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Newsletter No 12 - October 2008

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Report Overview

CROSS aims to influence change and has provided evidence for the Alert on Fixings recently issued by SCOSS. Further warnings will be issued by the Construction Fixings Association to reach all sectors of the industry. In this Newsletter there is, sadly, a report of the death of another child from a collapsing wall and, together with previous reports, this will be presented as evidence for a possible change within the Building Regulations. The foundations for a multi-storey building were found by a local authority inspector to have a lack of reinforcement which could have resulted in failure if it had not been spotted. Multi-storey car park problems are not new but despite publicity about collapses there are still older car parks in poor condition, and one of them is reported on here. Two 19th century mill buildings have collapsed suddenly in unrelated incidents to show the inherent weakness in this form of structure. These illustrate the hazards and potential consequences of progressive collapse. Finally there is an example of concrete spalling due to poor grouting of pre-stressing ducts which shows that there is the possibility of undetected weaknesses in some structures. All of these demonstrate the need for CROSS and for your contributions.

Overview of Reports in this Newsletter

89 Pre-stressing ducts

Pre-stressing in concrete has been used in bridges and heavy civil structures for many years and more recently in buildings. A reporter has come across a situation where during grouting of the ducts in a slab, patches of concrete as big as 0.5m x 1m and 30mm thick fell on to the ground

112 Inadequate foundation reinforcement

The photograph is of ground beams for a multi-storey development where the subcontractors carrying out the ground works failed to provide sufficient continuity reinforcement.

116 Death from wall collapse (news)

A wall which collapsed recently and killed a child did not have planning permission. The three-year-old girl died when the 2m high and 50m long, free standing, blockwork boundary wall fell onto her as she walked past with her mother.

119 Multi storey car park defects

A reporter has been concerned for some time that there potentially could be another failure similar to Pipers Row in Wolverhampton – see SCOSS Report number 10 page 18.

121 Progressive collapse of mill building No. 1

Nearby families were evacuated after part of a four-storey former mill building collapsed adjacent to their homes.

122 Progressive collapse of mill building No. 2

This report concerns the unexpected collapse following a fire of part of a twenty-five bay, five storey mill dating from around 1830.

138 Brick bridge collapse

A historic bridge collapsed minutes after workers fled to safety. They had been reinforcing the flood weakened foundations of the bridge when a crack was seen then two of the three spans of the brick arch bridge fell.

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