Fortunately it rarely happens, but when wall panels come loose the consequences can be severe. TNO both investigates accidents after they have happened, and analyses existing external walls with a view to prevention. We advise on maintenance after studying the case files and performing a site inspection. We incorporate the lessons learned into improved design guidelines for wall cladding. This is another TNO contribution to safe constructions.
Many high-rise buildings have external walls of glass, metal or natural stone panels. Things sometimes go wrong despite design guidelines that specify how to anchor the panels to the wall. The damage can be substantial, and when it happens, building managers approach TNO. TNO then performs a site inspection and scrutinises the existing drawings and calculations, before advising on any structural measures and maintenance. A common recommendation is to drill additional anchorage holes, and TNO supplies all the necessary structural details.
TNO uses the same approach when performing risk assessments for undamaged external walls. We give specific recommendations for timely intervention before it is too late.
We use the results of damage investigations in refining the design guidelines for the most common types of wall panel. Better design means fewer accidents.