CANARY WHARF, Britain's tallest building, would not have collapsed if it had been hit by a plane, according to its structural designer.
'Canary Wharf has a high degree of structural redundancy.
The building would not collapse, ' said Waterman managing director Bob Campbell.
He said the London skyscraper was not designed specifically for impact from aircraft but that that it 'was very robust with a high degree of structural redundancy.
'On the faþade you could take out two columns without a detrimental effect, ' he added. But Campbell pointed out that the 55 storey 244m building is not as tall as the World Trade Center towers.
Campbell said that fire protection measures and structural codes governing skyscrapers are likely to be revisited after the attacks.
WS Atkins director and head of structural engineering Mike Otlet agreed. 'I am sure we will now go back to designing structures with more structural redundancy. In the UK you design for the loss of a critical or a limited number of critical elements. After this, we may be designing for the loss of more columns, ' said Otlet.
But this would not mean a massive increase to the cost of buildings. 'The structure accounts for around 20% of the cost of a building and a lot of structure is in the ground. So extra redundancy in the superstructure is not a big issue of cost, ' said Otlet.