Cause of the Condominium Collapse in Cocoa Beach, Florida


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Title: Cause of the Condominium Collapse in Cocoa Beach, Florida

Author(s): H. S. Lew, N. J. Carino and S. G. Fattal

Publication: Concrete International

Volume: 4

Issue: 8

Appears on pages(s): 64-73

Keywords: buildings; concrete construction; failure; flat concrete plates; punching shear; shear strength; strength; structural analysis.

Date: 8/1/1982

Gives the results of an investigation into the collapse of a five-story, flat-plate condominium building in Cocoa Beach, Fla. The collapse occurred on March 27, 1981, while the casting of the roof slab was in progress. Eleven workers were killed and 23 were injured. The investigators conducted on-site inspec-tions, made laboratory tests, and made analytical studies. It was concluded that the most probable cause of the collapse was inadequate punching shear capacity in the fifth-floor slab to resist imposed construction loads. The analysis indicated that punching shear stresses at many slab/column connections were close to the ultimate capacity specified by the Code (ACI 318-77). Consequently, it was Concluded that a punching shear failure at a heavily stressed location triggered a succession of failures at other locations, resulting in the downward collapse of the entire structure.