13. A new-build in Shanghai collapsed
When you’re overseeing large construction projects, it’s prudent to follow some ground rules, such as not undergoing underground excavation without properly supporting the building you’re working on. When the unoccupied 13 story Lotus Riverside building collapsed in China’s Minhang district in 2009, homeowners who’d invested in the complex were stunned, not least because apartments had been sold at a pricey $2,100 per square metre.
At first nobody knew what caused the 629-strong apartment structure to collapse, but an investigation soon revealed that improper construction methods were to blame and the real estate company’s assets were frozen. The collapse, which caused 130 residents to be evacuated from their homes, came after several days of heavy rain, which investigators said caused a shift in the soil structure. When the builders went to dig an underground car park, they piled mud up to 10 metres high on the other side, which created so much pressure the foundations of the complex were weakened.
Another huge contributing factor was that the construction team had not created any scaffolding to support the car park walls that they’d been digging – and we have to say that sounds like a pretty major step to miss out on!