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Collapsed Condo

Rhea

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I was looking at an article about that collapsed condo, and noticed that several of the cars under the neighboring building fell as the concrete below them collapsed. Does this look like one of those sinkholes at work, or perhaps erosion of the sand under the structure?

Sink hole, unusually repeating high-high tides, etc?
It was also interesting to see how the center section fell first, and then the wing on the end.

All things that got my attention.


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Whatever the ground problems are, a structural collapse like that suggests that it wasn't built to standard, that there were serious structural issues with the building.
 
Hearing reports now that structural problems were indeed identified 3 years prior.

I feel so bad for all of those people and their families. What a horror.
 
Anything that we read right now is conjecture at best, fabricated conspiracy theories at worst. The engineering analysis will take months. We'll just have to wait.
 
Anything that we read right now is conjecture at best, fabricated conspiracy theories at worst. The engineering analysis will take months. We'll just have to wait.

The engineering analysis I referenced was one that was performed three years ago and recommended structural repairs. NPR was reporting on it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/live-u...ctural-damage-engineers-report-surfside-miami


NPR said:
"I'm under the impression that it is something that nobody had seen until yesterday when we started looking back into the records to try to understand if there was anything in the record that would indicate why this building fell down," he said.

"We did not know about this report," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters Saturday morning. "We are obviously very interested in all of the evidence that's coming to light."

There's that phrase. Of course you didn't know. Should the County Engineering Office have known? Should they have read it? Or do you mean to say engineer's report with major structural damage is just left up to the HOA who will of course balk at the cost.

Speaking to reporters, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the decision of whether to evacuate that building would be left up to the Surfside mayor.

Yeah. "Leave me out of this." eh DeSantis? No political upside on this one.


Wait'll the investigation on this comes out. It'll be a lengthy story that starts with campaign contributions by builders who steer the building code and end with homeowners left to their own libertarian ignorance.
 
Anything that we read right now is conjecture at best, fabricated conspiracy theories at worst. The engineering analysis will take months. We'll just have to wait.

The engineering analysis I referenced was one that was performed three years ago and recommended structural repairs. NPR was reporting on it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/live-u...ctural-damage-engineers-report-surfside-miami

It was noted that there was damage to some of the concrete structure that needed to be repaired, but we have no way of knowing if it was due to an undiscovered sink hole, unexpected corrosion, rising sea level, failure to build to code, or if that damage was even what initiated the collapse. It will be months before anyone knows exactly what happened. Remember how long it took for the world trade center report to fully explain why the buildings collapsed, and there was video of the planes hitting the building and the fires burning.
 
Anything that we read right now is conjecture at best, fabricated conspiracy theories at worst. The engineering analysis will take months. We'll just have to wait.

The engineering analysis I referenced was one that was performed three years ago and recommended structural repairs. NPR was reporting on it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/live-u...ctural-damage-engineers-report-surfside-miami

It was noted that there was damage to some of the concrete structure that needed to be repaired, but we have no way of knowing if it was due to an undiscovered sink hole, unexpected corrosion, rising sea level, failure to build to code, or if that damage was even what initiated the collapse.

Oh, I agree that we can’t know. I was posting about seeing the fallen floor and noting that it ain’t right. Agree that we can’t know for sure. But speculation is something that people start with when they are trying to understand a problem. We bring up competing hypotheses and examine them.

Agree that we can’t draw conclusions yet, of course.
 
A structural engineer on another message board I'm on noted that most of the bedrock on the Florida coasts consists of limestone that's kind of like a sponge in that it allows water to flow through it, in and out with the tides. And a reason why sea walls around Miami won't help it stop ocean level rise.
 
Anything that we read right now is conjecture at best, fabricated conspiracy theories at worst. The engineering analysis will take months. We'll just have to wait.

My daughter is a Ph.D. forensic structural engineer who specializes in the failures of concrete structures. She has already been contacted about this failure. She has been provided with pictures and drone videos of the building.

She is shared between a general engineering consultant and her forensic consultants. She was told to expect that it would take six months plus any protracted litigation. She is first up as an expert witness for her firm.

However, she is pregnant with her first child and won't have to do any fieldwork. Another grandchild! She is due in January. But forensic work is her passion and I know that she will do this work as long as she can.
 
A structural engineer on another message board I'm on noted that most of the bedrock on the Florida coasts consists of limestone that's kind of like a sponge in that it allows water to flow through it, in and out with the tides. And a reason why sea walls around Miami won't help it stop ocean level rise.

Fortunately, Florida is a red state and they don't have to pay any attention to the problems from climate change. It is nothing but changing weather, right? And the weather is always changing, right?

Georgia has made it illegal to adapt to climate change in the state.
 
So someone did read the report.

Oh those darn HOA meetings. They write down everything.

Drip said:
A town inspector had assured residents of a high-rise condominium in Surfside, Florida, that their building was sound a month after an engineering report warned of major structural damage that required prompt repair in 2018, U.S. media reported.
Well, I hope you put something in writing and tossed it in your supervisor's lap. You know how it goes, never be the last guy with the secret.

Drip said:
Prieto is no longer employed by Surfside, according to NPR. He told the Miami Herald newspaper he did not remember getting that report. Reuters was not able to contact Prieto.
Maybe he was the last guy with the secret. Amatuer.
 
From what I could tell after the news came out, it appeared to be caused lower in the structure. The video implies similar, that the top collapsed after the bottom was dropping. A report from 3 years ago indicated drainage issues that was compromising the concrete, which was expected to get worse exponentially, though, the inspection DID NOT imply warnings of a catastrophic failure.

I'm not thinking it was a sinkhole, as a sinkhole large enough to induce that level of a failure (this is assuming the building is even founded on limestone) would almost certainly require the entire structure to fail. Additionally, the debris would have fallen in a large hole as well. This debris appears to be too tall for that. This failure appears to be localized, indicating, amateurly to me, a local fault of deterioration in the structure, as if this were a design issue, if likely would have failed a long time ago.

This is an awful event, which I believe is the worst 'natural' structural collapse in our nation's history regarding death toll.
 
From what I could tell after the news came out, it appeared to be caused lower in the structure. The video implies similar, that the top collapsed after the bottom was dropping. A report from 3 years ago indicated drainage issues that was compromising the concrete, which was expected to get worse exponentially, though, the inspection DID NOT imply warnings of a catastrophic failure.

I'm not thinking it was a sinkhole, as a sinkhole large enough to induce that level of a failure (this is assuming the building is even founded on limestone) would almost certainly require the entire structure to fail. Additionally, the debris would have fallen in a large hole as well. This debris appears to be too tall for that. This failure appears to be localized, indicating, amateurly to me, a local fault of deterioration in the structure, as if this were a design issue, if likely would have failed a long time ago.

This is an awful event, which I believe is the worst 'natural' structural collapse in our nation's history regarding death toll.

The Hyatt Regency Hotel walkway collapse in 1981 may still end up with more deaths than the Florida condo in the end. Though whether you consider that structural collapse to be "natural" depends on your own personal defintion of "natural":

[YOUTUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnvGwFegbC8[/YOUTUBE]
 
It is impossible to tell what caused the collapse just by looking at the low-resolution video. As a structural engineer, I suspect the partial collapse of the high-rise superstructure was triggered by one or more foundation elements that failed either simultaneously, or over an extended period of time. The defect was severe enough to override any structural redundancy that the codes would have required at the time it was built, and it may have been driven by a slow process of "unzipping" over the years, where multiple elements in the load path failed one by one over time as more load was moved to them from a failure of a neighboring element. Until the final link in the chain collapsed and the tower came down.
 
It is impossible to tell what caused the collapse just by looking at the low-resolution video. As a structural engineer, I suspect the partial collapse of the high-rise superstructure was triggered by one or more foundation elements that failed either simultaneously, or over an extended period of time. The defect was severe enough to override any structural redundancy that the codes would have required at the time it was built, and it may have been driven by a slow process of "unzipping" over the years, where multiple elements in the load path failed one by one over time as more load was moved to them from a failure of a neighboring element. Until the final link in the chain collapsed and the tower came down.

But this stuff can be found before a whole building collapses if one wants to find it?
 
I don't think this is a sinkhole. It looks like the ground level was compromised by an underground parking structure, but then the damage levels off once it hit the actual ground.

aa
 
It is impossible to tell what caused the collapse just by looking at the low-resolution video. As a structural engineer, I suspect the partial collapse of the high-rise superstructure was triggered by one or more foundation elements that failed either simultaneously, or over an extended period of time. The defect was severe enough to override any structural redundancy that the codes would have required at the time it was built, and it may have been driven by a slow process of "unzipping" over the years, where multiple elements in the load path failed one by one over time as more load was moved to them from a failure of a neighboring element. Until the final link in the chain collapsed and the tower came down.

But this stuff can be found before a whole building collapses if one wants to find it?


Foundations are buried in the ground and they can't be inspected easily (assuming it was the foundations that failed). But there are usually warning signs associated with foundation problems that can be detected through inspection (like settlements, movements and cracks). I work on bridges, so I don't know about commercial/residential building codes, but I can't imagine there being stringent post-construction inspection requirements on such structures. At least I have never heard of such, unless actual problems/signs of distress have been reported.
 
I can't imagine there being stringent post-construction inspection requirements on such structures. At least I have never heard of such, unless actual problems/signs of distress have been reported.

I’d like to make a report of actual problems, please.
 
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