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Building Damage - Another View

 
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for_prof_arc at hotmai...
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:49 am    Post subject: Building Damage - Another View Reply with quote

Whenever structural damages occur, unfortunately we like to think only
Structural Engineers are at fault.
The problem is with the decadent and cynical society in India which gives no
priority to any safety aspects of our life.

Before taking about buildings, let us look at a few other cases like traffic
& health.
Helmets for two-wheelers and seat belts for four wheelers is not enforced at
all ][exception - Delhi for two wheelers].
One cannot even cycle in USA without wearing a helmet. During my stay in
USA, I have always wondered about the safe way the traffic moves in a four
way crossing in suburban roads where there is no traffic light or cops.
Whatever be the time of the day (or night), the vechicle must come to a
complete stop and only the vehicle which first reaches the junction has the
right of way. Such un-supervised safety rules are followed as a rule in
those countries.

How about public transport like buses & trains in India? No public transport
in those countries can move with doors open.
Does any pedestrian feel safe in Urban India ?  Less said about safety in
health matters of general public which is a sham.

Reverting back to Building Industry, there is an all pervading corruption.
In the chain of Builder-Financier/ Approving Agencies/ Architect / Designers
/ Contractors - those Executing in the field, why should designers should
alone be the Fall Guy. Any way most of the Stilt +4 residential buildings
are not designed as we seem to fondly hope. A building is considered safe if
after removing the shuttering, it stands without falling down.

We must think of remedies which can be implemented and enforced for minimum
safety. Specify minimum sizes of columns and beams, which hopefully can be
verified after construction. Also, Specify minimum reinforcements in columns
and beams and make everyone concerned give affadavits that it has been
provided. [someone must already be responding that false affadavits can be
managed in Bharat].

We must debate about how to implement safety in all aspects of building
construction - totally eliminate the concept of weight of steel per unit
volume of concrete. How to implement quality in the field should be our
focus?

Fortunately, the buildings have a lot of factor of safety and unless natural
calamities like earthquake and fire exposes them, the damages would be
forgotten very soon.

As a realist, I predict a lot of damages to so called engineered buildings
in North East India or any other place where an event above M-6.5 takes
place. It will be a pity if only the designers are punished in such cases.

HOW TO ENFORCE MINUMUM SAFETY SHOULD BE OUR NEW MANTRA !!

A R Chandrasekaran

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kirtesh.gandhi
SEFI Member
SEFI Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 1:04 pm    Post subject: Building Damage - Another View Reply with quote

I fully agree with prof. Chandrasekaran that whenever the damage occurs
structural engineers are punished straightway without looking at the facts
of failure.
There was news in today's newspaper that the authorities have cancelled
license of structural engineer involved in TOI building design.
Perhaps the structural engineer is punished without checking his design or
without proving his fault.!!!!!
Major cause of failure during construction is a "bad construction practice"
where a structural engineer is not directly responsible at all.
It is very pity that we are throwing all responsibilities to a structural
engineer who perhaps does not even go to the site in many cases.
It is always contractor's responsibility to look after health and safety on
his site.
Few people were comparing structural engineers with doctors but it is a very
rare occasion when a doctor is punished for his operation failures....
Of course, I am not favoring the unethical design practice, which many
engineers do in our country, but at the same time structural engineers
should be protected from punishment at least before their fault is proven.

Regards,

Kirtesh Gandhi
Jacobs - Babtie India,
Ahmedabad.


-----Original Message-----
Message From  for_prof_arc@hotmail.com [mailto:for_prof_arc@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004 5:19 PM
To: kirtesh.gandhi@babtieindia.com
Subject: Building Damage - Another View

Whenever structural damages occur, unfortunately we like to think only
Structural Engineers are at fault.
The problem is with the decadent and cynical society in India which gives no
priority to any safety aspects of our life.

Before taking about buildings, let us look at a few other cases like traffic
& health.
Helmets for two-wheelers and seat belts for four wheelers is not enforced at
all ][exception - Delhi for two wheelers].
One cannot even cycle in USA without wearing a helmet. During my stay in
USA, I have always wondered about the safe way the traffic moves in a four
way crossing in suburban roads where there is no traffic light or cops.
Whatever be the time of the day (or night), the vechicle must come to a
complete stop and only the vehicle which first reaches the junction has the
right of way. Such un-supervised safety rules are followed as a rule in
those countries.

How about public transport like buses & trains in India? No public transport
in those countries can move with doors open.
Does any pedestrian feel safe in Urban India ?  Less said about safety in
health matters of general public which is a sham.

Reverting back to Building Industry, there is an all pervading corruption.
In the chain of Builder-Financier/ Approving Agencies/ Architect / Designers
/ Contractors - those Executing in the field, why should designers should
alone be the Fall Guy. Any way most of the Stilt +4 residential buildings
are not designed as we seem to fondly hope. A building is considered safe if
after removing the shuttering, it stands without falling down.

We must think of remedies which can be implemented and enforced for minimum
safety. Specify minimum sizes of columns and beams, which hopefully can be
verified after construction. Also, Specify minimum reinforcements in columns
and beams and make everyone concerned give affadavits that it has been
provided. [someone must already be responding that false affadavits can be
managed in Bharat].

We must debate about how to implement safety in all aspects of building
construction - totally eliminate the concept of weight of steel per unit
volume of concrete. How to implement quality in the field should be our
focus?

Fortunately, the buildings have a lot of factor of safety and unless natural
calamities like earthquake and fire exposes them, the damages would be
forgotten very soon.

As a realist, I predict a lot of damages to so called engineered buildings
in North East India or any other place where an event above M-6.5 takes
place. It will be a pity if only the designers are punished in such cases.

HOW TO ENFORCE MINUMUM SAFETY SHOULD BE OUR NEW MANTRA !!

A R Chandrasekaran










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skjain.iitk
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 1:40 pm    Post subject: Building Damage - Another View Reply with quote

Dear Kirtesh:

I am not surprised that strucutral engineer is being punished without
confirming whose fault it is. Why?

We as a community have lost credibility. We are willing to give unsafe
design under pressure. Therefore the community has lost respect for us
and we become the targets when something goes wrong.

Structural design practices of Ahmedabad that came to light after 130
collapses left no one in doubt that structural engineers are willing to
give unsafe design when under pressure.

Hence, the entire profession gets a bad name.

It is not important whose fault it was this time: what is important is
to recognize that the "construction industry" as a whole (in which
strucurtral engineer in only one component) is going through a major
crisis due to its lack of professionalism. Today, with a formal
involvement of structural engineers, construction engineers, and a
reputed contractor, one cannot be sure that they all together will do a
good and a safe job. What can be worst than that for the professionals
engaged in this profession?

Regards,

Sudhir K Jain

kirtesh.gandhi@babtieindia.com wrote:

Quote:
I fully agree with prof. Chandrasekaran that whenever the damage occurs
structural engineers are punished straightway without looking at the facts
of failure.
There was news in today's newspaper that the authorities have cancelled
license of structural engineer involved in TOI building design.
Perhaps the structural engineer is punished without checking his design or
without proving his fault.!!!!!
Major cause of failure during construction is a "bad construction practice"
where a structural engineer is not directly responsible at all.
It is very pity that we are throwing all responsibilities to a structural
engineer who perhaps does not even go to the site in many cases.
It is always contractor's responsibility to look after health and safety on
his site.
Few people were comparing structural engineers with doctors but it is a very
rare occasion when a doctor is punished for his operation failures....
Of course, I am not favoring the unethical design practice, which many
engineers do in our country, but at the same time structural engineers
should be protected from punishment at least before their fault is proven.

Regards,

Kirtesh Gandhi
Jacobs - Babtie India,
Ahmedabad.


-----Original Message-----
Message From  for_prof_arc@hotmail.com [mailto:for_prof_arc@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004 5:19 PM
To: kirtesh.gandhi@babtieindia.com
Subject: Building Damage - Another View

Whenever structural damages occur, unfortunately we like to think only
Structural Engineers are at fault.
The problem is with the decadent and cynical society in India which gives no
priority to any safety aspects of our life.

Before taking about buildings, let us look at a few other cases like traffic
& health.
Helmets for two-wheelers and seat belts for four wheelers is not enforced at
all ][exception - Delhi for two wheelers].
One cannot even cycle in USA without wearing a helmet. During my stay in
USA, I have always wondered about the safe way the traffic moves in a four
way crossing in suburban roads where there is no traffic light or cops.
Whatever be the time of the day (or night), the vechicle must come to a
complete stop and only the vehicle which first reaches the junction has the
right of way. Such un-supervised safety rules are followed as a rule in
those countries.

How about public transport like buses & trains in India? No public transport
in those countries can move with doors open.
Does any pedestrian feel safe in Urban India ?  Less said about safety in
health matters of general public which is a sham.

Reverting back to Building Industry, there is an all pervading corruption.
In the chain of Builder-Financier/ Approving Agencies/ Architect / Designers
/ Contractors - those Executing in the field, why should designers should
alone be the Fall Guy. Any way most of the Stilt +4 residential buildings
are not designed as we seem to fondly hope. A building is considered safe if
after removing the shuttering, it stands without falling down.

We must think of remedies which can be implemented and enforced for minimum
safety. Specify minimum sizes of columns and beams, which hopefully can be
verified after construction. Also, Specify minimum reinforcements in columns
and beams and make everyone concerned give affadavits that it has been
provided. [someone must already be responding that false affadavits can be
managed in Bharat].

We must debate about how to implement safety in all aspects of building
construction - totally eliminate the concept of weight of steel per unit
volume of concrete. How to implement quality in the field should be our
focus?

Fortunately, the buildings have a lot of factor of safety and unless natural
calamities like earthquake and fire exposes them, the damages would be
forgotten very soon.

As a realist, I predict a lot of damages to so called engineered buildings
in North East India or any other place where an event above M-6.5 takes
place. It will be a pity if only the designers are punished in such cases.

HOW TO ENFORCE MINUMUM SAFETY SHOULD BE OUR NEW MANTRA !!

A R Chandrasekaran











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Version: 6.0.771 / Virus Database: 518 - Release Date: 28/09/04

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aswinpe
SEFI Regulars
SEFI Regulars


Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 5:24 pm    Post subject: Building Damage - Another View Reply with quote

Hello:

Looks like this discussion on the building damage has become hot and it is
interesting to read the responses.  I feel Prof. Chandrasekaran has got a
good point - CORRUPTION.

It is ridiculous that the SE's license was cancelled without a proper
investigation.  Authorities might have cancelled the structural engineer's
license but it might just take a few thousand to get it back.  The
authorities are probably having fun since they can now make more money.  The
contractor will probably close the business and open another one in his
brother's name...

The people in US follow rules.  The Indian who move to the US also follow
the rules.  The reason is the consequences.  Going on Prof. Chandrasekaran's
example of a 4-way stop sign it is true that we all follow this rule.  But
if we don't, we face dire consequences ($$$$):
1.  Accident occurs
2.  hassle with police and ticket is issued if we were wrong.  Too many
tickets increases insurance premiums.  Multiple tickets leads to loss of
license. $$$$$$
3.  fixing the car is very expensive - takes a few thousand dollars to have
a small dent fixed.  They would replace entire parts instead of trying to
fix a dent.  Will spend a great deal to match the paint.. $$$$$$.
4.  insurance claim is a big hassle.
5.  if we don't fix the car, resale value goes down and you be ticked for
driving a dented car. -$$$$$$
6.  Insurance premium will go up. $$$$$
7.  you might get sued for thousands by the other party (even lame excuses
that the stress of the accident has caused sexual problems...).  just to
defend yourself, you hire a lawyer which again causes a few thousand. $$$$
8.  Need to take time off from work to deal with these things.  Since
vacation is limited, loss of pay and if you are off from work a lot, you
might even lose your job.  $$$$

On the other hand, when I drive in India I am less tense (sorry to admit
this).  Fixing a car is easy and cheap.  Don't have to worry about police or
lawyers.

I feel that things have to change from the top.  Peer review of design
should be implemented beyond a certain height.  Vigorous inspection should
be conducted to maintain quality of construction.  Accidents will happen but
there are ways to minimize them.

- Aswin
--------------------------------------------
Aswin Rangswamy, P.E.
Los Angeles, California

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