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Tankshal ni Masjid: Site - A New Challenge, A New Experience

"Such unexpected hurdles teach important lessons and help in ordaining future decisions."

The first site school at Tankshal ni Pol Masjid is located amidst a busy and narrow commercial lane in the historic city of Ahmedabad. The core structure of the mosque is stable while the extension presently lies in a feeble condition. The foremost action was to safeguard the site in order to provide secure accessibility. Mr Mehul Shah, our structural consultant, visited the site and guided the process of shoring. Due to the vulnerable condition of the extended area (on the right side of the main structure) and the parapet wall on the first floor, a detailed assessment of this particular area was not possible. The first floor of the extended residential portion of the mosque housed a leaning parapet wall in a dangerous condition and on the verge of collapse. The first step was to carefully dismantle the parapet wall making sure the storage of bricks for reuse and conduct various tests on the building material obtained from this part. Being a civil engineer, I oversaw the execution of strutting and shoring while making sure the site workers refrain from overexerting their strength in the process of dismantling the wall. We barricaded the entire area and temporarily stopped the movement of vehicles within the lane. Keeping in mind the danger of this execution, our team was equipped with helmets, safety belts, shoes, protective eyewear and gloves as their safety gear. H-frames were erected to carefully dismantle this leaning parapet wall. As we commenced the dismantling process, we noticed that the partition wall on the first floor had collapsed and was creating additional dead weight on the slab. In order to remove this dead weight on the already sagging floor, we started jacking the first-floor slab. While supporting the first-floor slab we were extremely careful to avoid excessive vibrations or camber the joists. During the jacking process, even the slightest vibration affected the weak parapet wall. In due course, the parapet wall was the first to come down. During this process, utmost care was taken for the safety of our site workers. Such unexpected hurdles teach us important lessons and help us in ordaining future decisions. Since the external wall was now free from this counterweight, we provided raking shores to the first-floor wall and the external wall of the structure which are presently stable. These elements are planned to be systematically dismantled once the site’s 3D scanning is completed.

25th December 2021


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