Torsional Buckling Study of Hartford Coliseum

by Robert S. Loomis, (M.ASCE), Consulting Engr.; Loomis and Loomis, Inc., Windsor, Conn.,
Richard W. Loomis, Struct. Engr.; Loomis and Loomis, Inc., Windsor, Conn.,
Robert W. Loomis, (A.M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Combustion Engrg., Inc., Windsor, Conn.,
Raymond H. Loomis, (M.ASCE), Consulting Engr.; Loomis and Loomis, Inc., Windsor, Conn.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 211-231

Document Type: Journal Paper

Discussion: Epstein Howard I. (See full record)
Discussion: Smith Earling A. (See full record)
Discussion: Pretzer C. Andrew (See full record)
Closure: (See full record)


A structural analysis for torsional buckling of four-angle cruciform sections is utilized to predict the failure mode of the space truss for the Hartford Coliseum and the results are compared with the observed field conditions after the collapse. The correlation between the analysis and the conditions at the site, including deflections during construction, snow load and the physical arrangement of the collapse indicates a high degree of probability that torsional buckling was the primary cause. Photographs of an overall view and of each corner of the roof as well as diagrams and a load deflection plot are included to demonstrate the descriptions in the text. The use of cruciform sections in compression should be avoided unless satisfactory test data is available for the section to be used.

Subject Headings: Buckling | Torsion | Failure modes | Snow loads | Displacement (mechanics) | Construction sites | Failure analysis | Structural failures | North America | Hartford | Connecticut | United States

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