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'Cheesegrater' Bolts Raise Concern

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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Two bolts the size of a human arm have fallen off London's brand-new skyscraper, sending engineers scrambling to inspect thousands of others on the structure.

The broken bolts on the 47-story Leadenhall Building (known locally as the "Cheesegrater") prompted developers to block off the building's base from pedestrians and launch an investigation.

Leadenhall building
tbmurray / Creative Commons

Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the Leadenhall Building features a sloped shape designed to preserve views of the St. Paul's Cathedral.

The action follows two mishaps last week. On Wednesday (Nov. 5), a bolt came unfastened and a portion fell from the fifth floor into a hoarding area below, reports say. No one was injured.

Earlier in the week, a part of another bolt reportedly broke away and landed within the building.

The bolts connect the nodes on the megaframe and were reportedly the size of a human arm.

Investigation Launched

Developer British Land offered reassurance after the incidents.

The “design of the structure allows for isolated incidents of this type,” the company said.

In a statement, the developer announced that it had cordoned off the area around the building as a precaution, saying there was “no risk to the structural integrity of the building.”

The company has enlisted structural engineers Arup and contractor Laing O’Rourke to investigate the building’s remaining bolts. It has also notified the city’s Building Control Department.

Cheesegrater’ Building

Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the Leadenhall Building stands at 734 feet, the tallest structure in the city. It opened in September after almost three years of construction.

The tapered glass-clad tower features a slope shape, designed to preserve views of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Its shape has inspired the nickname “The Cheesegrater Building.”

The architect has not issued a comment on the incident.


Tagged categories: Commercial Buildings; Commercial Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Europe; Health and safety; Program/Project Management; Steel

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (11/12/2014, 8:13 AM)

If the bolts actually broke - that's a big concern to me. Definitely need to figure out what's going on and fix it. On the other hand, I have seen numerous unused bolts just left sitting forgotten on a flange or other handy ledge by contractors.

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