14% of buildings at structural risk

14% of buildings at structural risk
Updated 21 July 2013

14% of buildings at structural risk

14% of buildings at structural risk

The structural integrity of 14 percent of the residential and government buildings in the Kingdom have exceeded their lifespan, according to General Secretary of Saudi Umran Society Khalid Al-Taiash.
Al-Taiash confirmed that the life of some buildings of government entities exceeded 50 years despite some adjustments and renovation work in the buildings.
He said buildings in central regions are able to withstand aging more than buildings in the western and eastern regions, as salt and water leakage lead to the corrosion of reinforced concrete buildings, which reduces the life span of the buildings. Reinforced concrete buildings in more arid regions are capable of resisting erosion for longer periods, he said.
He stated that the city of Riyadh has been witnessing a mega urban expansion in the last 40 years but the lifespan of the majority of buildings in Riyadh does not exceed 30 years.
The scientific research confirmed that the lifespan of the buildings is 50 years old unless exposed to salt or water leaks, Al-Taiash said.
Al-Taiash said there are various factors that prolong the lifespan of buildings, such as the regular maintenance and the use of stone. Using stone instead of reinforced concrete can extend the life of a building considerably.
He said maintenance workers in Saudi Arabia are not qualified and the majority of people who work in maintenance are expatriates who have neither the skills nor the tools. They picked up maintenance work through working here in Saudi Arabia. Al-Taiash said maintenance specialists in Saudi Arabia are very expensive.
In Europe, no one can work in maintenance before getting a license that enables him to work in buildings, he said.