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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Building Collapse during Construction: Case Study

Currently, I am working on the site supervision for a construction of 20 stories building in a country in SE asia. Last week I did several researches on the technical papers relavant to the building collapse that might occur during the construction to be one of my top priorities in preventing the unsafe work processes and procedures in my site.

I found one of the paper that describes the building collapse during construction. The collapse is due to the soil and foundation unstability problem that was induced by the transported soil from the excavation work.


To illustrate more details, I below describe this collapse situation. 

The building collapse occured on June 27, 2009. The building is a 13-story building under construction in Shanghai, China. The collapse was due to rotating/overturning and falling on its side. This illustrates in the picture (A) below.

Picture (A)


Site Conditions before the collapse of the building - Prior to the collapse of the building, the buildings were supported by hollow concrete piles illustrated in the figure (B) below.
Picture (B)
      During the constrution, an excavation on the south side of the collapsed building was ongoing for an under ground garage. The excavation for the garage was dug to a depth of 15 ft (4.572 m.) 
The excavated soil then was stockpiled on the north side of the collapsed building to a height of 33 ft (10.058m.) above the existing ground elevation as illustrated in figure (C).
Picture (C)  




At this point, I believe that you might be able to guess what the cause of the collapse of the building... Please share your idea by posting your comments and I later give you some of my thought and investigation. :)


     

112 comments:

  1. if a collapse will be,types of collapses are wanted,therefore chineses make a good job of collapse types,however why could it happened?There are any earthquake,according to me excavation and ground depth of buildings was not enough?left side excavation dislocated build ground?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
  2. in my point of view, i think it is mainly due to loading problem near the foundation ( one is very less and the other side rises to some extent ) and also the excavation should not be done near the footing, it may lead to settlement problem. one more reason should be due to the vibration of the machine!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe there a problem on excavating the area and thats why the footing were affected.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thnk it happens because of uneven loading condition occurred due to load of stockpit on north and lack of support on south due to excavation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. in the picture (A), is it human error's or design scheme's are wrong?

    :)

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  8. what is reason behind this incidence ?. I think material used for built a building should be fake..not pure.

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  9. Thanks, to expressing excellent information. Civil engineering is a more exciting field. The builders don't take priority to safe work processes, so that's the one issue of collapse the buildings. I think, Chinese builders are making a excellent building because these buildings has not collapsed any earthquake. There's building has very strong. I think, other countries peoples are not using pure material to construction. Research Reports

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  10. It might be due to the increase and decrease of the lateral pressure. At the time of design, it might have been considered to be at its equilibrium condition but after the excavation of the soil and putting it on the other side of the ground, the active pressure on the side of the filling increases which inturn causes the increase of active pressure on that side as well as decrease of passive pressure on the other side which inturn can be the cause of overturning failure.

    ReplyDelete
  11. In the picture it is shown that, no protection wall is provided during excavation, so this cause easy loosening of soil from foundation to south way,and the loosening get increased while unloading the excavated soil on north side.The pressure goes on increased & soil slides down towards south way from footings.

    I think, retaining wall could have been save this collapse that time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The first point is clear that there were excavation were going on along the construction site, and I heard that there is dug specially in China at after 20m of every places, So first the engineering should have clear knowledge about their climate. It's really a big site destruction.

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  13. I think this is due to variation in effective pressue becouse of excavation it affect the foundation soil & building collapsed

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  16. Hello,
    These sort of collapses occur due to reduction in lateral pressure in foundation and surrounding soil. The main cause is that engineers ignore the nearby excavations.
    Civil Engineer should have vast knowledge and understanding of the subject to handle such issues.
    I would suggest http://cescientist.com/ask-a-scientist . It is a service that can answer your every question/query about Civil Engineering.
    Thanks

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  21. firstly in such constructions sheet piles should be used to let the soil remain stable. The pit of the garage would have decreased the effective stress in the soil moreover the heave on the other side would have increased it causing destabilised soil tilting the building's foundation and with the load of the multi story building not acting vertically downward the p-delta effect did the rest !! hoping the casualties were less

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  30. I am glad no one was hurt. So the problem was the foundation. I guess they now know what to watch out for.

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  33. That picture is unbelievable. I can't imagine what it would be like to watch months and months and millions of dollars fall on its side. At least it didn't hit anything else on its way down, though. So are you going to share your answer as to why it fell in a later post?

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