The Construction Junkie Blog: A perspective overview

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A screen shot of the Construction Junkie blog.
construction junkie
A screen shot of the Construction Junkie blog.

The Construction Junkie blog combines a simple (and easy to follow) layout with plenty of images, stories, and videos. It (and its associated eletter) provides a handy overview of some of the latest industry events and evolutions.

There are several video demolition/implosion videos (always fun to watch). Less enjoyable but perhaps more important, are the examples of failure within the industry, including the recent NYC crane crash and (more seriously from construction standards) the Taiwan skyscraper that collapsed during an earthquake — only to be discovered to be built with tin cans. That event killed more than 100 people.

As crews have searched the area and initial investigations into the collapse have begun, they have discovered empty tin cans inside structural concrete beams.  As crazy as that may sound, the reason those cans were there in the first place might be even crazier. A structural engineer told CNA, a Taiwan news channel, that, prior to 1999, use of cooking oil cans in concrete beams was actually not even illegal and were used to make the beams look bigger without adding much weight, for aesthetic reasons.  Cooking oil cans. You read that right.  The Golden Dragon tower was built in 1983, so the presence of the cans isn’t technically supposed to be a problem.  Rebar was also found bent to 90 degrees, instead of 135 degrees, which increases the risk of the rebar loosening in the event of an earthquake.

Oh no.

However, on Wednesday, February 10, Taiwanese authorities did arrest the developer and two executives of the company that originally built the tower, even though the companies that built the structure are no longer in business.  According to CNN, the three people arrested will face charges of professional negligence resulting in death.

The video below, by TomoNews US, gives a pretty good rundown of the factors that caused the collapse.

The blog has an associated eletter, and at latest count (Feb. 16) is fourth place in the popular vote.

You can vote for Construction Junkie and/or others you support here.

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