Sandra Gusta


Our modern society insists on the countryside reaching into the city. To make the urban environment more beautiful we make green roofs and improve the backyards by designing children’s playgrounds and organizing recreational zones. We create a sustainable environment for future generations to have a comfortable life. However, one must not forget that the attractive green roofs of buildings are serious engineered structures. First and foremost the safety issues have to be taken into consideration during the construction and operation stages. On November 21, 2013 Maxima shopping center’s roof collapsed in Riga, Latvia causing 54 deaths and creating international news. The collapse of the supermarket in the Latvian capital Riga has been described as "murder", by the country's president Andris Berzins. It is the deadliest disaster in Latvia since it regained independence in 1991. The causes of the collapse need to be studied in detail. This report is the authors’ independent attempt to find the cause based on photographic evidence and literature observes. This article is based on a study conducted by the students and teachers of Latvia University of Agriculture. The article provides the reasons for this tragedy basing on the analysis. The author considers that the tragedy was the result of the coincidence of circumstances caused by mistakes in the calculation of building structures.

Keywords: durability of constructions, Maxima shopping centre, roof collapse, safety.

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