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Newsletter No 37 - January 2015

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Report Overview

The number of reports received increases year on year and by no means are all of these confidential although each one is treated as such. The majority are from firms whose principals have decided to share lessons that can be learned. Most originate in the UK but a few have come in the last two years from Australia and Southern Africa, and the occasional report from elsewhere. In 2014 sixty one reports were made, of which thirty seven were published in Newsletters and added to the web site data base. Others have been added directly to the data base, a small number are awaiting further information to be supplied or cannot be published for legal reasons. The remainder will be published in due course. All reports help to improve structural safety and the contributions of the reporters are greatly appreciated. In this Newsletter are descriptions of several site situations, any of which could be pre-cursors to more serious events. The success of the CROSS programme depends on receiving reports, and individuals and firms are encouraged to participate by sending concerns in confidence to Structural-Safety.

Overview of Reports in this Newsletter

389 Building control and budget limitations

A reporter is concerned that many local authorities do not seem to have the knowledge or impetus to address some technical issues even if the legislation is there for them as a course of action.

414 Blockwork lateral restraint

Blockwork walls were being constructed to form basement plant rooms. The wind posts were not built into the wall as normal, but were on the face, and ties were built in to the wall and welded to the posts.

420 Contractor varies structural design intention

This report concerns two steel beams to support first floor masonry in a two storey house. The wall was of solid construction and supported the first floor and roof structure.

443 Post-fixed RC anchors - erroneous assumptions leading to unsafe design

Consultants on a recently finished project have reported that a number of steel to RC moment resisting connections were required. During construction the reporter became concerned and realised that several of the proposed fixings did not have the minimum concrete edge distance required and when these fixings were disregarded the software calculated that the design had only a small fraction of the required capacity.

461 Metal cladding panels blowing in the wind

A local authority was called to investigate a dangerous structure where metal cladding panels on the 10th floor of a student accommodation block were flapping in high winds.

462 Non-structural roof soffit linings - failure

The reporter has observed the occurrence of compressed fibre cement sheets becoming dislodged from the soffit of several buildings in Australia.

465 Secondary steel items on roofs in high winds

The reporter's firm routinely ensures that secondary roof items are tested by the manufacturer for the wind loads and rated accordingly.

437 Mobile message board in strong wind

A mobile variable message sign was set up on a hard standing away from the hard shoulder on a motorway and when the wind caught the sign it acted as a sail and moved across the lanes.

482 Unbraced temporary props

An alarming photograph has been sent by a contributor.

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