Spate of building collapses concerns engineer watchdog

Posted On Wednesday, 07 July 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The Engineering Council of South Africa has investigated at least seven collapsed buildings in KwaZulu-Natal in the past few months, according to Anthony Faul, legal service manager at the council.

Construction IndustryThe Engineering Council of South Africa has investigated at least seven collapsed buildings in KwaZulu-Natal in the past few months, according to Anthony Faul, legal service manager at the council.

It was of particular concern when incidents involved multistory buildings in public spaces, he said.

Faul added that there was a tendency in which developments were being fast-tracked to curb costs in order to beat deadlines.

The council is involved in an investigation into the collapse of McCarthy Nissan's R16 million flagship showroom, under construction, at La Lucia Ridge.

Faul said independent engineers would be contracted to investigate the building at the site, opposite the Crescent Shopping Centre.

The incident occurred last month when builders, who had been working under the concrete slab, heard movement, indicating instability, and cleared off the site.

Errol Richardson, Executive Director of McCarthy Ltd, said it was "unfortunate", but he was thankful there had been no injuries.

A separate team of engineers appointed by the insurance com-panies of the building contractor, G Liviero and Son, and consulting structural engineers Sivest SA were expected to present the findings of their investigations at a meeting today.


"The workers heard the tweaking of the concrete and heard a movement and decided immediately to clear off the site. They were working underneath the canopy and concrete often gives you a warning and little chips come off.

"Liviero and his team must be complimented because the team handled it professionally and got off the site and then the building came down," he said.

Richardson estimated the damage to be about R1 million. The showroom, designed to international specifications for McCarthy by Gensler, one of the largest architecture companies in the world, was scheduled to open in September but has been set back by three months.

Doug Schultz, Managing Director of G Liviero and Son, declined to comment. Mark Wright, Managing Director of Sivest SA, could not be reached for comment yesterday.



Last modified on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:11

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