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Falling glass at the ASIO HQ

By johnboy 6 March 2012 41

The Canberra Times has a story on a major construction failure on Prinz-Albrecht-Street, no wait, Constitution Avenue where the new ASIO headquarters building has had some trouble:

A spokeswoman for the Department said 19 glass panels, measuring 3.8 metres by 1.7 metres, cracked and disintegrated more than a week ago.

The spokeswoman said the panels from the facade above the main entry on Constitution Avenue ”progressively failed” from about midday on February 24.

”The panels had not yet been permanently fixed to the building,” she said.

”Workers in the vicinity were evacuated before the first panel failed and the area was cordoned off. No one was injured.”

She said an investigation was underway into why the glass panels, each of which cost about $3500, had fallen off the building and how builders would prevent the other panels lining the building falling.

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Falling glass at the ASIO HQ
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LSWCHP 11:40 pm 07 Mar 12

Reading this again, I’ve just noted the price of the glass panel at $3500. I drive past this vile building every day, and to it seems to be covered with literally thousands of glass panels about that size. The cost of all those glass windows must be multiple millions of dollars.

Your taxpayer dollar at work, I guess. 🙁

LSWCHP 11:00 pm 07 Mar 12

poetix said :

Thank God there was no vital secret stuff happening inside; how would Australia survive?

‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.’
1 Corinthians 13:12

Poetix, that’s nice work. The “see through a glass, darkly” line is one of my alltime faves from the bible.

Bramina 7:57 pm 07 Mar 12

p1 said :

harvyk1 said :

I’d say that building is simply a front entrance to the secret bunker they have hiding under the lake… 🙂

You mean THIS secret bunker?

Nice map

p1 10:09 am 07 Mar 12

harvyk1 said :

I’d say that building is simply a front entrance to the secret bunker they have hiding under the lake… 🙂

You mean THIS secret bunker?

harvyk1 9:04 am 07 Mar 12

Bramina said :

If they wanted a secret building, perhaps they shouldn’t have built a huge obnoxious building smack bang on one of Canberra’s major arterial roads.

I guess position is more important than discretion.

I’d say that building is simply a front entrance to the secret bunker they have hiding under the lake… 🙂

(Said with tongue firmly in cheek)

Bramina 10:40 pm 06 Mar 12

If they wanted a secret building, perhaps they shouldn’t have built a huge obnoxious building smack bang on one of Canberra’s major arterial roads.

I guess position is more important than discretion.

p1 8:17 pm 06 Mar 12

johnboy said :

You do wonder with such a prominent frontage how they’ll stop someone bouncing laser eavesdropping gear off it though.

I assume that is negated when the Get Smart style cones of silence are lowered.

Grail said :

dungfungus said :

A likely cause is harmonic distortion which can be triggered by events outside the building (passing aircraft for example)

A more likely cause is the glass not being affixed to the building properly. Little things like not cleaning and curing the concrete before gluing the glass in place, will lead to the glass falling off quite firmly attached to the dust it was glued to.

The Caroline Chisolm Centre has problems with falling glass too. Seems that builders in Canberra have a hard time following the instructions from the architect and glazier about preparation and installation of transparent guillotines.

I am amazed at the stories I hear from friends in the building industry about the standards of workmanship.

Grail 8:08 pm 06 Mar 12

dungfungus said :

A likely cause is harmonic distortion which can be triggered by events outside the building (passing aircraft for example)

A more likely cause is the glass not being affixed to the building properly. Little things like not cleaning and curing the concrete before gluing the glass in place, will lead to the glass falling off quite firmly attached to the dust it was glued to.

The Caroline Chisolm Centre has problems with falling glass too. Seems that builders in Canberra have a hard time following the instructions from the architect and glazier about preparation and installation of transparent guillotines.

farnarkler 7:08 pm 06 Mar 12

Johnboy we got told about that at our DFAT security briefing……………….in 1995. There are DIY ones out there these days.

Surely the designers wouldn’t be that stupid would they???

Deref 6:28 pm 06 Mar 12

IT’S THE TERRISTS!!

THANK JEHOVA FOR ASIO!

Disinformation 5:07 pm 06 Mar 12

If it was armoured glass, chances are even ASIO wouldn’t be able to afford that building.
P.S. Glass doesn’t do much in terms of stopping electronic eavesdropping. It’s the faraday cage behind it.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 5:02 pm 06 Mar 12

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

johnboy said :

shirty_bear said :

When I commuted past this morning, there was a Channel 9 cameraman on the median strip pointing his camera straight at said building. Wasn’t there a security kerfuffle about people taking photos there not so long ago?

The rules for the easily bullied are not the same

I’d have thought taking photos from the street would hardly be an issue. You can look at it with your eyes, why not through a camera?

Got around that one….. When security moves you on for taking photos, just say you have a photographic memory.

Or, just never take any orders from a security guard, the have no authority, no matter how rude they act towards you.

harvyk1 4:28 pm 06 Mar 12

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

I wonder if they’ll have an open day when its all completed?

yes, complete with free tiny little thumbnail size electronic devices for all who attend to take home as a keepsake. There will also be free classes instructing how to fit said electronic device in a room for optimum surveilla….. I mean “feng shui”.

c_c 4:20 pm 06 Mar 12

Very curious that the glass could break at all without significant shock/impact.
I’m just assuming here that at the very least, this glass would have been specialist and quite robust, built to prevent electronic eavesdropping like the glass on the RG Casey Building.
GIven the street frontage and how much glass there is, I would have though it quite likely to it would be armoured glass: http://www.viridianglass.com/Products/bomb-and-blast-guard/default.aspx?ProductType=Specifier

Should be able to stand up to a worst case scenario, I’d be checking every sheet installed.

HenryBG 4:00 pm 06 Mar 12

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

I’m no architect…but I was wondering could the building have shifted or twisted. Remember the Silverton Center in Civic?

What with all this rain. Also I’m not sure how glass can shatter when not permanently fixed.

Depends on what it was impermanently fixed with.

Pretty sure Blu-Tak or velcro wouldn’t do any damage, but if you tighten cable-ties too much, they could do some damage.

Keijidosha 3:56 pm 06 Mar 12

I suspect the cause of the problem is Zumba classes being held at St Johns hall just down the road.

Rawhide Kid Part3 3:41 pm 06 Mar 12

I wonder if they’ll have an open day when its all completed?

Rawhide Kid Part3 3:33 pm 06 Mar 12

I’m no architect…but I was wondering could the building have shifted or twisted. Remember the Silverton Center in Civic? What with all this rain. Also I’m not sure how glass can shatter when not permanently fixed.

HenryBG 1:46 pm 06 Mar 12

Disinformation said :

PS. If security guards tell you that you can’t take photos while you’re on public land (unless it’s a defence installation) you can safely ignore them. If they swear at you, you’re entitled to complain to their supervisor.

Even better, ask them if, in their considered opinion, the fact that seeing as a drunk teenager defeated their security, could there be any chance at all that highly trained operatives from any number of unfriendly foreign powers might just have managed to slip past them as well?

HenryBG 1:44 pm 06 Mar 12

p1 said :

umehomes said :

Sometimes you have to look all factors for this kind of situation, do not blame on overseas products all the time.

I was more suggesting that this might have been in some way an act intentionally committed against ASIO by people acting for a foreign nation, .

Ah, I understood you were referring to the habit of foreign regimes of trying to introduce their own additional components into otherwise innocuous-looking building materials.

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