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Following Court decisions in a number of recent cases-notably Anns v. London Borough of Merton-the period of time during which a chartered structural engineer could find himself answerable in tort on a charge of negligence appears to have been stretched to infinity. Although this ‘beyond the grave’ responsibility has not been tested, there can be no doubt that the current state of the law in this respect is, to say the least, uncertain.
Engineers working in the building and construction industries have always had to be aware of and take precautions against, the potential aggressiveness of soil contaminants such assulphates to the materials they use. They also need to be actively concerned about possible hazards to site investigation teams and to construction workers (the construction industry is always a high-risk industry), and to the environment, e.g. movement of contaminated materials may cause water pollution, etc. The presence of contaminants may also circumscribe solutions to engineering problems such as the choice of methods of ground improvement or selection of foundation designs. M.A. Smith
The design and reconstruction of the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is discussed. Fire and earthquakes had caused progressive deterioration since 1927, to the 100-year-old structure. It was originally built by the Russians, using prefabricated wrought-iron arches which supported inner and outer mortar shells, the latter being lead covered. I.H. Reith