Waterproofing Failures - Architects, Engineers or Contractors, who is responsible?


UAE witnessed significant infrastructural damages, after a storm ripped through the country in early march. The GEMS American Academy School in Abu Dhabi lost its facades, while Danube metro station was flooded due to this storm. The capital emirate was prompt enough to announce the formulation of new regulations for infrastructures projects, to allow greater resilience against harsh weather conditions.

However; the storm and the damages, raised quite a lot of questions on infrastructure waterproofing. Locals are of the opinion that Dubai Municipal Corporation should hire experienced and expert BIM consultants, who can further explain Land Surveyors, Architectural Design Firms, MEP Contractors, General Contractors, Sub-Contractors, about the standards and material required to meet sustainable waterproofing.

We all know that natural conditions including thermal, climate, wind, water and many more have their impact on a building’s life cycle. All these make it more mandatory for water proofing solutions to be sturdy yet elastic, weatherproof and most importantly resilient to natural, industrial and polluted atmosphere. Waterproofing is expected to be strong as long as building stands. But once waterproofing is damaged, the impact in form of cost and damaged it has on the facility, is unexplainable. The cost of mending it again is twice the cost of waterproofing.

Causes for the failure of waterproofing and who is responsible?

Errors in architectural designs: In any of the building construction or infrastructure projects, the 2D drawing or 2D draft is the one that you may find with too many lines, making unusual intersections or let’s say elaborate detailing. The trend has been that designers are charged guilty, for leaving these important junctions to the will of a contractor.

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