DCN ARCHIVES

February 17, 2006

Architects blame shoddy standards

WARSAW, Poland

Members of Poland’s National Chamber of Architects criticized a recent spate of similar collapses, saying lower building standards are to blame for shoddy construction.

“In general, the attitude in regulations is that low price takes precedence over the quality of projects and of construction itself,” architect Jerzy Szczepanik-Dzikowski said.

No official reason has been given for the Jan. 28 collapse of the exhibition hall in Katowice injuring at least 160 people. Authorities believe a thick layer of ice and snow could have played a role. Prosecutors have launched an investigation.

Since 2003, about 20 accidents related to faulty design have been registered in Poland each year, compared to an average of three in the preceding years, Szczepanik-Dzikowski said. The chamber urged authorities to raise standards for the construction of new buildings.

Associated Press

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