The changes in the initial design played a crucial
role in the influence of the failure and eventual collapse of the department
store as these changes were not sanctioned or authorised by the engineers
during the building planning stages, The results of the research conducted
demonstrated that had the individuals employed to work on the project at the
time made an ethical decision to terminate the project while it was still in
its initial planning/ design stage the risk of collapse would have decreased.
Instead a selfish decision was made to go on with the construction of a faulty
The failure present
is that of punching shear force, a type of mechanical failure which exists in
reinforced concrete slabs which are exposed to high and increased forces,
typically in flat slab structures the failure occurs at the columns support,
this failure is due to shear. To ensure structural stability punching shear reinforcement
is essential when applying a flat slab construction method as there are no
beams installed to support these slabs. Therefore, the slabs depend on the
columns and rebar to support and keep them up right, increasing its compressive
and tensile strength. The initial plans suggested 80cm columns were to be
constructed however only a few were constructed in that manner and others with
a 60cm diameter with a 22mm rebar which suggested a compromise in material used.
It is an engineers’ job to calculate where the rebar are to be allocated however
this was not apparent in the design work or construction as the rebar was moved
by 5cm away from its initial designed position affecting its strength by 20%. If any form of structural failure or damage is
visible to the human eye one must take this into account and act upon it as fast
as possible as this could result in a catastrophic failure which is non reversible,
structural engineers who perform continues design and maintenance checks throughout
the years should pick up on any visible failures.
toll could have been prevented had the store owner made the right decision to
evacuate the building in time. Poor
leadership and business management of the project eventually lead to poor
construction of the building thus the buildings collapse. Simply put this could
have been avoided if the project had followed the correct building plan
limitations and safety regulations while adhering to a correct design which
hints for a safe and functioning building.