Banquet Hall Collapse Case Study

IntroductionA banquet hall collapsed within 30 seconds during the wedding party in Jerusalem on May 24, 2001 resulting in many casualties. This incident happened at that time when people were dancing on the fourth floor of the building. This disaster was due to the failure of many strategies, which were interacted with each other. Now, these strategies are being discussed the causes of which were the reason of the dance hall disaster.

Engineering StrategyThe engineering strategy was a main failure in the case of banquet hall collapse of Israel. The engineering and works department did not pay attention to the conditions of buildings in the city. It should be a duty of the engineering department to check the conditions of building every year to make sure that building is meeting the safety standards and therefore they will not be a need for building elimination.

There should be restrictions for the amendments in any constructed building during the reconstruction. As in this case the whole structure of the building changed when some pillars and walls were removed during the renovation which weakened the building. It was the duty of engineering department to examine the building not only this building but also other buildings on a regular basis.

Construction StrategyThere is a need to adopt new construction strategies in the country. As Israel is situated in an earthquake zone, so the construction strategies must be formulated and strictly implemented in the country. In this case the Pal-Kal construction method was used which is a cheap method having metal plates and thin sheets of concrete. Pal-Kal method is considered the cheapest and lightweight method among other methodology.

The dance hall was built by using the Pal-Kal method of construction, which was unable and weak enough to bear the weight and pressure of the people during their dance because of this, the banquet hall collapsed. Powerful and strong construction methods are necessary to use in the construction of the building particularly for multi storey buildings. Building Codes

In this case, it can be seen that building codes were not followed or were weak for the construction and maintenance of the buildings. The new and effective building codes are needed to be formulated and implemented in the country. In case of not following the building codes, a license or permit for using the building will not be granted. As in this case, a permit was given for the use of the building as a banquet hall but it was constructed for the purpose of industrial office use, not for other purposes such as dancing hall. Enforcement of Building codes

The case of collapse of banquet hall shows that the authorities were completely failed in the enforcement of existing building codes. If the building codes were enforced strictly, then there were less chances of such type of incident. As there are many other buildings that have been built by the use Pal-Kal method of construction, so there is more need to enforce building codes to restrict them such type of amendments as amendments were made in the banquet hall by removing some wall and pillars. Permit/Licensing Strategy

The permit and license authority did not examine the banquet hall before the grant of permission. The authority should have to check the building after the expiry and non-renewal of the permit after four years as the owner of the hall continued to run its business without the renewal of its license for using the building as a banquet hall. Safety Measures

The safety measures were also ignored by the relevant authorities and the owner of the building as it during renovation remove walls and pillars for the expansion of the hall. The authorities must have to visit and check the safety of the buildings.

Analysis of the StrategyAfter analyzing the case of banquet hall collapse, it can be found that every strategy has some common features or dimension and aspects. Every strategy should have these common aspects of it, which are: Every strategy must take into account the safety of the buildings first. A safer building means less chances of such kind of incidents. Therefore, safety measures must be the first and foremost part of every strategy.

Every new made strategy must pay attention to the design of the building. Sometimes, the building looks very strong but if seen deeply, it could be interpreted that the design of the building is too weak to collapse by any reason. Therefore, the design and infrastructure of the building must be according to international standards and the needs of the place.

Every strategy must focus on the construction methods as construction methods decide whether the building will be strong or weak. That is why every strategy should strongly recommend those methods, which will strengthen the building. The strategy should indicate the proportion of the materials such as sand, cement and iron for the construction of the buildings.