, been fascinated with earthquakes for as long as they have been knocking over buildings. Lots of structural systems and building materials have been explored, but what about invisibility? Capitalizing on recent advances in invisible cloak technology, scientists in France and Britain think they can hide buildings from those damning shockwaves coursing through the earth. New Scientist explains the tech thusly:
The new theoretical cloak comprises a number of large, concentric rings made of plastic fixed to the Earth's surface. The stiffness and elasticity of the rings must be precisely controlled to ensure that any surface waves pass smoothly into the material, rather than reflecting or scattering at the material's surface. When waves travel through the cloak they are compressed into tiny fluctuations in pressure and density that travel along the fastest path available. By tuning the cloak's properties, that path can be made to be an arc that directs surface waves away from an area inside the cloak. When the waves exit the cloak, they return to their previous, larger size. [...] When it comes to installing them into buildings, they could be built into the foundations, Guenneau suggests. It should be possible to make concrete structures with the right properties. To protect a building 10 metres across, each ring would have to be about 1 to 10 metres in diameter and 10 centimetres thick. The concentric ring design can also be scaled down, and could offer a way to control vibration in cars or other machinery, he adds.Now if only we could perfect fire-proof buildings. (Via Twitter, where BLDG BLOG also pointed us to what looks like a failed attempt at an earthquake-proof building--those tubes certainly look like what's described above. Which leads us to wonder if the old jibe that "Made in China" is a sign of inferior quality no longer stands.)