BUILDING’S HEALTH ASSESSMENT
The most prized possession of any Indian family is their home. Hence, it is inevitable to prioritize safeguarding the home or structure’s longevity. Yet, some don’t ensure timely repairs thereby leading to unfortunate calamities such as building collapses.
Building failures can be categorized into two broad groups - structural or application failures. Most of the building collapses in India are due to the use of substandard raw materials, insufficiently trained manpower and inadequate supervision during construction of multi-storey structures. • Removal of load bearing members such as columns and beams, shifting of kitchen, toilets etc. within the flat without consulting structural consultants or engineers is also a serious issue. • Additionally, one of the natural and important factors that result in building collapse is rainfall and therefore buildings need to be constructed bearing in mind climatic conditions of the region. • Seepage causes various problems such as rusting and internal leakages. In most cases, it is difficult to ascertain the problem. If water is left unchecked, simple moisture can slowly infiltrate your building envelope’s concrete structures, corrode the reinforcement and wreak havoc throughout the structure.
Diagnosis of Defects and Condition
• Sometimes, the builders do not consider the long term effects of using poor quality raw materials. Although, the projects are completed with good exteriors and appearances but many-atimes the raw materials used are compromised. • Most co-operative housing societies are misled and engage in crack filling and repainting. This is a superficial solution. • It is imperative to undergo a thorough structural audit before any repair work, to clearly understand the true nature of the problem and the remedial measures to be taken up to avoid future mishaps.
• Many residential buildings consider redevelopment as an alternative to repairs. However, redevelopment is not a substitute for repairs. Repairs have to be carried out by the CHS and redevelopment should not be considered as an easy alternative. • There should be some regulation on age of the building for redevelopment. With the construction practices prevalent these days, a structure can experience distress and cracks within 10 years of construction. • It is important that societies engage with designated civilstructural engineers for diagnosing the problems of the building every 5 years, to correctly identify the problems leading to leakage and recommend appropriate waterproofing solutions.
Dr. Sanjay Bahadur Global CEO, Construction Chemical Division Pidilite Industries Ltd