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Poznań, Pod Lipami housing estate. The roof of the hall collapsed during the storm. There is an application to punish designers

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In June – during a storm – a part of the roof of the sports hall collapsed at a school in the Pod Lipami estate in Poznań. The County Building Supervision Inspector is now applying for professional consequences against four designers. The prosecutor’s office is still investigating.

During a violent storm that swept over Poznań in June, there was a construction disaster. The roof of the sports hall at the school collapsed in the Pod Lipami estate. As emphasized by the Greater Poland police at the time, thanks to the quick reaction of the headmistress of the facility, all students were evacuated on time.

A fragment of the roof above the gymnasium of the School Complex with Sports Departments No. 1, commissioned in 2020, was destroyed.


“Such solutions were used already several hundred years ago”

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In June, the Poviat Building Supervision Inspector in Poznań imposed on the hall manager the obligation to present an expert opinion on whether the roof was properly designed and made. This one was prepared by experts from the Poznań University of Technology and it was submitted to PINB in ​​August. – This expert opinion shows that the cause of the construction disaster was the accumulation of three factors: extremely unfavorable weather conditions, an evident design error and an execution error – said TVN24 Paweł Łukaszewski, Poviat Building Supervision Inspector in Poznań.

As he pointed out then, one of the mistakes was that it was not foreseen emergency transfers. – It is worth noting that the attic, i.e. a wall about 30 centimeters high, surrounds the entire gymnasium. If there are no openings in this attic, a water reservoir has been created in a sense. This is a matter of obvious construction art. This should be in the design. Several hundred years ago, such solutions were popularly called gargoyles. These emergency transfers are commonly used, said the inspector.

Punishment requests

And he announced that he would apply for professional consequences for those responsible for this state of affairs. So it happened.

– I sent four applications to the appropriate chambers of professional self-government – says Łukaszewski.

Two applications were submitted to the Wielkopolska Regional Chamber of Civil Engineers. They concern the holding to professional liability of two designers responsible for the preparation of the original design. – They did not take into account the emergency water collection system in a situation where the intensity of rainfall would be huge, as it was – he explains.

They are the ones in the attic – on the edge at the edge of the roof – they have not provided any openings allowing for emergency drainage of rainwater.

Łukaszewski directed the next two applications to the West Pomeranian Chamber of Civil Engineers. They concern design errors that were to be made by designers-constructors. – The detailed design has changed the structural system of the facility – he says.

It’s about how the roof is made. ‘Full trusses were originally planned, but this design included a different truss system, they were open and incomplete,’ he explains.

According to Łukaszewski, the designers did not take into account the conditions and loads that these trusses were able to bear. – They should carry much more weight – he explains. The roof of the hall collapsed precisely because the structure was overloaded.

The spokesman will decide what to do next

The Poviat Building Supervision Inspector filed motions to initiate proceedings, which will now go to the professional liability ombudsman, ie the “quasi prosecutor” of this chamber. This will determine the fate of these applications. If he deems them justified, he will refer the case to a disciplinary court.

If he finds the designers guilty, he can punish them in one of three ways: they may receive a reprimand, a warning with the obligation to repeat the building qualification exam, or they may be temporarily withdrawn from building permits for a period of one to even five years, with the obligation to repeat examination for building qualifications.

Investigators are investigating the case

The prosecutor’s office is also investigating the circumstances of the June incident. The procedure concerns an event that threatens the life and health of many people, as well as property of great size. – There are activities carried out all the time in the case. Already a lot of material has been collected. Several witnesses were heard. These are, among others, teachers from this school, building conservator, persons responsible for construction supervision during this investment. A very extensive design and construction documentation has already been collected – said Łukasz Wawrzyniak, spokesman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Poznań in mid-August.

All these documents are constantly analyzed. So far, the proceedings are being conducted in the case, no charges have been brought against anyone. According to the penal code, many people are exposed to the risk of loss of health or life, punishable by imprisonment from one to ten years.

The hall is to be ready in a year

After receiving the expertise made by experts from the Poznań University of Technology, Łukaszewski ordered the management to demolish the part of the hall that had suffered a construction disaster.

– The principal of the school, as the administrator, will have to commission the technical assessment of all remaining girders. You need to check the technical condition of these other elements. And we already know that there were mistakes – said Łukaszewski in mid-August.

When all the girders are checked, it will be left to commission a project to strengthen the entire structure. – It will be necessary to strengthen all the girders. I am convinced of that, added the inspector.

According to the school management, the hall should be ready by the beginning of the next school year. – I have assurance that it will be possible to do it within a year – announced the headmistress of the school Danuta Mikołajczak at the end of August.

Main photo source: TVN24

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