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Steve Mendoza
General practice surveyor
Asked a question 2 years ago

What are the reasons of Building Collapse?

What are the reasons of Building Collapse?

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Building collapse refers to the failure of the structure or the component. The failure of a building depends on the materials, designs, methods of construction, environmental conditions, and building use.

Some of the main reasons of building collapse are as follows ;

Bad design Faulty construction Extraordinary loads Foundation failure Unexpected failure mode Natural disasters Soil liquification Demolition through explosives

I will provide you a list which causes the building to collapse.

Defective building design Faulty construction & More extra loads Failure of foundation Unexpected failure mode Soil liquefaction Demolition through explosives Earthquake Tsunami Typhoon and winds with high speed. Landslides or settlement of Sub-base soil due to over drainage. Soil with less bearing capacity. Errors in structural design. Inferior quality of cement and integrants is used. Use after the expiry of the life of buildings. Maintenance not done properly. Proper Foundation not provided. Less amount of reinforcement provided. Reinforcement corroded.

Thank You.

What are the reasons of Building Collapse?
  1. Overload… Too many people on a balcony or deck is a common reason for the collapse of such structures or when the occupancy of areas are changed without an evaluation
  2. Lack of maintenance… A lack of maintenance will lead to things like not noticing a problem before it becomes catastrophic
  3. Use of inferior materials/chemicals… Such as older (1960s – 1980s) fire retardant treated wood roof assemblies made with cheap ammonium phosphate are prone to collapse after 25 years of service
  4. Bad engineering… Structural engineers make mistakes, everyone does, but in small firms, a lack of multiple people checking designs can lead to bad calculations and structural failures
  5. Under-designed… Don’t confuse this with bad engineering, under-designed means you followed the code correctly and performed good calculations, but it still was inadequate for the loads
  6. Fire… Fire reduces steel yield strengths, causes concrete to undergo chemical changes that weaken it, causes masonry to spall/crack, and will consume wood materials… All of which can result in collapse
  7. Bad construction… The most common reason for an attached and self-supported deck to collapse is the contractor only provided nails between the deck ledger and the structure of the house, resulting in the deck pulling away
  8. Impact damage… Such as someone driving a car into a house, which can result in partial collapses
  9. Storm damage… Winds generally don’t result in a collapse as things are lifted away and not falling downwards, but floods can cause buildings/bridges to collapse
  10. Soils… Development of a sinkhole (human-made or natural) can cause a building/bridge to collapse
  11. Seismic… Earthquakes can make just about anything collapse if it is not designed for the magnitude of accelerations occurring.
Ross Kim
Geotechnical engineer
What are the reasons of Building Collapse?

Generally, Building collapsed due to following reasons:

Artificial reasons:

  1. Soil with less bearing capacity.
  2. Proper Foundation not provided.
  3. Reinforcement corroded.
  4. Errors in structural design.
  5. Inferior quality of cement and integrants is used.
  6. Less amount of reinforcement provided.
  7. Use after the expiry of life of buildings.
  8. Maintenance not done properly.

Natural reasons:

  1. Earthquake
  2. Landslides or settlement of Sub-base soil due to over drainage.
  3. Tsunami
  4. Typhoon and winds with high speed.

The main reason buildings collapsed are following;

1- Bad Design

2-Foundation Failure

3-Faulty Construction

4-Extraordinary Loads

5-Natural Disasters Like Earthquakes, Cyclones, Tornadoes,Fire, Hurricanes.

6- Differential Settlement

There is many reasons of collapse of building.

  • Earthquake
  • Settlement of foundation
  • Defective structural design
  • Defective construction practice
  • Improper compaction of soil
  • Change in usage of building
  • Building life is over
  • Improper maintenance of building

All of the defects are prevented by proper construction techniques and quality control, adequate structure design, and regular maintenance of buildings.

The main reason for collapsing the building is its foundation. Earthquakes and any other natural disaster also are some of the reasons of collapsing of the building. Any other thing like bombing and demolition also reason created by humans to collapse the building.

For me, I would say that the main reason is lack of improper foundation work like testing of soil, and as we know that the type of foundation depends on the type of soil.

And also if the live load and dead load (weight transfer) to the foundation