Saturday, 11 June 2016

Passing the Buck -- Again

In late May, the roof of this sports hall collapsed and luckily no one was killed
Late last month, the roof of a building at City University collapsed, and luckily only three people were injured.

It turns out the roof had been leaking and then eventually could not withstand the weight of the pitch and shrubbery on top anymore.

Organizations in Hong Kong have been encouraged to have green roofs to cool buildings down and do a small part in making the city a bit greener and add more oxygen into the atmosphere.

This security manager made the call to evacuate the building
But the rules on retrofitting green roofs on buildings isn't regulated or enforced, so the government doesn't even know how many there are in the city.

Basically building owners are responsible for managing them, and only if there are major structural changes to the roof should the plans be submitted Buildings Department.

Does this department think buildings are only going to put a few potted plants up there?

In the case of City University, the roof was completely covered in grass, which means there was a lot of soil too.

Following an investigation -- an internal one we should add -- that the wrong loading data was used by the contractor.

There were other factors too, including the amount of rain and the efficiency of drainage may have affected the roof collapse. But surely it's the numbers. And how could the wrong data be used?

The contractor will be sued, but who else will be responsible?
While the investigation recommended the university sue the contractor and the certified professional who was managing the project, interestingly the registered structural engineer and the university's vice president in charge of looking after green roof projects will not be punished.

Surely everyone should be blamed for what happened here?

One can tell backroom politicking was going on, but the optics here are as nasty as a puss-filed pimple. Why was this an internal investigation? How does anyone think these are credible findings?

Why does the government not see it is necessary to inspect all green roofs? Or it doesn't have enough resources to do so?

We're tired of everyone trying to escape blame. Can we remind those stakeholders  that university students could have been killed if the roof had collapsed a day later or earlier?

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