Source : Channel News Asia.

It has been found that the concrete facade at a four-storey HDB block along Tampines Street 23 which was dislodged on 25 September, had no reinforcement bars installed within the structure.

This was reported by a Professional Engineer (PE), engaged by Tampines Town Council, in an investigative report submitted on 21 November 2016.

The collapsed structure functions as a sun shield for a unit on the fourth floor of Block 201E. A sun shield below which hold the falling structure, on the third floor, was also damaged during the fall. No one was hurt in the incident.

Building and Construction Authority (BCA) had earlier directed Tampines Town Council to engage a PE to carry out a detailed investigation, following the incident.

BCA said that the PE’s investigations which were carried out over the last few months, confirmed that the side which had dislodged, had no reinforcement bars (rebars). The PE concluded that the reason for the dislodging of the sunshade was because of the way it was constructed and not due to structural design.

BCA said that it had also required the town council to carry out additional checks on the other sunshades at Block 201E and similar sunshades at the surrounding blocks. These include ultrasound scanning checks, conducted by an independent accredited testing laboratory.

The ultrasound checks conducted, showed that reinforcement bars were detected in all existing sunshades at Block 201E and surrounding blocks.

To further verify the findings from the ultrasound checks, the PE, in the presence of BCA engineers, carried out sampling checks by removing a strip of concrete cover to expose the rebars to establish the number and size of rebars.

These checks confirmed that the existing sunshades are adequately supported on the columns and are safe.

BCA noted that it has also conducted an independent assessment of the findings and concurs with the PE’s conclusions. Further investigations are underway to determine whether building regulations were flouted when the sunshades were built.

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