Braced for Failure (Available only in Structural Engineering Special Issue)

by Raymond H. R. Tide, (F.ASCE), Senior Consultant; Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Northbrook, IL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 6, Pg. 9a-12a

Document Type: Feature article


Investigations into the collapse of steel-framed structures often focus on minor, insignificant design flaws, only to ignore the real culprit: inadequate temporary bracing. The collapse of a steel-framed structure during erection is a dramatic, dangerous event that can cause severe injury or death to the ironworkers involved. It also has a considerable economic and scheduling impact on the project because of the inevitable delay in replacing building materials. On top of that, construction usually cannot recommence until there has been a thorough review of the design and a factual determination of the cause of the collapse. Typically, the investigations look into the design, fabrication and erection procedures that were followed at various stages of the project. Investigators retained by each of the parties involved try to identify actions or omissions by others that alleviate or minimize their clients' responsibility for the accident.

Subject Headings: Structural failures | Temporary structures | Steel frames | Project management | Forensic engineering | Bracing | Structural engineering

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