An Insight into the Space Building Collapse


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Title: An Insight into the Space Building Collapse

Author(s): Luis E. García, Mete A. Sozen, Anthony Fiorato, Luis E. Yamín, and Juan F. Correal

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 311


Appears on pages(s): 1-14

Keywords: Space Building collapse, reinforced concrete, axial load column failures

Date: 9/1/2016

On October 12, 2013, a 27-story building collapsed in Medellín, Colombia, with no apparent evidence of vertical or horizontal overload. The building was shaped in plan as a circular arc whose gravity load resisting structure can be described as a three-dimensional structural concrete moment resisting frame consisting of columns and a grid of beams running in both radial and tangential directions that meet at the vertical structural member locations. The building structure was designed using the Colombian NSR-98 Code1, which is based on the ACI 318-95 Code3. An assessment of the structure, as built, was performed by the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Material samples of concrete and reinforcing bars were secured and tested for compliance with the materials properties specified in the construction documents. An evaluation of the strength of the structural members as built was performed and a comparison with the gravity load demands was performed. This evaluation identified a strength deficiency of the vertical supporting elements of the structure. The driving reason for the collapse of the structure was that the selfweight of the structure resulted in axial loads that were comparable to the nominal axial capacities of the columns. This was considered the root cause of the sudden collapse of the building with no apparent external factors.