Shanghai Daily is reporting what might just be the most disturbing bit of public safety news so far this summer: Shanghai’s skyscraper windows have started cracking and crashing to the ground. We’re not sure how we missed this, but three separate incidents happened on the same day last month, causing the city to review regulations concerning high-rise glass maintenance. As it turns out, there are none.
Somehow so far the only victims have been cars, but this problem has the makings for a pretty gruesome headline. Glass panes as big as 3 meters by 1.5 meters have fallen and dented cars or shattered windows. And in case you forgot, Shanghai has A LOT of skyscrapers, and as many as 5,000 of them have glass-clad walls.
From Shanghai Daily:
Ren Xianzheng, a local government advisor and member of an expert team who has just completed a public safety inspection citywide, said they had seen “alarming” safety loopholes with the glass walls on many aged high-rises.
“Some glass walls have obvious cracking marks but none of the property managers seems to be alarmed,” Ren said.
Such glass walls should be completely renovated or replaced after 25 years in service, according to architectural experts.
But building developers and constructors are not legally required to perform periodic safety checks on glass walls and other exterior decorations, under current regulations.
Local experts are warning that we should all “watch out for ‘glass bombs’ dropping from high-rises” this summer as heat is likely to increase the risk of aged glass attacking us from above. Just exactly how we should do this remains a mystery, but for the time being we plan either move to the French Concession or convert to full-time parasol use.