A construction company responsible for an accident involving shards of glass falling from the eighteenth floor of an office block have recently been ordered to pay £15 million in damages. Luckily, pedestrians escaped injury during the busy lunch hour when the incident took place.
The building initially reopened after an £80 million refurbishment. However, it contained glass that had not been properly heat-soaked. Specifically, thirty-five per cent of the toughened glass panels were not soaked correctly and soon began to fail. Specifically, seventeen of the panels eventually cracked/shattered during the four years after refurbishment.
Consequently, it was ordered that contractor Lend Lease Construction (Europe) Ltd would have to pay £14,753,195 in compensation to the building’s owner.
Courts heard that initially, a shattered panel fell back in 2008. However, at this point, the true extent of the issue was not truly realised. Then, in April 2009, another crack appeared on a twenty-seventh storey panel. Then, in July of that same year, a panel broke on the eleventh floor. Luckily though, it managed to remain in place.
However, in August 2009 this issue hit the headlines after an eighteenth story panel broke and fell to the ground. Two pedestrians suffered injuries which were luckily not serious.
Pedestrians haven’t always been this lucky though. One woman was walking past a construction site when she was crushed by a falling window. Take a look at the full report here.
Following the incident with the pedestrians though, the entire building had to be recladded in 2013. Now, at the hearing which took place last week, more than £8.7 million was awarded in reglazing costs. Alongside this, there was almost £1.9 million awarded in remedial works too. (This was all part of the compensation payout.)
The owners of the building apparently sued Lend Lease as it had ‘contractual oversight’. However, the actual glass work itself was done by an Italian firm called Permasteelisa.
Lend Lease stated: “Permasteelisa and Lendlease have reached an agreement whereby Lendlease will not be financially impacted.”
Permasteelisa added: “this judgment is relevant to an old project executed in 2005 and is connected with a decision by the Client to change the project materials.”
“The need for changing said materials was attributed by the Client to Permasteelisa, which we objected to.”
So what do you think of this? Let us know in the comments below.