THING TO THINK ABOUT
devastating Earthquake which took place in Gujarat Early this year Killing thousands of
people, and damaging Millions of rupees Worth of property in its wake, gives us a lot of
food for thought. For once, it has clearly laid bare the fact that Structural Safety, and
possibly the concern for a human beings life has a very low priority for most of us.
While we all would like to stay / work in an aesthetically designed building with a
beautiful facade / high quality finishing, modern fittings, etc, let us be clear on one
very specific aspect. That is : The building must remain standing in position. For this,
the building has to have a strong structure to support the building load, and all the
extra load of the claddings etc. It is necessary that the structure should be strong with
sufficient factor of safety, and should be designed and detailed by a competent structural
Engineering group. It pains one to observe that the structures have collapsed because of
un-planned / insincere / slip-shod structural design by incompetent people (While lot of
pains have been taken to beautify the buildings inside out). Most of these buildings were
not designed for Seismic forces - (Possibly because this involves a lot of Calculations!!)
- in-spite-of knowing that the entire area has a very high probability of seismic activity
as per the design codes.
Let us not blame God for these deaths. It is time people realised that this is as far as
they would go with beautiful buildings which have no proper structural design. This
devastating incident was not an act of God, but the reflection of how Engineering norms
are shamelessly, and flagrantly violated by greedy / illiterate builders & building
Why is it that in certain areas some buildings have stood almost one month of Seismic
Onslaught without even developing a crack, while others were reduced to rubble? The reason
is simple: The buildings which are standing were obviously built on a strong foundation,
with a properly designed structural frame, as per the Indian Engineering codes. The owners
/ builders of the other buildings which collapsed possibly knew better - or so they
Perhaps it takes a powerful Earthquake for us to think in retrospective of the follies
& blunders of the greed of saving on structural material, and possibly also on the
laborious process of getting the structures designed against seismic forces.
In case you want a building which will last, do let us know. We cannot give you tall
claims on how beautiful your building will look, but we could design your structures so
that your buildings could withstand several such Earthquakes. Donot allow Home
today, rubble tomorrow to recur.