A little bit of tilting is no big deal, right? Just ask the Leaning Tower of Pisa. At least, that’s what officials in Shanghai declared last week after a pair of 15-story high leaning buildings were declared perfectly safe for habitation. The apartment buildings were constructed in 2012 and since then, they have started to lean so much that they appear to be holding each other up. Officials checked the buildings out and despite cracks and crumbling concrete, the buildings were declared safe for habitation.
The buildings, located in Pudong New Area of Chuansha Town, were constructed to provide housing for people displaced by a new Disney resort. According to local regulations, a building can shift 200 millimeters before being unfit for habitation. These two towers have shifted 87.65 millimeters.
Part of the problem seems to be that the buildings were constructed too close together, on the same foundation. But the developer of the Xinyuan West Community project maintains that the buildings are sound. Shanghai Gas Co took a look at the structure’s gas supply lines and found those to be safe as well.
Building inspections did confirm that there are cracks in the building, something also reported by the residents living there. But one report states that these cracks were caused by expansion from a change in temperature. Chen Tong, head engineer for Xintuan Real Estate, told the Shanghai Daily that only the decorative parts of the structure were damaged but inhabitants are perfectly safe.