Indian engineers not confident that their buildings can withstand earth quakes| Engineering defects causes major loss during Earth quakes

December 26th, 2010| In India.

Indian engineers not confident that their buildings can withstand earth quakes| Engineering defects causes major loss during Earth quakes

Sky scrapers are being built in the city of Hyderabad. This may make the people proud of the talent of local civil engineers, but the people are afraid on the other side.  Recent milk earth quakes in some parts of the city are worrying the people.  The doubt that whether their apartments can stand against some bigger earth quakes is the worrying aspect of many. The engineering experts are warning the people to follow required cautions while constructing a building otherwise they will have to pay for it in the future.

Thousands of people died in the earth quakes happened at Latur of Maharashtra in 1993 and Bhuj of Gujarat in 2001 which last for only 90 seconds. High loss of property has happened in these two incidents. But the earth quake of same severity has occurred in Japan in the year 2005 which killed about 100 humans only. Experts said that the standards followed in the constructions of buildings in Japan have rescued them. Hyderabad has been categorized as Zone 2 which has the low probability of getting earth quakes.  The factors responsible for the high loss of property and lives occurred during earth quakes in Bhuj and Kutch are declared as  engineering defects by the committee of engineers who surveyed the places. Hyderabad never experienced earth quake having severity more than 4.0 on rector’s scale. The engineers of major contracts of the city are hesitating to say yes when questioned about the strength of their projects against the earth quakes of rector scale reading more than 4.0. Experts said that the loss that may occur by Earth quakes due to the use of material of low quality will be 10% while the loss due to engineering defects will be 60%. They also stated that building big constructions in small area will be very dangerous.

Law to prevent defects in constructions

The council of architects has the right to cancel the membership of the engineer in case of finding any defects in the constructions of the building. But there is no law in the proposed in Indian constituency to suspend licensed engineers. This disability to control the engineers is causing many problems in the society.  Ministry of roads and development of India has announced to propose a law against licensed engineers after the earth quake occurred in Ahmadabad on 2nd February of 2001. But this law is not proposed yet.

Defects and their precautions for constructions

  • Engineers are able to highlight many defects in latest constructions.
  • Multi storied buildings should not contain balconies. Even if they are present, should be in a proper order without any disturbance in the size.
  • Buildings should be in the shape of square or rectangle so that the weight of the building will be equally distributed on the ground. If the buildings are constructed in any shape that of the land, may cause uneven distribution of the weight of building on the ground. It they are constructed in the shape of L, T and C, then each part should be separately built. It means gap should be present between the two portions of the building. This will reduce the loss of lives at the time of earth quakes.
  • At parking place 4 inch walls should be built on plinth beams in four corners between the pillars. This prevents the building from bending in the direction of the earth quake. But 95% of the recent buildings don’t have these walls.
  • The water tank should not be built on the building at one corner only; instead four identical small tanks should be constructed at four corners of the building.
  • Some are building the pillars up from the beams of first floor because they are using the ground floor for parking. But this is very dangerous. From top to bottom the pillars should be at one place only.
  • At the time of building pillars and beams, the rods should be bent at an angle of 135 degrees. Because the iron rods will come out from the pillars by earth quake. These rods will not break down if bent at an angle of 135 degrees. The rods will not move even though the concrete moves. As a result the building will not fall down.
  • It is better to construct Shear walls for the buildings of more than 5 floors.
  • It is dangerous to use filtered sand for constructions. Port land cement only should be used. Blended cement can be used under the supervision of an engineering expert.
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