THE COLLAPSE OF MAXIMASUPERMARKET IN RIGA, LATVIA INTRODUCTION Structuralreliability and failure is the characteristic ofengineering which relates with the ability of a structure to support the loadof design such as weight and forces starved of breaking and consist of thestudy of historical structural failures in order to avoid failures in theupcoming design. Structural reliabilityis the capability of an item either a structural component or may be structurethat consist of many component to combine together under a load including itself-weight without change its shape overly. Failure of structure is the lossof structural reliability or can be the loss of load that carry capacity.Failure is started when a component is stressed over its strength limit,affecting infringement and extreme distortion. Aconstruction is performed when it’s designed function for reasonable use.Components are built with structural reliability in order to avoid structurefrom disastrous failure that can cause injuries, damage, harm, death andfinancial fatalities.
The case study that is going to be further discuss isabout a structural failure which happened in Riga, district of Zolitude. The structurefailure of Maxima Supermarket had caused the building to collapse in November2013 and killed about 53 people. It has been exposed that the tragedy is causedby the negligence of laws, carelessness of the people in charge during theproject run, management and execution of out the construction work.
Theconstruction engineer, supervisor, and inspector of work were accused of guiltyin this accident because of destructions of construction guidelines. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Thecollapse of the roof of the Maxima Shopping Mall in Zolitude the neighbourhood of Riga, Latvia has causes the death of 54people including 3 rescuer and injuriesof 41 people. The incident took place on November 21, 2013 and wasthe worst calamity in Latvia’s history since 1950 where the Mayakovsky steamersank in Riga killing a total of 147 people. The witness of the incident stated that around 16:21 a fire alarm was switch off and thestore need to be evacuated. Security confirms the incident isin connection with the construction of the undergroundwelding and causing the alarm to be turned off. The roof collapsed at 17:41, localtime. The collapse occurred during peak shopping hours and itis estimated about100 people involved in the incident.
The policehas investigated three theories,firstly there was an error in the design of the building structure and theresponsible party overseeing the plan was negligent in carrying out its duties.Second it is related to the initial procedure during development and the last is dueto the construction of the green roof. In January 2015, Ivars Serget a construction engineer anda design expert of Andris Gulbisand architect of Andris Kalinka is the first suspectof the incident. Serget was accused of making mistakes in the design of the building’s roofand Gulbis was speculated of negligence when inspecting and approving buildingplans. Prosecutors Eriks Kalnmeiers said the design of the building could causea collapse. Those involved in the construction process did not do the work accordinglythat leads to the collapse of the shopping center roof.
The initialdiscovery, shows that the deformation of themetal support structure, which happen before the targeteddesign weight of the roof structure. This indicates that the construction done is not rightas the structure can not accommodate the design load.THE CAUSE OF FAILUREBased on the evidencepresented by professional institution, it is obvious that the primary cause forsuch collapse is the steel truss bolted tension connection.
There was an error in structuraldesign, and the authorities overseeing the plan had beennegligent; second, the cause is related to initial building procedures; third, itwas caused by the construction of the green roof. Steel truss, is made out oftwo pieces, which are assembled on site using bolted connections. The bottomchord tension connection is at least two timesunder-designed.
The brittle connection is shown in figures 1. Expertshave suggested that the supermarket building itself may have been badlydesigned and so not able to support a garden that was being built on the roof.Apart from that, substandard in construction materials and corruption. Theerror from the bolt connection is the biggest influence of this collapse. Thecollapse was the biggest loss of life in Latvia for more than two decades. THE IMPROVEMENT OF THESTRUCTURE After the investigationsand causes have been done, there are few improvements that need to be taken tore-construct the Maxima Supermarket building. There are three matters that needto be focused on to improve the structure, which is in structural design,building materials and manipulation of authorities (1).
The main reason thisbuilding has collapsed was due to the design of the building’s roofconstruction causing it overload for a prolonged period of time and possibly bymetal fatigue. Hence, the authorities especially the architect, should inspectand approve the design, and notice the error. The authorities should also makethe right estimation of the maximum load to be carried by the roof and thedesign of the connections in the structural steel supporting the roof (2). Other than that, it is very crucial to ensure thatmaterials used to construct this building is suitable and meet the regulations.The single truss should be used instead of using the two pieces of trussesbolted together which this can cause the joint between the two trusses wouldbear most of the roof’s weight. Besides that, the connections between thehorizontal bars that held the roof should be adequately designed. The engineersshould also make the right calculation of forces applied to the bolts so thatthe load applied to the bolts is even (3).
It was also reported thatthe error was due to manipulation of authorities who had overseen the plan. Toimprove this error, the Vikom Industry should hire a certified buildingengineer to oversee the installation instead of hiring a subcontractor (4).The constructionwork on the roof should not be taking place when there were people in thebuilding which this involve the lives of many people if any accident happens.Therefore, everyone who had been neglectful contributed to the accident andshould be held responsible. FAILURE RELATION TO ETHICSAND PROFESSIONALISM Basedon this case study as an engineer,Serget need to give a professional decision in doing the design of thebuilding. He need to consider the design that will affect the lives andfinancial wellbeing of many people. During making a design of the building, hemust able to bring a professional ethic which is he need to be honest for the structurethat he operates. The engineer must work properly, for example in thecalculation of the load required for a building, they need to do a correctcalculation to ensure that the building is safe to use and does not suffer anydamage.
Serget need to committe in the project. Engineers who have responsiblecharge for a project are expected to exercise careful oversight before puttingtheir official stamp of approval on the project. However, what carefuloversight requires will vary depending on the project in question, in ways that resist an algorithmic articulation of the stepsto be taken and the criteria to be used. An Engineer is responsible for theprotection of public safety, health and welfare. As stated in BEM Guidelinesfor Code of Practice.Item 1.0: ARegister Engineer shall at all times hold paramount the safety, health andwelfare of the public.
Engineers responsibility is make sure zero error indesigning the structure. They also have to ensure that all loading andcalculation that has been design for the structure is totally suitable with thesafety factor as all this factor is related to the Item 1.0. Before professionals engineer endorse any document forsubmission to the authority he must check the document thoroughly as theyaccount some responsibilities for the related work. It has been clearly statein BEM circular BEM (1989) that:1. Theperson (Professional Engineer) who submits a drawing must supervise theconstruction work.
2. AllProfessional Engineer are strongly advised not to certify completion ofconstruction if they have not carried out full time supervision, or if thesupervision has not been carried out by staff under his direct control.Regarding to this collapse,professional institute may be think that, a few works from the developercompany or contractor for the project could be corrupt for sake of money.
Corruption in construction industries is something that should be avoid orbanned. This is because if something happen to the structure, Professional Engineersthat have endorse the drawing will uphold some responsibilities as statedearlier. Action can be taken on the Professional Engineer if found out guiltyupon the hearing. As stated in BEM Guidelines for Code of Practice.
Item 5.2: ARegistered Engineer shall not offer, give, solicit or receive either directlyor indirectly any contribution, any contribution to influence the award ofcontract which may be reasonably construed as having the effect of intent toinfluence the award of contract. He shall not offer any gift or any othervaluable consideration in order to secure work.
He shall not pay a commission,percentage or brokerage fee in order to secure work.Engineers also must be clear that he shall notaccept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party forservices on the same project, or for services pertaining to the same project,unless the circumstances are fully disclosed and agreed to by all interestedparties. Engineers in service as members, advisors, oremployees or department shall not participate in decisions with respect toservices solicited or provided by them or their organizations in private orpublic engineering practice. Once the engineers is hired for the structuredesigning, they only have authorities in structure part only and cannot beincluded in others parts. Many intervention is also one of the mistakes thatcaused the collapse of the structure. This is because the responsible personfor the project no longer has authorities on the decision for the projectmaking.
CONCLUSION In conclusion, there are a lot of factors led to the Maxima supermarketcollapsed in Riga. However, these factors mostly are due to human factors, suchas ignoring of laws, carelessness on the part of the engineer of managing theproject and supervising or carrying out the construction works. The consequentof these act will cause the structure is not strong and tough enough to supportthe load from the roof, because of either its size, shape, or choice ofmaterial being construct. Hence, catastrophic failure may happen when thestructure is stressed beyond its critical stress level. The authorities such asengineers, architects, and contractors should never abuse their power andfollow the code of ethics as the construction of the building will involve manypeople’s lives. They should hire a certified worker when it comes to a workwhich needed skills so that they know the faulty in the procedures. Moreover,the contractors should always supervised and observed the workers atconstruction’s site and ensure that the worker follows the procedure and do thework. Inaddition, manufacturing errors may occur if the engineer is not supervising theconstruction work in a proper way.
For instances, improper selection ofmaterials, incorrect sizing, improper heat treating, failing to adhere to thedesign, and shoddy workmanship. These manufacturing errors may happen at anytime and is usually unpredictable. The structure may also collapse due to theimproperly manufactured of material or damaged from prior use. Thus, theauthorities should ensure that the material used in the building suitable forthe design and make the right calculation for every loads and force applied tothe building. Obviously,a deficiency in engineering ethics is found to be one of the root causes of anengineering failure. Therefore, an engineer, as a professional, has aresponsibility to the client or employer, to the profession, and to the generalpublic, to perform their duties in as conscientious a manner as possible. REFERENCESCharles E.Harris, M.
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