Structural Safety holds extreme importance in construction, primarily because compromises in this area leads to loss of human life. Data collated by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicates that 38363 people lost their lives due to the collapse of various structures in 37514 incidents between 2001 and 2015. In most parts of the country, structural safety concerns are totally ignored. Around 40% people are living without any structural safety certificate, according to a private survey. In fact, 18% of them do not even know what the certification is about. Surfaces Reporter (SR) has created a detailed report on Structural safety. Recently, SR had a conversation with Vishal Gupta, Vice President, NCR, CREDAI, MD, Ashiana Housing Limited, Delhi on the primary causes of design and construction errors and how to overcome them. Here are the excerpts:
How important it is to focus on structural safety?
Structural failures occur worldwide. Various investigations have concluded that the main causes of failure were design and construction errors within the building process. This reduces safety margins to the point of major failures. So ensuring safety should be the foremost priority for the builders.
A structure is safe if it will not fail under foreseeable demands, leading to loss of life, injury and unacceptable economic loss, and if it is unlikely to fail under extraordinary demands or circumstances. The buildings should be planned, designed and constructed under the right supervision for quality and safe construction depending on the location of the building vulnerable to natural disasters.
How much attention is actually paid to structural safety concerns while constructing buildings?
During the planning and construction of building, it is important to recognise the close link between design and construction. Quality control and safety represent increasingly important concerns for builders. Building Failures can result in very large costs. Engineers/project managers try to ensure that the job is done right the first time and that no major accidents occur on the project too.
As construction is a dynamic activity, a high degree of commitment to safety by project management and pro-active measures are essential to prevent accidents at construction sites. Strong efforts by the government, regulatory bodies are needed for committed safety at work sites. The ultimate purpose is to develop the efforts in achieving zero accidents.
What role can the government play in ensuring structural safety in buildings?
To create an effective enforcement mechanism, the Government of India has come up with building regulations and control schemes for the completion of construction to avoid structural failure in buildings. To regulate the growth of urban areas, the State Governments notify areas for planned growth under certain laws. State Governments formulate the rules and regulations with the help of the local bodies to avoid the causes of building failures.
After the approval, the concerned local bodies enforce these rules and regulations pertaining to development and building standards as building regulations in their respective areas. The government has categorised various types of buildings on the basis of different criteria depending on their usage, design and height, safety standards and other features as follows. It is important for everyone to be aware of different types of buildings and what they are meant for.
Every constructor, be it an individual building, a new home or a builder developing a vertical city, needs to have the proper information to be able to build in compliance with government regulations.
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Any other thoughts on the issue of structural failure in buildings you would like to share.
The society is paying a cost due to a few errant builders. Government needs to ensure proper compliance. If the government compliance process becomes stronger than we can keep more optimal design norms rather than conservative and over designed norms.
About Vishal Gupta
Vishal Gupta is the Managing Director of Ashiana Housing Limited. He finished his Master’s In Business Administration from FORE school of management (Delhi). He is famous for his in-depth knowledge of the real estate business, customer psychology and the market behavior. Moreover, he takes a keen interest in the conceptualization and planning of new housing project of the company.
About Ashiana Housing Limited
Since 1979, Ashiana Housing Ltd. has been constructing Residential & Commercial spaces. Till now, the company has built more than 8 million sq. ft. of residential townships in a variety of locations, including Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Greater Noida, Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), Jamshedpur Neemrana, Patna, to name a few.
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