Cracks in Lotte’s tower to be tested by Seoul

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Cracks in Lotte’s tower to be tested by Seoul


Despite recent alarms over safety, construction on the Lotte World Tower in Jamsil, southern Seoul, was continuing as of Sunday. A construction inspection company raised issues with cracks (inset) found in the main columns of the building, which, when completed, will be the tallest building in Korea. The company says construction is safe. By Oh Jong-taek

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said yesterday it will conduct a detailed safety check on the 555-meter (1,820-foot), 123-story Lotte World Tower being built in Songpa District, southern Seoul.

On Monday, the JoongAng Ilbo exclusively reported that 11 large cracks, visible to the naked eye, have developed on eight mega-columns that will support most of the weight of the skyscraper, which will be the tallest building in Korea when completed.

The mega-columns are now 17 stories high and cracks were found on the 5th, 8th and 9th floors.

After the problem was first reported by the JoongAng Daily, the municipal government sent three specialists to the site including Lee Soo-kwon, an architecture professor from Dongyang Mirae University, and a member of the construction management committee of the city government on Monday. The government said experts checked the columns visually and suggested a precision safety diagnosis to determine the cause of the cracks. Builder Lotte E&C agreed to conduct it.

“We judge that the cracks on the mega-columns are not serious because the thickness of those columns are about 3.3 meters and those cracks are about seven centimeters long,” Professor Lee said. “The builder doesn’t have to stop construction but we must conduct a diagnosis to find the cause.”

Lotte E&C said heat generated by welding work for frames on the columns caused the cracks. It conducted an inspection Monday with construction experts from Lotte E&C and Hanmi Global, an inspection company, and Seoul National University architecture professor Park Hong-geun.

By Lee Jeong-bong, Kwon Sang-soo []
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