The structural steel columns holding up Glasgow’s Red Road towers have been listed as one of the reasons why two of the buildings remained standing even after being ‘demolished’ with explosives.
Ahead of their demolition, the towers had already made headlines after it was revealed that the organisers of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games planned to schedule their destruction to coincide with the Opening Ceremony of the event.
This was inspired as an example of change and of looking to the future – but was eventually dropped amid concerns that it was insensitive to those who had lived in the flats.
Ultimately this proved a wise decision as, when the towers were demolished on October 11th 2015, two fell only slightly toward the ground before resting on their still-intact upper floors, albeit at a slight tilt.
Following an inquiry into what went wrong, a report noted that the structural steel columns used in the construction of the towers were less likely to collapse under the weight of debris from above than if they had been made of concrete.
In addition to this, there was evidence that the particular steel columns used were not of the exact size marked on the original plans for the towers – meaning that the calculations of how much explosive was needed to level them could not be 100% accurate.
Both 10 Red Road Court and 123 Petershill Drive remained upright to a significant extent, prompting a lengthy consideration of how to level the remaining floors.
However, there was no additional danger to nearby residents – and in the end, long-reach equipment was used to bring down the remainder of the structures, with no further need for explosives or for evacuation of the people living nearby.
The land will now be turned into an open public green space until any future plans for redevelopment are approved.