Construction Firm Apologizes as One of Its Building Proves Unstable

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Several residents of a Yokohama apartment building were dismayed to find that the structure was unsafe, prompting an in person apology from the construction company that built it.

Asahi Kasei Construction Materials president Tomihiro Maeda accepted blame for the building’s structural flaws and pledged to check the foundations of the 3,000 other complexes his company had worked on, and report the findings later this month.

According to an article in Nikkei the building’s tenants recently discovered that the block of condominiums’ foundation piles – the steel or concrete posts driven into the ground to support it – had not been pushed deep enough to support the building. The residents were prompted to check the foundation because its work was so subpar that it had caused the structure to lean.

A Bloomberg article said that the building’s developer, Mitsui Fudosan Co. is weighing several options to amend the issue. One solution may be to rebuild the structure entirely. An alternative would be to buy the building back at a price higher than what it was sold. This issue is not without precedent – both Mitsubishi Estates and Sekisui House Ltd. rebuilt structures in 2014 because of similarly off kilter defects, the latter doing so because its building not only had inadequate piles, but was missing several of those posts.

–Kyle Mullin

Image: gullevek/Flickr, used under CC

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