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Newsletter No 3 - July 2006

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Report Overview

In the 12 months since CROSS was launched reports have been received on: Building Control Issues, Collapses, Construction, Design, Engineers on Site, Materials, Near Misses, and Temporary Works. In this Newsletter reports are all related to existing structures. The Newsletters in which these are published have a potential readership of over 50,000 engineers and others in the construction industry not only in the UK but worldwide. Every reader will have had experiences that they use in their own work to avoid future problems. If your reading of a Newsletter triggers recollection of a similar experience that you feel should be taken up then please make a report to CROSS. The goal is to provide an effective avenue for identifying real concerns (which are often not raised through other routes) in order to promote a culture of learning and influence action by Government, Institutions and other bodies. In time, the scheme will also become an important resource of knowledge for the construction community. New buildings represent only a small proportion of the total building stock. As a national resource the number and value of old buildings is much greater and they need protection, maintenance and improvement. These matters are assuming more importance as energy efficiency, water savings, and other sustainability issues are increasingly relevant. Accordingly this Newsletter addresses concerns found with some older buildings, and the potential problems with conversions and alterations. Other reports received in the last three months will be held over for future Newsletters. Reports from contributors have identifying features removed and may be edited to give more clarity and may be shortened, but the views expressed remain those of the authors. Comments given at the end of each report are those from the SCOSS sub group of representatives from the industry. Material from the reports will be used by SCOSS to detect trends so that appropriate action can be taken and advice given.

Overview of Reports in this Newsletter

46 Removal of internal structure

The roof trusses, 6m above the ground floor, had been left supported on props made by nailing floor joists together; one at each party wall position.

47 Counterweight failure - Plank Lane Bridge (news)

A component failure on a British Waterways’ lift bridge has resulted in a 22 tonne counterweight falling some 5.0m onto a public highway.

26 Scottish tenements

Tenements appear massive and solid but many are not particularly robust, and are quite vulnerable to accidental damage.

32 Masonry support prop adaptor

The use of a steel bracket on top of a prop, giving an eccentricity of about 200 mm would not seem to be such a good idea.

42 Wind damage

A period of storm force winds, with wind speeds approaching design levels, resulted in damage to secondary roofing and cladding elements.

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