CROSS Safety Report
Lightweight steel roof partial collapse
This report is over 2 years old
A hall constructed from thin cold rolled steel sections riveted together started collapsing when tiles were loaded on one side only.
Key Learning Outcomes
For construction professionals:
- Quality control and competent supervision on site can help to ensure that the structure is built in accordance with the design
- It is good practice to carry out a risk assessment and method statement (RAMS) for all construction activities. This can ensure the sequencing of work activities are properly considered and planned.
- A structure should be checked to ensure it has the required capacity to accommodate temporary construction loads
For civil and structural design engineers:
- Asymmetric loading conditions should be considered, particularly for roof structures
- If a structure has not been designed for temporary construction loads, clearly highlight this on the drawings
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A hall constructed from thin cold rolled steel sections riveted together started collapsing when tiles were loaded on one side only. The reporter says that joints were poorly detailed/constructed with lack of end distance to the rivets and eccentricities. No effect of the dominant openings construction or of the lateral loading/stability seems to have been considered. No asymmetric loading was considered.
Expert Panel Comments
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Poor construction may have stemmed from design, or detailing, or fabrication or a combination of these factors. Lightweight framing is particularly susceptible to minor imperfections which can have a greater effect than in frames with larger and heavier members.
However, the input of a competent designer is not lessened by the fact that the members are thin and slender; indeed, good engineering skills are needed when margins are tight. The lightweight steel industry is relatively new and diverse and needs to have properly accredited persons and organisations to carry out work. Caution is needed.
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