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Why Buildings Fail: Are We Learning From Our Mistakes?
Department of Architectural Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Received: 30 August 2012; Accepted: 31 August 2012 / Published: 5 September 2012
Abstract: Most building professionals have investigated or performed remedial designs for at least one architectural or engineering system failure during their careers. Other practitioners, especially those who work for forensic consultants or firms specializing in disaster response and repair, are more familiar with the variety and extent of building failures as they assist their clients in restoring damaged or deficient buildings. The advent of social medial and twenty-four-hour news channels along with the general ease of finding more examples of failures in the Internet have made us realize that building failures in the broad sense are much more common than we may have realized.Relatively recent events leading to building failures such as the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes, the roof/parking deck of the Algo Centre mall in the northern Ontario, Canada city of Elliot Lake and the Indiana State Fairground stage collapse in the US are just a few reminders that much more work needs to be done on a variety of fronts to prevent building failures from a life safety standpoint. The need is compounded by economic concerns from what would be considered more mundane or common failures. Inspections by the author after Hurricane Katrina revealed a huge number of failures associated rain water alone as roofs, windows, flashing, mechanical penetrations etc. failed leading to interior water penetration often resulting in more damage from damp conditions and mold propagation than outright structural collapses.
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Parfitt, M.K. Why Buildings Fail: Are We Learning From Our Mistakes? Buildings 2012, 2, 326-331.
Parfitt MK. Why Buildings Fail: Are We Learning From Our Mistakes? Buildings. 2012; 2(3):326-331.
Parfitt, M. Kevin. 2012. "Why Buildings Fail: Are We Learning From Our Mistakes?" Buildings 2, no. 3: 326-331.