Ra­dium, CPAB deny ‘cut­ting corners’ in Fuzhou

No safety con­cerns but steel re­in­force­ment in­suf­fi­cient: latest re­port


Ra­dium Life Tech Co. ( ) and Con­struc­tion and Plan­ning Agency Bureau (CPAB, ) un­der the Min­istry of In­te­rior de­nied cut­ting corners in the con­struc­tion of the Fuzhou Gov­ern­ment Hous­ing Pro­ject yesterday, in re­sponse to the latest safety eval­u­a­tions re­leased ear­lier this week.

The eval­u­a­tion re­port, con­ducted by the Struc­ture En­gi­neer­ing As­so­ci­a­tion in Taipei City and Taichung City af­ter be­ing com­mis­sioned by the Fuzhou Hous­ing Pro­ject Self­Help As­so­ci­a­tion, found pil­lars, beams and shear walls lack­ing in sus­tain­able steel re­in­force­ment. Those af­fected in­cluded the A3 and A6 hous­ing units.

A CPAB of­fi­cer ad­mit­ted that the hous­ings’ orig­i­nal de­sign was not com­pre­hen­sive enough as mul­ti­ple parts of the pro­ject lacked suf­fi­cient steel re­in­force­ment, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. How­ever, safety is not a prob­lem and there were no at­tempts to stint on con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als, the of­fi­cial re­as­sured.

The of­fi­cial’s state­ment was backed by the CPAB Ur­ban Re­gen­er­a­tion Di­vi­sion. The latest re­port con­ducted by the Struc­ture En­gi­neer­ing As­so­ci­a­tions in Taipei City and Taichung City pointed out that while there were no safety con­cerns re­gard­ing the hous­ing units, steel re­in­force­ment was in­suf­fi­cient due to the de­sign.

CPAB prom­ises that the prob­lems out­lined in the re­port were ap­pro­pri­ate for re­con­struc­tion. New Taipei City Gov­ern­ment has also asked Ra­dium Life Tech Co. to sub­mit a com­pen­sa­tion re­port to ad­dress how the com­pany will deal with the con­struc­tion fis­sures. As of press time, the gov­ern­ment has yet to re­ceive the re­port.

An A6 unit res­i­dent, who did not re­veal their name in an in­ter­view with a lo­cal media out­let, pointed out that while the CPAB and Ra­dium Life Tech Co. backed up their claims of not us­ing in­fe­rior ma­te­ri­als, the re­port stated that many lev­els in the build­ing do not ad­here to steel re­in­force­ment reg­u­la­tions.

Many res­i­dents, in­clud­ing the one in­ter­viewed, ex­pressed their anx­i­ety of mov­ing into the prob­lem­atic house­hold units, and con­sid­ered with­draw­ing their con­tracts.

A re­port com­mis­sioned by the CPAB, re­leased in Au­gust, ad­dressed fis­sures found in units A2, A3, and A6, which were re­vealed by house own­ers. The fis­sures found then were re­port­edly a re­sult of the mul­ti­ple earth­quakes af­ter han­dovers in April. The re­cent re­port, re­leased on Mon­day, was com­mis­sioned by the Self­Help As­so­ci­a­tion, and was an­nounced on the CPAB web­site.

Ac­cord­ing to the Taichung City Struc­ture En­gi­neer­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s eval­u­a­tion, the most prob­a­ble rea­son be­hind the fis­sures in the A6 unit was due to soil sub­si­dence of its foun­da­tion, and un­der­es­ti­ma­tion of the build­ing’s car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity.

The re­port also called into ques­tion the orig­i­nal de­sign of each build­ing’s story-weight es­ti­ma­tion — assess­ments were com­monly un­der­es­ti­mated com­pared to what the build­ings can ac­tu­ally carry. Con­sid­er­a­tions re­gard­ing soil sub­si­dence were largely in­ef­fi­cient as well. “Why? We’ll never know for sure,” mem­bers in the as­so­ci­a­tion said.

The as­so­ci­a­tion gave a gen­er­al­ized eval­u­a­tion in the re­port’s sug­ges­tions area, stat­ing that the orig­i­nal de­sign lacked suf­fi­cient con­sid­er­a­tion of the ef­fects of soil sub­si­dence and dif­fer­ing weight estimations for each floor. Struc­tural de­signs lacked in foun­da­tion piling or suf­fi­ciently strength­ened un­der­ground struc­tures, which led to the fis­sures.

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