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Expert: 28-storey High Rise ‘structurally safe’

Expert: 28-storey High Rise ‘structurally safe’
Underconstruction WG Friendship Plaza in Suva on September 6, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
September 07
10:15 2018

local engineering consultant has stood by the design, construction, materials used and structural stability of the 28-storey WG Friendship Plaza on Suva’s MacGregor Road.

Vijay Krishnan, the principal for Engineered Designs and a local structural engineering consultant on the project, has refuted claims that materials used on the project were substandard.

Mr Krishnan was speaking at a press conference yesterday in response to a stop work order issued last week over engineering principles and design philosophy on the building.

He said WG Friendship Plaza had been designed not only to the provisions of the National Building Code of Fiji, but also in accordance with other codes of practice of countries such as China and the United States of America.

“Rigorous analysis and design procedures were followed to ensure that the building can safely withstand the worst combination of anticipated design loads due to gravity, earthquake and cyclones among others,” Mr Krishnan said.

He said to date there had been no breach of any of the Suva City Council’s and/or planning conditions of the building permit and construction has progressed relatively smoothly under Engineered Designs oversight.

He said all materials specification and those used in the project were fit for purpose and to ensure compliance with the required specification and workmanship an independent international testing authority was engaged to test, monitor fabrication and report on reinforcing and structural steel used for the projects.

Mr Krishnan said the testing was done by SGS China, one of the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification companies with 78 branches and more than 150 laboratories in China.

He said there was no issue on the corrosion of steel frames, fire protection systems, scrap metal and ductility of the materials as claimed.

Mr Krishnan confirmed that there was a stop work order issued by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

However, subsequent to that, the company sought legal opinion. The notice, he said, was later lifted and work continues. 

He said the timing that the MITT people came to collect the samples was at a very late stage and by that time the building was almost a third-up.

The materials taken for testing has been used in the foundation and the basement of the structure.

“In our opinion, the building is structurally fully compliant,” Mr Krishnan said.

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum wrote to the Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala highlighting concerns raised by two Fijian engineers.

The letter, dated May 30, highlighted concerns that local engineers raised which has led to the investigations being conducted on the work site.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum asked that the minister instruct the Suva City Council to carry out an inspection of the building construction immediately and issue a stop work notice to the developer if the construction was indeed in breach of relevant standards and approvals.

Government had set up an independent panel of three engineers to review the entire construction.

WG International spokesperson William Wu had earlier confirmed that a stop order notice was issued from the ministry.

However, he said, the problem was solved.

The 28-storey building at MacGregor road in Suva is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Edited by Epineri Vula



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