Wednesday, July 6

Possible causes of the Miami apartment building collapse



While waiting for the causes that have caused the collapse of the Chaplain Towers South apartment building, located in the town of Surfside, bordering Miami Beach, in which the death toll would have risen to three, according to Reuters, and the number of missing would be around one hundred, some theories and reports about the problems of the building.

The complex, built in 1981 and which had 136 apartments, 55 of which have been destroyed, was initiating a “recertification” process, required by US law when a building turns 40 years old. “What usually happens in most cases is that the building is prepared and a series of arrangements are made before the city carries out a maintenance inspection,” explained Yanina Mauro and Walter Rua, owners of the Red Octopus company, that provides integral architectural services in Miami, to the Argentine medium ‘La Nación’.

“Currently, they were working on roofs and terraces. The witnesses say that there was heavy machinery and, in addition, leaks in the roofs, “they revealed. Analyzing the collapse, it clearly comes from the top down. Someone could have touched something not due or some structural arrangement on the roofs and that generated an overload, ”Rua remarked. In turn, he pointed out that, in recent days, there were storms in the area and that could have made things difficult.

According to the ‘Miami Herald’, the neighborhood association recently hired an engineer to carry out necessary structural and electrical system changes to obtain the new permit, but work had not yet started.

Overweight on the terrace

According to Mauro, the collapse could have been the consequence of “a set of things.” “The Repair of the structure may have caused the terrace to be overweight. There was a settlement process and perhaps the necessary steps were not taken to make it gradually and safely. The responsibility goes to the company that works on the arrangements, which is generally hired by the consortium, “he said.

In the same sense, the Argentine architect and broker in Miami, Tina Hyde, said, according to the Argentine media: «If they were undergoing works for the recertification of the building and the structure was not in condition, the place should have been evacuated because it was running a risk”. In addition, he noted that, next to the construction another had been built in the last time, something that, perhaps “could have caused an earth movement that contributed to the fact of this Thursday.”

Image of the apartment building before collapsing this Wednesday, in Miami

Among the speculations that are being made at the moment, another of the most mentioned is related to thethe proximity of the building to the sea. “A structure made of iron-reinforced concrete, with the contact of salt, loses the ability to resist traction on the surface. It may be another factor that has affected because it is a building considered old, “said Hyde.

The building was sinking

On the other hand, a study published in 2020 by experts from Florida International University (FIU, for its acronym in English), noted that they had detected that in the 1990s the area where the building is located was sinking at a rate of 2 millimeters per year, which they described as “alarming.”

The study was not conducted for the purpose of determining the soundness of the building, but as part of a project to identify which parts of Miami could be most affected by rising sea levels and coastal flooding, the Miami Herald reported. .

‘It was a by-product of analyzing the data. We saw that this building had some kind of unusual movement, ”Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the FIU Department of Land and Environment, told local media.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Miami authorities declined to answer a question about the alleged subsidence of the land, the BBC reported.

Peter Dyga, president and CEO of the Florida East Coast Association of Builders and Contractors, told CBS Local 10 News that there is likely a conjunction of “multiple factors” behind what happened and that “it will take years of investigation and learning »to determine what happened.

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