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Tallest remaining Ronan Point-style block to be demolished due to structural concerns

Wednesday 14 March 2018

During the Second World War roughly a quarter of the housing in West Ham was destroyed by Nazi bombing raids. If any houses did survive this they were in a very poor condition and did not have many modern amenities.

The high-rise apartments that were built post World War Two were there to replace the housing destroyed. The Ronan Point tower was part of this new popular high rise apartment building trend. This new method of pre-fabricated construction used meant that these new apartments could hold larger numbers of people, could be constructed quickly and would save on both labour and land costs. The Ronan Point apartment block was the second of nine identical blocks constructed. It was twenty two stories tall, with 110 apartments in the building; each floor having five. It took less than two years to complete and in less than three months it was almost at full capacity. A south-eastern corner of the tower collapsed in 1968 initiated by a gas stove leak on the eighteenth floor of apartment ninety. This collapse was due to its lack of structural redundancy; there were no alternative load paths for the upper floors if any of the lower floors were to give way. This section was re-built but due to lingering concerns over the building’s structural integrity it was demolished in 1986. Due to the poor workmanship in the building it had to be demolished floor by floor.
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