Guide Why buildings fall down: how structures fail

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The stories that make up Why Buildings Fall Down are in the end very human ones, tales of the interaction of people and nature, of architects, engineers.
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Of 1, dams built in the United States before , one in fifty failed for a variety of reasons, a rather high failure rate. The most famous collapse is that of the Johnstown dam in , which killed more than three thousand people. It had been completed in and was intended to provide a steady source of water for a Pennsylvania canal. By , the canal was already obsolete; railroads were taking over the hauling of freight.

Soon the dam was in a state of disrepair.


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When it was sold to new owners they made dangerous modifications that reduced the spillway to less than one-third of its original capacity. The five-inch rainfall that was blamed for the dam's failure would never have destroyed the dam in its original configuration. The voice is good not too dry, not judgmental, etc and the anecdotes are interesting. There's a lot of overlap, but this one has the analysis of a disaster in every chapter. I found this an excellent introduction to the basic ideas behind structural engineering.

Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail - Semantic Scholar

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Now only one remains--the pyramid at Khufu, in the Egyptian desert near Cairo. All of the others have fallen down. Modern technologies, computerized designs, and new materials have minimized structural failures nearly to the vanishing point. Even so, we can learn from ancient as well as recent history. Why Buildings Fall Down chronicles the how and why of the most important and interesting structural failures in history and especially in the twentieth century. Not even all of the pyramids are still with us.

The Pyramid of Meidum has shed 2,, tons of limestone and continues to disintegrate.

Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail (Paperback)

Beginning there our authors, both world-renowned structural engineers, take us on a guided tour of enlightening structural failures--buildings of all kinds, from ancient domes like Istanbul's Hagia Sophia to the state of the art Hartford Civic Arena, from the man-caused destruction of the Parthenon to the earthquake damage of in Armenia and San Francisco, the Connecticut Thruway bridge collapse at Mianus, and one of the most fatal structural disasters in American history: the fall of the Hyatt Regency ballroom walkways in Kansas City. Buildings have fallen throughout history whether made of wood, steel, reinforced concrete, or stone.

But these failures do respect the laws of physics. All are the result of static load or dynamic forces, earthquakes, temperature changes, uneven settlements of the soil, or other unforeseen forces. A few are even due to natural phenomena that engineers and scientists are still unable to explain or predict.

The stories that make up Why Buildings Fall Down are, finally, very human ones, tales of the interaction of people and nature, of architects, engineers, builders, materials, and natural forces, all coming together in sometimes dramatic and always instructive ways in the places where we live and work and have our lives. Disaster Books Best Architecture Books Best books read in the first half of No current Talk conversations about this book.

Salvadori's dedication notes that his mother-in-law thought that his book "Why Buildings Stand Up," was nice, but she would be much more interested in why they fall down. The second volume is perhaps a bit more interesting for the lay reader, but I found it a little too repetitive.

Why did the pyramid at Meidum shed , tons of limestone outer casings when few of the others have? I read this as part of my undergrad work to get credits for ethical technology use they wouldn't take my transfer credits without me reading this first. A companion volume to the author's Why Buildings Stand Up. Online Available online.

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L48 Available. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Contributor Salvadori, Mario, Summary "Whatever goes up must come down" does not, fortunately, apply to most of the structures in today's world. In fact, whenever a building, a bridge, a tunnel, or a dam collapses nowadays, it is front page news and often the beginning of a hunt for clues and culprits as fascinating as any detective story.

In this book, two of the world's premier structural engineers take us on a journey through the history of architectural and structural catastrophes, from the Parthenon and Rome's Coliseum to more recent disasters such as the Ronan Point Tower in London, the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City and the Malpasset Dam in France. This is a book that delights as it instructs, an easily digested feast of architectural flops and flummoxes, whether caused by natural disaster or human error, or both.

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Structural Engineering Zoom Zoom.