Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail

Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail

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The authors examine buildings of all kinds, from ancient domes like Istanbul's Hagia Sophia to the state-of-the-art Hartford Civic Arena. Their subjects range from the man-caused destruction of the Parthenon to the earthquake damage of 1989 in Armenia and San Francisco.

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, builders, materials, and natural forces all coming together in sometimes dramatic (and always instructive) ways.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393311525
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/1994
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 334
Sales rank: 343,862
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
debherter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A scientific study of the subject. Includes b&w drawings.
jcbrunner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away." This mystery tour of structural engineering presents numerous cases of failed buildings. The outstanding inked illustrations show the physical forces at work and help the lay reader understand the expert sleuthing of collapsing houses, towers, bridges and dams. Besides the well-known cases (Galloping Gertie, Johnstown, Pisa), the little cases are particularly fascinating. The appendices give a good non-mathematical introduction to the issues of structural engineering.This book is the perfect present for your phobic friends. Having read this book, you will never feel completely at ease in a building or on a bridge. Any moment the structure might break down ... The main drivers of structural disasters are: a fast deployment of untested innovations, the lack of redundancies and the neglect of control and maintenance. The authors show that more planning, testing and control can prevent disasters and limit their financial and human cost. Structural disasters usually show a long history of neglected warning signs.The awful chapter 17 where author Mario Salvadori has the psychological need to mention twice his two Italian doctorates and an American honoris causa (and belittle the general public) is not worthy of the rest of the book and should have been excised in the updated version (His ego must have been deeply wounded.). Although the claim "updated" is debatable: Many cases are still stuck in 1989. A truly updated version would have added some input resolving the cases. The changes made mostly concern the two attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. A further reading list would also have made a good addition as the field has a sharp divide between professional and amateur titles. Overall, highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was really fun and interesting when I read it a number of years ago, and I have gone and re-read a number of chapters when relevant topics come up in the news. Specifically after last Tuesday's event in New York with the World Trade Center. There is a chapter in the book concerning the time a B-25 struck the Empire State Building. I hope the author adds some chapters concerning the World Trade Center, because I would buy the revised edition for sure.