Category Archives: construction

Roof collapses at Galerie Gniezno

Following a severe storm and what from pictures looks like at least localized flooding, there’s been a partial roof collapse at Galerie Gniezno. The building’s operator Apsys said that water had collected too quickly to allow drainage, leading to some portion of the roof caving in. The building was evacuated and has been closed to the public, with structural experts now in the process of determining the full extent of the damage. In a statement, Apsys says the building, which was opened in 2005, undergoes technical inspections twice a year, and is managed according to the requirements of Polish law. Something, however, must have gone amiss for such an even to take place, though there’s no way to even begin speculating what that might be without further information. Some initial images available here.

What’s most important, of course, is that at this point no one seems to have been hurt, but once again, a good deal of luck seems to have been involved. It would be naive to keep relying on good fortune, though, as supplies are notoriously limited.

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I spy…

These kind of pictures should be used in the foundation design classes taken by civil engineers. Anyone with a construction background seen anything interesting in any of the pictures you’ve seen of the 3nity accident? Like this one above (click to enlarge).

Slovak on-line chatter is wondering about that slab of concrete you can see just hanging there, suspended in mid-air it seems by a steel webbing. They would have expected to see steel rods sticking out of the remaining wall, if it was reinforced steel. And if it wasn’t, investigators will probably be asking if it should have been. Any thoughts from construction people?

On or off-record by email to editor at cijjournal com.

Roof collapse in Bratislava at Trinity

The developer Vara Group is going through a real-life nightmare in Bratislava after a roof collapsed over what’s believed to have been the wellness center and garages of its residential complex Trinity. First of all, the most important thing is that no one seems to have been injured. We wouldn’t want to speculate on the impact this will have on the project itself. But you have to feel badly for the customers who’d already moved into the first of the three towers, since they were forced to leave their new homes.

The first phase  was completed at the end of last year and work was underway on the second, including the portion of the roof that collapsed. This being the age of the Internet, there’s no shortage of amateur/enthusiast pictures out there documenting not only what the situation looks like now, but from before, when construction was underway. Chat room discussions suggest that the portion where the collapse took place was the last part of the roof to have been installed, and that small trees had been planted on top of it.

The usual passing of the hot potato is surely in action now. There are already suspicions being voiced that the investor was trying to save money, accusations of poor foundation design will no doubt be made, and calls for greater supervision of construction work can’t be far off. It’s impossible to know precisely who is to blame for the accident. The fact is that despite the best work of civil engineers, the power of the Danube stretches beyond its banks, but if builders in Bucharest have to worry about earthquakes, surely solutions for a high underground water table can be found as well. Again, this is all speculation, fed by the vacuum of official information. But persuasive answers will have to be given and solutions implemented, as this kind of event will impact on even the safest of projects under perfect management.

Here’s a Slovak news link. And another. And pictures.

Rude awakening for Czech nuclear dreams

Czech dreams of becoming a nuclear powerhouse appear to have been put to rest, following a sobering decision of the current Minister of Industry, Martin Kuba. The construction industry may have been clinging to the hope that the 18 new reactors the previous minister  envisioned would get built, but Kuba has thrown cold water on the idea. “Producing 80 percent of our electricity in the Czech Republic isn’t economically realistic,” he said. “There isn’t even anywhere to build new plants. What’s realistic is building two more blocks at Temelin and extending operations at Dukovany until 2035.”

Epstein begins Star Foods warehouse

Epstein Architecture & Engineering has begun building a finished good warehouse for Star Foods on the southern edge of Bucharest. The €2.5m scheme is an extension of the company’s existing manufacturing facility and will include a 4,500 sqm warehouse for finished products. Completion is expected by the middle of 2012. Improvements to the entire facility will be made at the same time, such as upgrading fire water supply, a new guard house and truck facilities.

Czech construction falls

Construction output dropped by almost 7% in September, according to the Czech Statistical Office. In the peak summer months of July and August, the fall was even worse, at 11 and 8% respectively.  Analysts say this will result in renewed pressure on jobs, even though the sector has already been shedding ten percent of its workforce annually during the crisis.

EC Harris merges with Arcadis

EC Harris and Arcadis have signed a merger agreement, under which Arcadis assume full ownership of EC Harris in return for 3 million shares plus cash, though the final amount has not been revealed. The deal will result in a combined company with nearly 19,000 professionals worldwide along with €2.3bn in revenues. Philip Youell will continue as chief executive, while joining the Arcadis Senior Management Committee. Chairman Richard Clare will remain on the EC Harris Board in an advisory capacity.