Rumors of salt in concrete sand in Shenzhen buildings

In September 2011, it was reported there were concerns of an increase in steel thinning across China. Zhengzhou and Shaanxi Province were two of the regions highlighted in the piece but the rumors that manufacturers of steel reinforcement rods were stretching their materials to greater lengths to maximise profits regardless of the ramifications to the structural stability of the buildings they would be used in reached much wider.

In March 2013, reports emerged that ‘inspections by state officials have found raw, unprocessed sea sand in at least 15 buildings under construction in Shenzhen, including a building which, when finished, was set to become China’s tallest’. However a notice on Shenzhen’s Housing and Construction Bureau’s website on 18 March stated that a document posted that day had been false in its claims that a number of residential buildings under construction in the city had been found to be using concrete made with sea sand.

The use of sea sand in the production of concrete is considered dangerous as the material contains chlorine and salt which can corrode the steel reinforcement rods within a construction project, rendering it unstable. Sand from freshwater rivers should therefore be used instead.

There are scores of case studies where construction projects which utilise this budget material have either collapsed or been rendered unsafe.

Shanghai Tower Still Proceeding

The Shanghai Tower, which is under construction in the city’s Pudong district, has reached 501.3 meters with the completion of its 108th floor, the building’s contractor said on April 11.

Photo taken on April 11, 2013 shows the Shanghai Tower (R) under construction in east China’s Shanghai Municipality. The height of the Shanghai Tower, which is still under construction, reached 501.3 meters Thursday, surpassing the neighbouring Jinmao Tower and the World Financial Center. The designed height of the Shanghai Tower will be 632 meters, the tallest skyscraper in China. (Xinhua/Pei Xin)

Poised to become China’s tallest skyscraper, the tower will be 632 meters in height when completed in December 2014, and will be the world’s second-tallest building after the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.

“This is the first time a tower weighing 850,000 tons is built on a soft soil foundation,” he said in the news conference. “A total of 270 wind-driven generators will be installed on the 570m-high 124th floor, which will be the world’s highest wind generators. ”

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