Just sling the bricks up, no-one will notice!


One of the last projects I was involved with was a very sensitive construction & building site just south of the Thames, right in the centre of London. I was involved with main mechanical and electrical installations of this project, but I also had to learn a great deal about civil engineering as well; as I found out that the Main Contractor was trying to slip by all kinds of; not exactly shoddy workmanship, but ways to make thing easier and of course cheaper whilst the building progressed. A case in point was their approach to the building of the outer walls, which were to be a feature of the building, as the outer walls were all expensive face brickwork, close to blockwork as the inside main building material, and tied securely to the inner blockwork by means of strictly-regulated ties, of either flat plate or sturdy twisted-wire stainless-steel construction. I can tell you that, once I studied the actual design, and viewed the extent of complete work; I made them take down twenty-odd yards of six-block-high inner blockwork; and then ensure that the correct ties were in place before the blockwork was reinstated. Time and time again, through constant reminders to do the job correctly, I made the Contractor live up to the Specification, because without my presence, there would have been no concrete ‘slump’ inspections before the concrete was pumped out of the mixer truck; for just one example. I also ensured that shoddy work was simply not tolerated on the roof steelwork, thus earning myself the title of ‘that bearded Resident Engineering bastard from the Consultants’.
So you can understand why I highlight this report on the disgraceful standards of workmanship and a complete lack of inspection prevalent at 17 schools in Edinburgh. Ignore the fact that they were built under PFI and PPI contracts, just concentrate on the fact that there were probably no independent Engineers or Inspectors on site, because we are, and were, expensive!

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