The use of reflective glass curtain walls will be banned in apartment, hospital, school, kindergarten and nursing home structures that have two stories or more, a local construction official said in Shanghai on Tuesday, citing safety concerns.
"Cracking and dropping glass curtain walls have become a hidden danger for urban residents. The problem of their reflection is also outstanding," said Shen Xiaosu, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Urban-Rural Construction and Transportation Committee.
Shanghai currently has 4,210 buildings using glass curtain walls, of which 475 have reported safety problems, he said.
"Some of the buildings have entered an aging period, with their ironware rusted and twisted, sealing strips cracked, and bearing carriers loosened. Accidents, like dropping glass curtain walls, have taken place many times over recent years, posing a prominent safety issue," he said.
Therefore, construction authorities have drawn up a new regulation to restrict the use of reflective glass curtain walls to ensure public safety. The regulation has been approved by the municipal government and will take effect Wednesday, he said.
According to the regulation, reflective glass curtain walls will also not be allowed in buildings that directly face the straight section of "T-shaped" crossroads.
Moreover, the use of such walls will be restricted in buildings that are situated beside a street or in areas with heavy human traffic.
"The construction and housing authorities will launch a general overhaul of the city's glass curtain walls by the end of March to check their quality and ensure timely maintenance," Shen said.