Famous design defects over the years

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Construction Litigation

Regular readers of our Evans, Georgia legal blog will recall that we published a post in May about common types of construction defects.

The construction defects covered in the post included deficiencies in materials, operational or mechanical defects, substandard workmanship (also known as construction deficiencies) and design defects.

In this post we’re going to focus on some of the most famous design defects over the years, starting with the most famous of them all: the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Construction of the eight-story white-marble bell tower began in 1173, but the structure’s famous tilt was already noticeable by the time the first three stories were complete.

Experts today say the tower sits atop soft ground unsuitable for the structure.

During its nearly two centuries of construction, engineers tried repeatedly to remedy the tower’s pitch but failed. An effort to straighten and stabilize the tower finished in 2001, decreasing the lean by 17 inches.

The tower is now projected to safely welcome visitors for the next two hundred years.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Hailed as an architectural marvel when it opened in 1940 as one of the world’s longest suspension bridges, Washington’s Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed during a storm just four months later.

Critical error: the structure’s design didn’t allow wind to pass through the bridge’s three spans, which dramatically increased the wind load. When a windstorm hit, the bridge began to buckle and sway before collapsing completely. Thankfully, officials had previously deemed the bridge unsafe, so traffic was blocked and no one died.

Walkie-Talkie Centre

This thick, highly reflective London office building opened in 2015 with a visually appealing structural twist that captures the eye. Unfortunately, the distinctive concave twist also captured and concentrated sunlight like a magnifying glass. Reflections were intense rays of radiation and heat onto nearby streets, cars and rooftops.

At certain times on sunny days, people could fry eggs on sidewalks near the Walkie-Talkie.

The façade was altered, however, to add shade and reduce the intensity of the scorching rays.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Renowned architect Frank Gehry gave this Los Angeles venue a curving exterior of polished metal that shone as bright as any movie star. As it turned out, it shone too brightly. Drivers complained they were blinded as they passed the gleaming building and residents of nearby condos griped about reflected heat.

The problem was fixed by sanding the stainless-steel panels to reduce reflections.

Construction defects are often resolved in negotiations that begin after litigation has commenced. Experienced, knowledgeable legal representation protects your rights and interests at every point in the process.