Bad design, faulty construction, foundation failure
, extraordinary loads, unexpected failure modes like natural disaster such as heavy rains, wind, including man-made ones are factors that have been attributed to be causes of building collapse.'
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is among agencies probing widespread residential foundation failure
. It enlisted University of Connecticut Associate Professor Kay Wille, who after an eight-month investigation of foundation concrete and Becker's Quarry samples, offered a theory on pyrrhotite in a portland cement-bound matrix: The compound oxidizes when exposed to water plus oxygen or ferric ions, spurring formation of an expansive mineral product such as ferihydrite plus release of sulfates.
, however, may also be the culprit.
According to the literature , foundation failure
on the Coal Line were observed during 1994~1995 on the Vryheid-Richard Bay section, approximately 20 years after its initial construction.
is a significant (and costly) problem in its own right.
It could be a bad design, or a faulty construction, or foundation failure
, or unexpected loads/ failure modes and a combination of causes.
Construction over extremely expansive soils raises the risk of structural foundation failure
and potential failure to the building itself (Service Load Design Method: Allowable Stress Design (AASHTO Division 1 Design: 2002)).
To prevent thawing of the permafrost and subsequent foundation failure
, the building is completely isolated from the soil by an open air space of four feet or more.
Common causes of failure include excessive vacuum, excessive internal pressure, foundation failure
, brittle fracture, corrosion, change of service, and defects introduced by repairs and alterations.
LePatner, founder of the New York-based law firm LePatner & Associates LLP, is the author of Too Big to Fall: America's Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward and Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets: How to Fix America's Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry, as well as the coauthor of Structural and Foundation Failures
LePatner--co-author of Structural & Foundation Failures
(McGraw Hill, 1982) and author of Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets: How to Fix America's Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry (University of Chicago Press; www.brokenbuildings.com)--says it is time to implement practical, real-life measures that will stem the chronic waste and delays characterizing America's $1.23 trillion construction industry.