builders wolverhampton - building foundation

Why Is Foundation Work So Important To Building Projects?

The success of any building project ultimately relies on its foundations, and whilst this is practically a truism to any reputable builder, there is one rather infamous example of what happens if foundation work is inappropriate or inadequate.

In the UK, there are extensive building regulations covering foundation work, given how unsafe inadequate foundations can be to anyone living or working in the building in question.

One of the most infamous and bizarre demonstrations of the importance of foundations took place on 27th June 2009 at the Lotus Riverside residential apartment project in Shanghai, China.

At the time, Block 7, a 13-floor apartment complex was under construction but suddenly fell over, tragically taking the life of a construction worker but only just avoiding striking a building behind it.

What made the story so unusual was that the building did not break apart but literally fell on its side like a domino, something that was immediately suspected to be the result of a serious foundation issue.

This was confirmed a few days later by Shanghai Daily in a story that made international news due to the brazen disregard for basic construction protocol that led to the building’s collapse.

According to the South China Morning Post, the main foundation pilings were made from prestressed, precast concrete, which whilst common in Chinese construction were not suited for high-rise buildings such as Block 7.

This foundation work was poorly done with inadequate surveying of the building, particularly the excavation work done for an underground garage.

The earth that was moved was dumped into a nearby landfill next to a river creek. The weight of the earth caused the river bank to collapse and water was allowed to flow under the building.

This weakened the earth underneath the foundations, causing them to fail and the building to collapse.

This should not have happened and six people received prison sentences for causing a criminal major accident.