As a consequence of the collapse of a building in Barcelona, in December 1990, it was discovered that a large number of dwellings, mainly in Barcelona but also in other towns of Catalonia, were affected by a structural defect known as “aluminosis”, consisting of a deterioration of the reinforced concrete manufactured using aluminous cement, which considerably reduced its strength and that of the steel embedded in the concrete. This brought to light a series of economic, social, political and also moral problems, such as the use of the aluminous cement itself — a quality product but which requires careful handling —, the lack of regulation concerning the product and its use in construction, the poor state of repair of the buildings affected, the careless manner in which they had been built, the lag in technical knowledge, the financial situation of the people affected by the aluminosis, etc.
This document provides a full account of the events and their historical, technical, economic and legal background, paying particular attention to the ethical problems created by the situation.
KeywordsEconomic Growth Quality Product Structural Defect Poor State Ethical Problem
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