Building Collapse: Faulty Execution & Inadequate Supervision

Civil Engineer / Content Writer

The construction industry plays an essential role in the economic development of any developing nation. In the entire lifecycle of any structure, defective execution and inadequate supervision can be both a nuisance and a burden to that building, its occupants and its locality. This deficiency can be traced to execution errors, weak or inferior materials, supervision lapses, and the stupidity of workers. The deficiency reduces the homogeneity and integrity in terms of quality or load carrying capacity of the building. Thus the sub-standard quality of work leads to the failure of the building either during the running construction or even after construction is over.

0707130003-01-Building-Collapse-due-to-Faulty-Execution-Inadequate-Supervision
Courtesy - Sefindia

Many people believe that only old buildings collapse, but sometimes even the new buildings or building which are under construction also may collapse. Sometimes inadequate knowledge of construction causes the accident on site, i.e. removal of props before the concrete has set leads to collapse of the RCC member. Many such cases are observed, and such major reasons are discussed herein.

Building Collapse due to Faulty Execution & Inadequate Supervision:

Faulty execution & inadequate supervision are the faults that may reduce the durability, usefulness, or strength of a construction work. They are the unacceptable quality aspects of a project which can be identified and remedied. Hence defective execution by the contractors or workers and inadequate supervision by the engineers may also be the reason of building collapse.

01. Building Collapse Due to Defective Execution:

In construction, apparently looking minor defects can also be the reason for building collapse.  People and management of the project ignore basic rules to achieve fast progress to save the cost of construction. But in such hurry most of the time contractor or workers makes the small mistake in execution i.e. column not being in plumb/line-level, etc. and thus fast execution of work results in poor quality of the construction work. Poor knowledge of concrete work, i.e. improper curing, improper water cement ratio, poor sub grade soil compaction, poor placement of concrete, etc. also leads to the poor quality of concrete work. Poor planning of work also causes the defective execution. The construction work carried out during night time also creates the problem as important points are missed. Hence all the above points endanger safety, quality and or life of building which may be the reason for the failure of building in future.

Example of such execution errors are column not being in plumb, providing inadequate reinforcements, errors in joint detailing, detailing of cantilever beam etc.

Also Read: Do’s & Don’ts While Concreting

02. Building Collapse Due to Inadequate Supervision:

Supervisor or Engineer sometimes does not examine the work of contractor or workers which leads to poor quality of construction work. Construction supervisor or engineer more often fails to pass the important work instructions to the contractors or workers. They use the unskilled contractor or workers or operators for the work, which otherwise require the skill and expertise of work. Over and over, they make a mistake in reading the drawing and make mistakes in execution work. Hence poor or inadequate supervision leads to the poor construction work, and thus it is also be one of the important reasons for building collapse.

Example of such deficiencies are: Premature loading of structural elements, or overloading with construction materials, not checking quality of materials, inadequate cover providing, weak props which may slip, break or buckle during concreting, laying of foundation on unstable soil, excavation near existing foundations, and so on.

Also Read:

Things to Check Before Concreting Ground Beams & Plinth Beams
Things to Check Before Concreting Column

In conclusion, poor project management, complex role of the subcontractor, lack of experience and the ability of workers, lack of communication, unsuitable construction practises and equipment, poor weather conditions, time limitation, cost limitation are all the reasons of poor quality of the construction. The poor quality of construction not always results in the immediate collapse of the building, but sometimes it doses.

You can improve the quality by firm supervision by trained and competent person in construction work. Day to day supervision should be carried out by the contractors or engineers so that poor execution problem can be identified and the remedial work can be executed immediately. Besides, engineers, contractor and workers must possess the knowledge, expertise, and capabilities to do construction work as specified in drawing, contract documents and specification.

Also Read:

Inferior Materials can be very dangerous to your Building
Building Failures due to Lack of Maintenance
Collapse of Building due to Excavation near Adjoining Property

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