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Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

  • 1.  Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-01-2021 01:53 PM

    Recognizing we want to be careful in the forum about speculating on the cause of the Surfside condo collapse aligned with the ASCE statement that came out earlier this week,  a number of general questions have been circulating in my head that triggered by the facts that have come to light. As engineers how we can we  better communicate the severity of problems balancing being alarmist (and possibly putting future credibility and opportunities at risk) with need to properly inform? This is compounded by oft having to communicate to clients or others that are non-engineers and do understand meaning or subtleties.  For policy and regulation makers I think there's a question of how to compel action. The Surfside condo collapse has highlighted the challenge dealing with diffuse ownership. The final question is one of engineering competency within government entities. Finally, can this tragedy be used a wake up call to catalyze support for addressing this countries failing infrastructure – and systems that enable?



    ------------------------------
    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-05-2021 10:28 AM

    Dear Mitch, you are right! There is the need to know the truth, and everyone's asking what happened in that collapse. We have to be cautious in what we have to say about it until the official reports are delivered. Some people challenge us to know if we, as engineers, know to solve the puzzle. As you said, delivering the wrong message (especially in the media) could unnecessarily transfer some alarm.

    What is important is not to let pass this event like another more and always protect people's lives (preparing them, enhancing our design standards, monitoring structures, etc.).
    Regards,
    AG



    ------------------------------
    Andres Guzman Ing., M.ASCE
    Associate Professor
    UNIVERSIDAD DEL NORTE
    Barranquilla
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-05-2021 11:04 AM
    To all my fellow engineer friends. Professionals should always maintain professional conduct at all times. Understanding the FACTS should always be at the forefront before rendering opinions in private or public. I have read so many articles and opinions that the failures of bridges and now condominiums are at risk, way before the in-depth forensics are properly completed. I call this all speculation and speculation should not be in our vocabulary. Let us do our job by finding the facts, performing the analysis, and issuing our findings when the timeline is appropriate. Our credibility is on the line.

    ------------------------------
    Vito Rotondi P.E., M.ASCE
    Westmont IL
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-05-2021 12:52 PM
    Mitch,
    Very well put! One issue I continuously need to address is clarifying the severity of issues to my clients who are mostly in other industries outside engineering and construction (as you say "diffuse ownership"). Having to take into consideration their backgrounds and approach to situations I need to understand their ability to understand concepts and it is my responsibility to make it intelligible to them (not always possible with all individuals).

    ------------------------------
    Mark Licalzi P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal
    Luke Licalzi , P.E., P.C.
    New York City NY
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-06-2021 08:19 AM
    As Vito so "Delicately" reminds us, responsible professional engineers are to wait
    until the facts, determined by professionals, have been submitted, reviewed, and approved.
    Cheers,
    Bill

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-11-2021 03:53 PM
    Vito is right to point out that "the risks in our industry [profession] are great and any miscommunications can lead to multiple paths for disaster. ... recommendations must have credibility. they must be explained in detail."

    We share with pure scientists the challenge of how to explain "risk" or probability.
    Clear explanation of facts, not just after failures, is critical.  The risks at Surfside included salty, seaside air and corrosion, sea level rise and flooding. These last factors raise the risk of foundation, bridge and road support failures in virtually all of Florida, and many other areas, because they no longer exist in geo-conditions believed to be stable a mere 10-15 years ago. Possible overloading, from inhabitants and wind pressures, unanticipated ambient heat and cold, are other possible risk factors today.

    Contracts do define our design scopes and how engineers are "responsibly in charge", but that is not good enough today. Our cultural climate has developed so much mistrust, fingerpointing and outright hatred in the last 40 years, that re-establishing our "trusted" voice will be a continuing challenge.

    When we design for a particular life span, it must be clear to EVERYONE, owners, customers, the public, what that timeline is (maybe we should even use expiration dates, like on food packages - or codes could require end-of-life funds to be escrowed, as is currently required for landfills, but not much else).  Our designs should include consideration of how the projects will be implemented, operated, and maintained. We should probably even provide estimates of the resources necessary for continuing good performance. Perfect, comprehensive "inspections" are a pipe-dream, but we can clearly inform our clients and project users what visible signs could be indicative of pending failure, the role that building inspectors generally take on right now.

    If we do not plan/design for sustainable projects now, we have failed to do our job. Even as we try to meet our clients' requirements, we must evaluate whether the projects are the right ones in the right place.  Our legacy must be work that will withstand the test of time, to build trust in the engineers' voice once more.

    ------------------------------
    Sarah Simon P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE
    Founding Partner
    Ipswich MA
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-06-2021 08:17 AM
    "Finally, can this tragedy be used a wake up call to catalyze support for addressing this countries failing infrastructure – and systems that enable?"
    Mitch thanks for the question, and yes a system similar to the national bridge safety inspection would be needed. The National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations 650 Subpart C defines the NBIS regulations, and establishes requirements for inspection procedures, frequency of inspections, qualifications of personnel, inspection reports, and preparation and maintenance of a state bridge inventory.  The need is there but the political stomach is weak, you can make a difference by asking your state and national senators and representatives to do the right thing...even if it means losing donations from the large real estate magnates.  Do you support Ted Cruz? if so ask him to take a stand to support a national standard for buildings over 3 stories that provide shelter for humans.

    ------------------------------
    Barry Anderson P.E.
    Granite Falls MN
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-07-2021 06:14 PM
    Too soon to talk about adding a significant national inspection requirement. Exactly how common is collapse of an occupied building in the US? It seems possible that all the necessary information to comprehend the danger was already in hand by those in responsible positions (inspectors, government, owners), but not acted upon; we just don't know yet. Perhaps it was the communication issues discussed above.
    For those of us in New York City, there are already requirements for full façade inspections, and full gas system inspections every 5 years. There are also numerous other avenues for collecting and reporting problems at buildings including a simple 311 anonymous call. While clearly valuable and most would say necessary, these inspection requirements are a significant burden for property owners and make affordable housing a serious challenge.
    Collection of all available information, careful and thorough analysis, and a consensus conclusion must all be completed before consideration of major new requirement.

    James Moore, PE  M.ASCE
    New York, NY

    ------------------------------
    James Moore P.E., M.ASCE
    PRESIDENT
    Moore Associates LLC
    New York NY
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-07-2021 09:51 PM
    I agree that there is time to evaluate the cause or causes of the Surfside Condo Collapse before broad laws and regulations are enacted.  However, it seems that many if not all condo homeowner associations do not have the KSA's to make sound decisions on Professional Engineer reports and recommendations.  I would hope that the Engineer's Recommendations would carry the day...however recent history of professional recommendations to vaccinate have shown about a third of our population have not followed advice.  The results could be fatal but misinformation and general mistrust of professionals are cause for concern.

    ------------------------------
    Barry Anderson P.E.
    Granite Falls MN
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-08-2021 11:50 AM
    Barry Anderson P.E.
    I agree with you completely. I would like to address the issue of professionalism as it applies to engineering and architecture.
    In our current state of affairs, some professions have been thrown into the mixer with professions such as law, medical, haircutting, cosmetology, etc. The main purpose of professional certification is to protect the public from harm by ensuring professionals meet the strict requirements of education and experience.
    Today, many professions are pushed and pulled in many directions due to social and political pressures. Speaking for my profession as a multi-disciplined engineer and architect, I have always subscribed to the concept of accountability through the idea of "Responsible Charge". When we are in responsible charge, we owe the public to the best of our abilities safe and functional designs. That means to have strong convictions in everything we do to serve the public. We must use our knowledge to define the problems and issues at hand, accumulate the facts, analyze, develop solutions and communicate the final solution to the customer, the public, building officials, contractors, and other interested parties to ensure their understanding of the implementation plan for the design.
    The risks in our industry are great and any miscommunications can lead to multiple paths for disaster. Therefore, we must be unwavering. When we issue a report with recommendations, these recommendations must have credibility. they must be explained in detail. They must not be ambiguous with mixed messaging. We have to be ultra clear as to the Scope, Schedule, Quality, Costs, and Safety including roles and responsibilities of all parties. Someone must be in "RESPONSIBLE CHARGE".
    Regarding the vaccinations issue, This is a great example. I firmly believe the issues regarding poor credibility are the result of extremely poor communications and mixed ambiguous messaging. There was indeed lost credibility. We must always have ONE consistent voice. Not everyone's opinion.

    ------------------------------
    Vito Rotondi,
    Arch. S.E. P.E. M ASCE
    Westmont Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-06-2021 10:11 AM
    In general, condo associations and homeowners associations are very commonplace and reflective of what you refer to as diffuse ownership.  Having lived for a short time in an old mill converted to condos, my experience with the association was challenging.  Members of the board often have varied qualifications, which likely do not include facility management.  Members often have conflicting interests and the simplest issues can escalate to meeting drama that results in inaction.  Issues such as dogs, can be complicated very quickly by dog owners vs. non-dog owners who cannot agree on weights, breeds, or designated areas.  A proposed dog run was still in limbo when left.  The association has limited budget and no incentive to adjust fees.  As engineers, it is important to understand the stakeholders in play and ensure we are being heard by all involved with ownership decisions.

    See link to article regarding HOAs:
    Miami condo collapse: Many HOAs face similar fight over costs, repairs (usatoday.com)

    ASCE Policy
    ASCE Policy Statement 283 - Periodic Inspection of Existing Facilities


    ------------------------------
    Chad Morrison P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-12-2021 01:56 PM

    On the chance some commentators have not recently had the opportunity to better appreciate what Forensic Engineers do to provide reliable engineered answers to the questions connected to failures, I have attached a few papers noted below.

    While not specific to the unravelling, and yet unknown actual driving forces involved in the horrific collapse, they do provide factual insights into why only these properly credentialed folks may offer answers and opinions the public . . .and other civil engineers. . . can rely on.
    Stay Healthy!
    Cheers,
    Bill

    1.     Forensic Engineering: Proceedings of the Second Congress, May 21-23, 2000, San Juan, Puerto Rico[1] by Technical Council on Forensic Engineering (Author), Kevin L. Rens (Editor), Oswald Rendon-Herrero (Editor), Paul A. Bosela (Editor) Forensics and Case Studies in Civil Engineering Education: State of the Art Norbert J. Delatte Cleveland State University[2], [email protected]

    2.     Failure Mechanisms in Building Construction[4]Edited by David H. Nicastro, P.E. ASCE PressISBN (print): 978-0-7844-0283-2ISBN (PDF): 978-0-7844-7027-5

    3.  Identification of Reinforced Concrete Failure Modes Using Linear Elastic Finite Element Analysis[5]

    James B. Deaton ; and Lawrence F. Kahn

    4.     Collapsed-RC Building Failure Mechanisms with a Forensic Engineering Approach[6]

    Ali EtemadiPh.D.; and Can BalkayaPh.D.M.ASCE

    5. Progressive collapse capacity of a gravity-load designed RC building partially collapsed during structural retrofitting[7]

    Author links open overlay panel.    MartinaScalvenziFulvioParisi

     

    [1] https://www.amazon.com/Forensic-Engineering-Proceedings-Second-Congress/dp/0784404828

    [4] https://ascelibrary.org/doi/book/10.1061/9780784402832

    [5] https://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/9780784412640.128

    [6] https://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/%28ASCE%29CF.1943-5509.0001462

    [7] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1350630720316885



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-13-2021 08:34 AM
    Very interesting all the opinions that I have read, a very interesting topic Mitchell and that should attract the attention of all civil engineers, owners and authorities.

    Events like this always reveal some aspects of engineering and construction regulation that we have not yet fully resolved, that is, we do not have an established standard or protocol to address them. In Mexico we recently went through something similar with the collapse of a section of "Line 12" of the metropolitan transport (urban-train) of Mexico City, at the time it aroused many concerns about the causes of the event. I think that as engineers this type of answer or reasoning is more "close" for us, since we have engineering knowledge as a tool to give an opinion. However, I consider that this part of the topic has been widely addressed (although knowledge is still being developed in this regard) by those who are dedicated to it at a scientific and practical level and, rather, it is lacking (as mentioned by most of those who commented) to address more the issue of policies or regulations on the conditions of the infrastructure and the problems that it causes to society when something like a building collapse happens (it is not only the owners who are affected) and in the case of infrastructure that belongs to the public is even more complex the challenge of policies and regulations.

    In summary, I consider that the work in terms of the way of communicating it should adhere to the respect of a code of conduct for those of us in charge of technically clarifying the facts and allowing the information to arrive "clean" through those who have that commission in their Hands, on the other hand, regarding the issue of addressing the faulty infrastructure, I believe that a firm request as a union for the system to turn to address the matter corresponds.

    ------------------------------
    Horacio Galicia-Gaona Ing., S.E., M.ASCE
    Morelia
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 07-19-2021 09:34 AM
    The key to understand this or any other collapse is structural mechanics. Computer programs such as SAP
    or its several derivatives help us to build safe structures. But a collapse analysis demands something
    more sophisticated. If you want examples of such work, please go to

    https://www.youtube.com/user/gs98765432

    Performing such simulations gives us a better insight into needs for modifying certain elements.

    Sincerely
    Gregory Szuladzinski

    ------------------------------
    Gregory Szuladzinski Ph.D., M.ASCE
    Director
    Analytical Service Pty, Ltd.
    Northbridge NSW
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 08-05-2021 11:52 AM

    Hi Dr. Szuladzinski, I agree with your observation "The key to understand this or any other collapse is structural mechanics" but think there is more. I think we also need to factually understand the "Why?"

    To answer that question, we must go back "Upstream in time" over that structure's timeline. Most responses to this post to date focus on the possible engineering causes that resulted in the “Sudden Collapse” of the Florida Condo. Forensic engineers who will do the detailed analysis based on facts will have the most credible answers to this horrific collapse. However, history has shown that for other fatal structural collapses, the records provide information that while engineers and others had earlier knowledge of the real potential for structural failure, those individuals choose not to report such to authorities. And, if immediate action was not taken by officials, to the public-at-large.

    While no point made herein is known to be an issue for the Florida Condo failure, such useful insights would be valuable if placed in an accessible database for engineers going forward with other projects.

    However, in past cases of horrific structural failures, there appeared to be a reluctance to do so because these engineers and others:
    1. Believe their loyalty starts and ends with their client.
    2. The past history of “Career Collapse” when engineers did report such findings.
    3. Liability of engineers reporting such issues.
    4. Organizational and technical causes for failures will reflect negatively, with potential legal exposure.
    5. While the ultimate failure was technical in nature, such was actually driven upstream in the process by decisions made to protect the reputation of the firm(s) and/or the individuals involved.
    6. Non-enforcement of building codes and/or construction regulations,
    7. Challenges on the issue of building collapse is that individuals differ radically from one another on the professional(s) to blame as the major cause of the collapse of a building, loss of lives, and properties.
    8. The non-enforcement of existing laws and building codes.
    9. Professionals did not ensure proper supervision of workmen and efficient checking of materials before incorporation into building works.

    While none of the above comments are known at this time to be applicable to the Florida Condo collapse, they do suggest that upstream research of what preceded the actual collapse may be of great value to other engineers as they continue to design and build facilities.
    Perhaps one planned output of the actual study results will be publishing its findings to the benefit of engineers who design and construct facilities going forward in an open database.

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,
    Bill


    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 08-23-2021 07:00 PM
    • ASCE Rises To The Challenge!

    As the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building in Surfside, Florida, sends society in search of answers, one structural engineering safeguard already in place may lie in the power of collaborative reporting. Glenn Bell, P.E., S.E., C.Eng, F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, and Andrew Herrmann, P.E., F.SEI, Pres.12.ASCE, started CROSS-US (Collaborative Reporting on Structural Safety) in 2019 to collect, review, and publish issues and incidents regarding structural safety.

          Andrew Herrmann: "In the United States, engineers are inhibited by their insurance companies and lawyers. So, if you happen to make a mistake or if you have something that's not working well, you're inhibited from talking about it. So, with CROSS, the confidentiality means that things can be brought to light so that other people can learn from mistakes. That's the importance of it; that's the beauty of it."

    Stay Healthy!
    Cheers,
    Bill

    [1] https://source.asce.org/the-key-to-structural-safety-may-be-collaborative-reporting/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rasa_io&PostID=34082090&MessageRunDetailID=6105557211



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 08-23-2021 09:06 PM
    William, I was amazed when you listed all circumstances that prevent engineers from telling the truth.
    The way of progress is to enforce telling the truth. I know it may not be easy.

    Sincerely
    GS

    ------------------------------
    Dr Gregory Szuladzinski
    Director
    Analytical Service Co
    Northbridge, NSW, Australia
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 08-25-2021 01:58 PM
    Hi Gregory.
    Thought you may be interested in an ASCE paper on the topic from 2007.
    Stay Healthy!
    Cheers,
    Bill

    "Ethics in Engineering Practice: How Easy It Becomes to See in the Dark,"

    Leadership Manage. Eng., 2007, 7(4): 151-157

    Change is an expected part of life, certainly where individual and group behavior is involved. The author addresses the change in professional conduct behaviors over the past forty-five years that have played a significant part in the public's lack of respect for, and the resultant treatment of, much of civil engineering work as a price-based commodity. The point is made that a profession is defined as being both self-governing and self-regulating. It appears that over time the levels of self-regulation, and correspondingly, of public trust with civil engineers, are significantly lower than desired. Nowhere does civil engineering exist in a vacuum.



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 08-25-2021 04:50 PM
    Well, one either is or is not a professional in responsible charge. How can we allow the profession to dilute itself? The idea of collaborative reporting or any collaboration without an individual irresponsible charge is dilution. Dilution only exasperates the problem. So we should adhere to the principles that made engineering worthwhile. Allowing the profession to be commoditized will only lead to the race to the bottom.

    ------------------------------
    Vito Rotondi, (Retired)
    Arch. S.E. P.E. M ASCE
    Westmont Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 29 days ago
    Indeed, any view of the engineering profession as a commodity is cause for concern.   Bill's article on ethics notes anecdotally that the client is in the position to claim "if you won't do it for me, someone else will."  So where does engineering lay on the spectrum of sought after professional and any one can provide these calculations?

    Consider your search for your doctor... don't we all see the top neurosurgeon in the area when we are in need?  How are our school teachers being managed?  Are they considered professionals with Masters degrees trusted to use their discretion, or are they micromanaged by administrations, unions, and for-profit curriculum factories?

    Clearly one would commission an architect for their "vision," is the client doing the same when considering an engineer?  How is the engineer's work received? With all the attention on the Surfside condo disaster, will we find that the engineer, before, during, and after the life of the building was drowned out by other voices?

    We do not want to find ourselves in the position of a school teacher, substituted with a moment's notice.  Engineers will have varying opinions regarding the scope of this issue, based on the size of their firm.

    Here are some relevant links:

    Engineering as a Finite Resource | Professional and Career Topics (asce.org)

    Legal Brief: When two professionals seal a drawing, who is responsible? | ASCE


    ------------------------------
    Chad Morrison P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 26 days ago

    Hi Vito,

    Thanks for sharing your opinion on this matter, i.e., collaborative reporting of say, any phase of a project in progress, or post-project completion. Our profession's history of horrific failures appears to be driven by the lack of early identification out loud. While error-free outcomes are expected, given the variety of a project's professional workgroup's knowledge and experiences, allowing such to be walled-off under the guise of  "only the PIC may rule over, and contain situations of potential failure of various types" has proven to be unreliable to prevent the repetition of known restraining forces to success.

    I will close for now given the complexity of this issue to "Solve it" in a few words without collaboration.

    I recently reviewed the 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, "To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System,"[1] revealed that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die every year in U.S. hospitals because of medical errors. Even more disturbing, communication failures are the leading root cause of the sentinel events reported to the Joint Commission from 1995 to 2004.

    Traditional medical education emphasizes the importance of error-free practice, utilizing intense peer pressure to achieve perfection during both diagnosis and treatment. Errors are therefore perceived normatively as an expression of failure. This atmosphere creates an environment that precludes the fair, open discussion of mistakes required if organizational [profession-wide] learning is to take place. In the early 1990s, Donald Berwick wrote about patients needing an open communication system instead of experiencing adverse events stemming from communication failures."

    If I may suggest, let's hold off on asserting what such collaboration may or may not do for now.

    Here is where a cross-functional task force[2] could add value to the dialogue.

    "If You Always Do What You've Always Done, You'll Always Get What You've Always Got."

                                                                                                                              ~ Henry Ford.

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,

    Bill

    [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2637/#ch33.s9

    [2] Including non-CEs.



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 26 days ago

    An obvious possible cause of the Surfside condo collapse is the collapse of an underlying sinkhole. There is evidence of subsidence at this location more than a year before the collapse. Collapse of a sinkhole should have resulted in construction problems. Also. it could explain the history of differential movements in the area of the pool and below. Limestone is present at a shallow depth in the area of the condo and the limestone is known to be very porous and large cavities would be expected.

    Should the cause be a sinkhole then the investigation into the cause of the collapse should be much different than it would if the cause were strictly structural.
    Frank Patton



    ------------------------------
    Franklin Patton P.E., M.ASCE
    Consultant
    West Vancouver BC
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 26 days ago
    I am not familiar with the concept of a sinkhole.
    Are you trying to say that one or more columns lost its effectiveness and that caused the building collapse?
    This is possible, of course.

    Sincerely
    GS

    ------------------------------
    Dr Gregory Szuladzinski
    Director
    Analytical Service Co
    Northbridge, NSW, Australia
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 18 days ago
    Gregory, this may help: https://floridadep.gov/fgs/sinkholes.  I think that is where Mr. Patton was going with his comment.
    Also read: https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/could-a-sinkhole-have-caused-the-miami-apartment-collapse-05-07-2021/

    ------------------------------
    Thomas Halmi P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal Engineer
    Steelcase
    Rockford MI
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 18 days ago
    Thank you Tom.
    The page was not accessible.

    GS

    ------------------------------
    Dr Gregory Szuladzinski
    Director
    Analytical Service Co
    Northbridge, NSW, Australia
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Surfside Condo Collapse Peripheral Questions

    Posted 17 days ago
    Try https://floridadep.gov/fgs/sinkholes

    I promise not to put a period at the end of my sentences when it has a hyperlink.

    ------------------------------
    Thomas Halmi P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal Engineer
    Steelcase
    Rockford MI
    ------------------------------