Unsafe floors in Dutch Ministry buildings: report

The towers that house the Ministries of Home Affairs and Justice and Security on Turfmarkt in The Hague
The towers that house the Ministries of Home Affairs and Justice and Security on Turfmarkt in The Hague. Photo: Ben Bender / Wikimedia Commons

Civil servants in the Ministries of Home Affairs and Justice and Security are no longer allowed to meet in large groups in some places in the office building due to unreliable floor construction. The employees working in the two towers on Turfmarkt in The Hague were informed that 'floor walkers' will supervise this ban on assembly, NRC reports.

This Ministry building was opened in 2013. According to NRC, 14 rooms and 110 workplaces in the towers were closed over recent weeks. Despite these measures, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs told the newspaper that the building is "absolutely safe".

In addition to the two towers on Turfmarkt, other government buildings in The Hague, and , may also be unsafe due to unreliable floor construction. This problem came to light when a. The same was used in all the buildings.

The involved construction method is called wide-slab construction. It involves relatively thin concrete slabs produced in a factory, that then get a thick layer of concrete poured over it at the site. The concrete slabs are supposed to have a rough top, so that the poured concrete binds to it properly. The slabs used in the Eindhoven Airport parking garage were smooth, which meant that the poured over concrete did not bind well to it, causing the collapse. 

In September 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs for the possible use of this method of floor construction. That inspection is still ongoing. 

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