30 Construction Fails That Might Make You Both Laugh And Cry (New Pics)
Constructing a building is no small feat. It takes lots of planning, lots of manpower, and can be quite costly. In fact, putting together any sort of structure is a challenge that not everyone can excel in. So, in a way, it’s no surprise that people make mistakes, it’s only natural. However, laughing at those mistakes is also as natural, if not more so.
The people responsible for the list below definitely made mistakes. Whether they were constructing, designing, installing, improving, or in any other way working on a construction, they didn’t do it right. More precisely, they failed. In some cases, majorly. And the people from the Facebook group Worst Construction Fails Everrrrrr kindly compiled all of those failures into one big list of laugh-out-loud construction comedy. So, get those safety goggles on, because you might be blown away by the sheer lack of competence.
If you think people started cutting corners during construction in the last century or so, you are awfully mistaken. Back in 27 AD, as in, almost 2,000 years ago, a wooden amphitheater collapsed in Fidenae, near Rome. It happened after the gladiator fight ban was lifted and more than 50,000 people flocked to the theatre to see one.
Atilius, the entrepreneur that constructed the building, apparently was a bit too stingy with materials which caused a tragedy that resulted in 20,000 deaths and many more injuries. After the collapse, the government limited event hosting to people that had a capital of 400,000 coins or more. To this day, this is the worst structural disaster in history.
Clever, Really Clever
The most famous construction failure that attracts millions of tourists each year is, of course, the captivating Leaning Tower of Pisa. The project was doomed from the beginning in 1178 when it was decided that a 10-feet foundation built on unstable soil will be sufficient enough to hold the whole construction. No wonder the tower started leaning the moment they began working on the second floor.
But they didn’t abandon the project. Instead, they took a 55-year break to let the soil settle and continued working on it. Talk about determination. In an effort to compensate for the lean, they adjusted the walls of the upper floors to be taller on one side. That is why the tower has a slight curve. The tower was finished in 1372 or 194 years after the beginning of the project.
And the trouble, of course, didn’t end there. For years following the construction, people made numerous efforts to keep the tower from falling over. Many didn’t make any improvements while some even worsened the situation. In the end, the stabilization project conducted from 1990 to 2001 was successful. The engineers claim that the tower should stand for another 200 years.
Ironically, the soft foundations that caused for the tower to lean protected it from earthquake damage. The tower withstood strong tremors at least four times.
I Hope There Is Never A Fire At This Place
Another structure that suffered due to cutting costs was Tacoma Narrows Bridge that collapsed in 1940, just four months after it was opened to public use. The original design of the bridge intended the use of standard materials. However, they were proven to be too expensive, costing more than 200 million dollars in today’s money. So, a lighter and cheaper option was chosen instead. Unfortunately, this made the suspension bridge twist and buckle on windy days. On November 7th, a 40mph wind hit the structure causing the support cables to snap, and for the bridge to drop into the river below.
Closed Means Closed
A rather hilarious construction failure happened in Las Vegas hotel Vdara back in 2010. This time, the fail was related to hotel’s design. The surface of the curved south side of the building reflected the sunlight into one intense beam of light and heat creating what people started calling a “death ray.” And, so it happens, this death ray was hitting the pool deck of the building, alarming the guests. The hotel rushed to solve the problem by installing large umbrellas by the pool and covering the glass with non-reflective film.
What makes the previous story even funnier, though, is that the same architect made a similar “death ray” building across the pond, in London. The surface of the so-called “Walkie-Talkie” sky scraper would reflect the scorching light to the nearby street causing tile breakage and melting plastic in window displays. The heat also caused damage to a car parked on the street nearby. The journalists looking into this bizarre occurrence even managed to fry an egg on the sidewalk using the heat.
I Saw Lots Of Those, My God
All that is to say that even professionals make mistakes. So, if there’s something important in your house that needs fixing or remodeling, maybe don’t attempt to do it yourself—it’s hard. And thoroughly vet the professionals you’re hiring. No one needs another door that leads to nowhere.