Design Flaws That Had Major Consequences

When something as high profile as a new architectural project is organised, assumptions are that every possible angle is covered. After all, if something is having tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions sunk into it, the job is going to be done to perfection, right? Sadly, more often than would be believed the projects are rushed, less than competent designers are hired, and the results are far from satisfactory.

Leaning Tower Of Pisa

Yes, this is a bit of a cheat when it comes to design blunders, since the project has become iconic for the mistakes. But whichever way you look at it, the Tower Of Pisa was a gigantic blunder on so many levels. The first mistake was, of course, poor foundation work, which resulted in the tower leaning. The architects then attempt to correct the problem by adjusting the tower itself into a curve. Not a good solution, since it really only made the mistakes far more evident.

Thankfully, the tower was fortified between 1993 and 2001, so it is not in any risk of actually collapsing. But the fact remains that no matter how iconic the tower has become, the designers sure would be red faced around about now.

Kemper Arena

The 1976 Kemper Arena is an example of what happens when the extremes aren’t taken into account. The structure stood apart for having a trussed roof, which gave the design a bit of eye-catching character much like the designs of online slots in Australia. This would have been fine, had it been taken into account that a devastating storm would be hitting Kansas just a few years later. In 1979 the roof collapsed.

The major flaw was that rainwater collected on the roof faster than it could be released. Consideration had been given to the impact releasing rainwater into surrounding areas would have, which meant that care had been given to making drainage gradual. This, in turn meant that some water was temporarily stored as it drained away. The eventual result; the trussed roof couldn’t support the added water weight, and disaster resulted.

A Design Flaw Fatality

There are design flaws, then there are flaws that result in deaths. Tragically, the CNA Center in Chicago didn’t just have major flaws, but also a serious lack of designer foresight. The massive 44 story building was, plainly, constructed using unsuitable materials. In particular the glass for the many windows. It turned out that as the glass heated and expanded in the sun, it built up pressure with surrounding cooler materials. Over time the glass eventually cracked, and pieces began to plummet into the streets below. A death resulted in 1999.

The most tragic part of the story is that, as of 1999, it wasn’t the first time glass had fallen into the streets. But only after the death, and an $18 million lawsuit, was anything actually done about it. The glass has since been replaced, and monthly inspections are performed to this very day. If only deaths didn’t have to occur before poor design is brought under the microscope.