Two buildings in Shanghai’s Pudong district that leaned over and began showing cracks after their foundations subsided have been declared safe by government authorities, despite residents’ protests.
Last week the twin 15-storey buildings were found to have leaned so far over that the tops of the two towers had collided with each other and begun cracking.
The two blocks in Chuansha town are part of a project completed by Xinyuan Real Estate in 2012 and later sold to the local government to be used as relocation homes for families displaced by the nearby Shanghai Disneyland project.
City Government Team Declares Its Buildings Safe
“The buildings are safe to live in. The subsidence is within national standards,” Guan Xiaojun, Party secretary of Chuansha Town told the Shanghai Daily. Chuansha Town is now the official owner of the buildings.
Despite these reassurances, however, residents remain concerned, and some say they fear to sleep in their homes. Local media accounts report that the walls of the two buildings have begun cracking and a split at the base of one of the buildings is now more than 10 meters long and 3 centimeters wide.
Regarding the new connection between the two towers at their crown, representatives of Xinyuan, which developed and continues to manage the building, insisted that the eaves of the two blocks were designed to be connected.
Chen Tong, head of Xinyuan’s engineering department told the Daily that, “The quality of the building is quite reliable.” The official did admit, however, that the construction company had failed to consider the potential for subsistence in its original design.
Not the First Time a Shanghai Building Has Shifted Around a Bit
Despite the concerns of residents, the shifting and cracking of the two towers in Chuansha appears mild compared to some previous instances of building quality problems in Shanghai.
In 2009 a nearly completed 13-storey apartment block in the city’s Minhang district toppled to the ground killing one worker after being built upon a substandard foundation. City officials at the time blamed the building collapse on soil erosion caused by a nearby river.
There have also been buildings brought down by other construction projects, such as the 2003 case of a six-storey office building collapsing as workers dug the tunnel for metro line four beneath its foundation.