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Weak structural design and shaky foundations are a recipe for disaster


What do we think of leaning? When Michael Jackson did it, sure it was cool. But when buildings with faulty structural design and uneven foundations do it? Horrific. 

When we talk about buildings that lean, one specific structure comes to mind, The Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is part of the Pisa Cathedral and has become a charming tourist spot with millions of visitors annually. The Leaning Tower of Pisa has undergone straightening works and according to engineers, its future is secure for at least 2 centuries. 

Thanks to modern technology, the AEC sector has become more secure. We are now able to create 3D models of structures and analyze them to make informed decisions and have safety measures in place before beginning construction. 

Has technology eliminated the scope of errors in the AEC sector?

Today we can deploy technologies like LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and BIM into workflows for better decision-making, but does that mean construction sites are 100% secure? No. There is always the scope for human error. 

Call it a lapse in concentration or judgment, sometimes things go wrong, and the entire project is compromised. Firms find themselves dealing with a snowball of issues like increased resource and labor costs, missing deadlines, pressure from stakeholders and clients, and more. 

Such errors have led to the ‘slanting’ of a high-rise in densely populated New York City. We are talking about the leaning tower of NYC, a 60-story structure at 161 Maiden Lane

What is the leaning tower of New York City?

The tower in question at 161 Maiden Lane is a structure that is leaning 8 centimeters (3 inches) to the North. Why? Because of a faulty foundation, according to reports. The project is built overlooking the East River in downtown Manhattan. According to The B1M, apartments in this 204-meter-tall structure would range from USD 1 million to 7 million. Now, construction of the structure has halted, and it just stands there, facing scrutiny.

Foundations run deep underground and are built to provide a solid base for the building. The building’s contractor Pizzarotti claims that the developers, Fortis Property Group, did not use the appropriate method for laying down the foundations, and that caused it to settle unevenly during construction. 

On one hand, Pizzarotti says the building will continue to lean if the foundation isn’t fixed. On the other, developers acknowledge the ‘alignment issue’ but say it isn’t a cause for safety concern. The two parties are currently fighting it out in court!

While this goes on, we must turn our attention toward the importance of strong structural elements in a building.

Solid foundations below, solid structures above

Be it a small house or a skyscraper, it will need a solid foundation that will withstand its weight. Furthermore, a strong foundation goes a long way in protecting the building and its residents against nature’s wrath. 

Stability and Durability are 2 primary reasons why buildings need to have strong foundations.


The safety of residents is increased as a strong foundation provides stability. This is because it keeps the building standing straight and makes it capable of withstanding external forces such as wind, earthquakes, and floods.

A building with a weak foundation is at risk of, tilting and even collapsing during natural disasters. 


A weak foundation will affect the long-term durability of a building. Tenants might require spending bucks on frequent repairs and maintenance.

Furthermore, a strong foundation will also contribute to the energy efficiency of the building. There will be fewer air leaks and drafts, which can help to reduce heating and cooling costs.

Other than the base, the entire building is supposed to maintain a healthy distance from the ground. Faults in the structural elements will compromise the project and the safety of everyone involved in it. For this very reason, we must emphasize proper structural design and detailing of a building. 

Structural designing involves planning and analyzing materials that will be used in the construction of the building. Once everything is in place, firms can go ahead with the construction process and build a robust towering structure.

Choose to outsource your structural design needs

No matter what project the construction firm is working on, luxurious apartments or schools or cafes, they most likely will have a budget cap. In such cases, it makes more sense for them to look for cheaper design solutions so they can focus better on their core competencies. This is when construction firms must look at outsourcing their requirements.

Outsourcing has several benefits-

  • Cost saving.
  • Time saving.
  • Access to skilled personnel
  • Scalability.
  • Quality control.

Outsourcing structural designs, CAD designs, and utility distribution network maps is a great cost-cutting solution. The right CAD outsourcing partner will give you value for your money by delivering accurate and high-quality drawings.

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About Indovance

Indovance Inc  with its exclusive delivery hub in India is a global CAD technology partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. We focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free.

We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology. To deliver long-term engineering and business strategies, we align with your culture and processes to create an unbreakable partnership. With over 700 full-time employees and more than 500 customers in the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia, we are poised for the next level of success.

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For more queries regarding any of the above-mentioned topics, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com, or contact us on +1-919-238-4044.

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