A skyscraper’s gigantic weight always requires strong foundations and a firm ground to stand on. Failure to satisfy these and you can definitely end up with a sinking or leaning building that can topple anytime.
One of the most important stages in a skyscraper construction project is inspecting the actual site where the edifice is to be built. Aside from ensuring that the size of the area is adequate for the proposed building, there also must be a careful soil analysis to make sure that the ground is stable enough to carry the dead and later on, the live load of the skyscraper.
What Are Dead Loads?
In a white paper published by the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, it described dead loads as a gravitational force of a constant magnitude and fixed position that continuously cause stress or displacement on structures like a skyscraper. The load is brought about by the structural system of the building, as well as the combined weight of construction materials used to construct the building. Live loads, on the other hand, refer to the furniture, appliances, people, and sometimes vehicles, which enter the premises of the building.
What Can Happen?
If you have been reading news about San Francisco lately, you must be aware of the story about the Millennium Tower, a 58-story skyscraper located downtown. According to the news, it has been discovered that the building has sunk about 16 inches during the past year and is now leaning precariously to one side.
What Could Have Been The Cause?
The developer blames a nearby construction project, but San Francisco building officials are leaning towards the belief that foundations may not have been anchored on bedrock and that soil inspection may have been inadequate. If true, this is such a huge lapse in judgment of the building developers since soil inspection analysis and its attendant costs are among the data that need to be entered in the construction estimating software. eTakeoff, LLC says this is helpful to come up with an accurate project cost estimate. If this has not been done, then it’s easy to overlook the fact that there is a need to spend for the reinforcement of the foundations because of soil problems.
If there is inadequate soil inspection before a skyscraper project is started, then the developers might as well look forward to a very expensive undertaking, which might even exceed the project cost itself. Although some may consider this as an unnecessary undertaking that needs to be done away with quickly, it is actually an important factor that could spell success or doom to a skyscraper construction project.