Ice Rink Box Girder   Ice Rink Finger joints  Ice Rink Fail  Ice Rink


Structure: Bad Reichenhall Ice Rink
Location: Bad Reichenhall, Germany
Year of Failure: 2006
Year of Construction:1972
Type of Failure: Roof Collapse

The Bas Reichenhall Ice Rink [4] was in trouble as soon as the construction started. The combination of many failures along with lack of technical approval is what caused this building’s roof to collapse.

For this timber structure, they had used box girders that were over the maximum height of 1.20 meters at 2.87 meters. [1] [a] Also, because they used box girders, this gave an area for moisture and condensation to collect and it is not easy to get inside of the box girder to stop this problem so this problem was never visible. This was followed by the fact that there was no structural calculation check by an engineer to make sure the structure was following all guidelines. However, there were calculations to show that the original structure could support the snow load that made the roof collapse, but it was the deterioration of the structure over time that led to its downfall.

For the glue that held the box girders together at the finger joints [2], they used urea-formaldehyde which is not moisture resistant so it was not a wise choice to use that in a high humidity ice rink. [a]The glue was also not spread very well and so the quality of the connections on the girders was poor. Eventually the moisture in the ice rink along with leaks in the roof from bad maintenance caused this glue to deteriorate. This could have been prevented with resorcinol glue that is better for larger gluing gaps.

So basically the roof should not have fallen from a snow load, but it did because of poor construction quality, no maintenance and failure to seek approval on the structure. All of these weakened the structure over time and eventually allowed the roof to collapse under the snow load.[3]