Last week, I wrote about the UN’s new Environmental Change Report, which forecasted dire outcomes felt worldwide as a result of Global Warming. The risks included changing weather patterns and higher water tables. When these factors are combined with poor building design, these events can be even more catastrophic.
Located immediately north of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China has a warm and humid subtropical climate and experiences frequent monsoons. Last December, Shenzhen was hit by the heaviest rainfall of 2013. Only four months into operation, the new Baoan airport terminal in Shenzhen experienced major flooding. Several lower levels of the terminal were submerged, and waterfalls of water were seen pouring down escalators and cascading from the ceiling of the parkade.
The major leaks to the new building were blamed on the complicated design of the building by airport officials, however many people are pointing the finger at the poor construction quality of the building.
Whether the blame lies with the construction or with the design, this building was clearly not constructed with longevity in mind.
I don’t know what the waterproofing solution for this project was, but I can’t help but point out how our Krystol Internal Membrane (KIM) admixture, along with our compatible jointing system, have mitigated problems such as this in the past. Using KIM as the concrete waterproofing solution has allowed Architects in hundreds of projects to achieve greater design flexibility, and does not carry the risk of tears or breakdown that external sheet membranes can experience.
Using products such as these is worth exploring in high risk projects such as the Baoan terminal. As the UN report predicts, major water-based disasters are only going to get more frequent, especially in areas that already experience a humid climate. Protecting new infrastructure – and essentially the people within it – by building better could mean the difference between a major disaster and a catastrophic one.