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Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

The last that I saw they had at least 10 survivors out.
Man do they have a story.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

(OP)
Plus another four.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

And how is this an engineering disaster? I guess they could have used an avalanche gun sooner to keep so much snow from collecting.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

(OP)
Just a matter of thinking how the design could be improved... or maybe designed it in a fashion to better resist avalanches, or having a 'hardened' envelope, or _____ (fill in the blank).

Dik

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Not bloody likely...

It can be done, but the cost would be outrageous. To design a ski chalet to withstand the impact of an avalanche would seem require lots of concrete/steel.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

(OP)
IR:
Agreed, the response was to cranky... the original thread has an engineering component and belongs in this fora.

Almost like making house trailers tornado proof.

Dik

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Sorry to cause confusion, but I felt there was no engineering design errors here. Granted it could have been designed better.

I still feel you might get better cost in snow build up prevention.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Building failures, in general, are always a point of interest to structural engineers. Even if the building was properly designed and performed as intended.

Where did the damage occur, was it ductile, did it give people time to evacuate or find a safe zone? All questions we can ask and learn from..... Though I don't expect to get much of that until we see some more post evacuation pictures of the failure.

Prevention of snow build up may be the best way to avoid this type of disaster in the future. But, that doesn't mean we can't still learn from it.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Prevention of snow buildup involves avalanche cannons, but that only works when you can get out there to do the measurements and the shots. They supposedly had days of heavy snow, followed by a series of earthquakes. I doubt that there would have been much to be done in that particular case; it's probable like a 100-yr anomaly and the only thing that might have saved the people would have been if the hotel was never there to begin with.

When the big one finally hits California, someone will say afterwards, "Gee, why couldn't we have prevented all that damage?" I think there are physical limits to what we humans can do in the face of the forces Nature can throw at us. We think we're the big cheeses, but we're really no more than ants crawling on the face of the Earth.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Seems they might have been better served by having some sort of wedge shape to split the avalanche around the structure, negating the need to resist the entire perpendicular avalanche force. That would also help in the case of failed mitigation for whatever reason, say, long heavy storms.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Quote (JoshPlum)

Building failures, in general, are always a point of interest to structural engineers. Even if the building was properly designed and performed as intended.

Buildings designs aren't my thing and I wouldn't know an avalanche resistant ski chalet from one that never stood a chance, but I always find the "everything worked as intended" failures much more interesting than those where the failure mechanism is obvious as soon as the failure occurs. Something about having to dig deep in to the design criteria to figure out where it went wrong always, in the end, results in a much more satisfying investigation. Having simply to say that the design should have been followed, or this simple construction precaution should have been followed and all would have been well is much more just a slap of the forehead than a real event investigation.

It is my understanding that there's a power line from a hydro plant to Juneau Alaska that traverses an avalanche prone slope where one steel mono-pole is accompanied by multiple stub poles to form a prow around the main pole so that any avalanche is disrupted and diverted prior to taking out the pole that actually holds the conductors.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

(OP)
IR:
I would suggest the logical expansion of your statements:
> Engineering (Failures & Disasters)
would be Engineering Failures AND Engineering Disasters
and
> (Engineering Failures) & Disasters
would be Engineering Failures AND Disasters

The event clearly falls under Engineering Failures AND, if so then falls under Engineering Disasters. Your first statement is TRUE.

and regarding the second statement,
The event clearly falls under Engineering Failures AND Disasters
and the second statement is TRUE.

Your thesis might be considered as a trivial solution in some circles, but, I digress off topic.

It's been a slow boring day...

Dik

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Except I could easily see zero engineering going into a ski lodge. Some carpenter cutting this and that until there was a building. Possibly no written plans ever.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Someone had to at least verify that snow loads on the roof were being handled.

A wedge presupposes a known direction for an avalanche, but most places I've seen, there's multiple ridges, so multiple directions.

Esthetics-wise, a 10 or 20 ft tall wedge in the middle of the ski resort is going to be ugly.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

A wedge shape would be as problematic as a round shape, in that the contents will never seem to fit right.

Although a round shape might be a better design.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

IRstuff,

Something like this, but with snow?


RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Sure!

But that's at the top of its local terrain, as opposed to being at the bottom of a valley surrounded by hills laden with snow winky smile And, it looks like it would be double-black diamond to ski out of there when surrounded by snow...

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Has that been Photoshopped? I mean, the sky looks blue in that picture - something that's clearly impossible!

A.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

It would be interesting to review the areas where the survivors were found to determine if there is a design element that provides the best chance of survival in the event of the disaster, and that feature could be incorporated into future hotel designs in at risk areas.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

I think I just read that two of them were in a car.

So maybe we should all be sleeping in our cars.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Italian mountain resorts...only, I remember that in spring/summer/autumn one sometimes hears about mudslides taking away buildings etc. and to cover the fullness of the year there's the avalanches..
However, there must be people knowing to pick construction locations not prone to avalanches / mudslides. Then again, well, shouldn't immunity against such events be a stringent design criteria for construction in mountain areas?
I come from a small town near the sea, so the need for a breakwater is evident, and projecting this into the mountains this could be done by some dam or buildup hillock towards the slope. Could be fitted nicely into the picturesqe landscape w/o evident concrete..

Roland Heilmann
Lpz FRG

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

"Then again, well, shouldn't immunity against such events be a stringent design criteria for construction in mountain areas?"

Seriously? We don't even do that in the US. Floods, tornadoes, etc. routinely demolish buildings and towns, and I don't see anyone saying that the re-builds should be tornado or flood proof. Or earthquake proof in Alaska and California. We don't demand that our cars be build to withstand all possible collisions. We don't demand that our airplanes have triple redundancy in all systems.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

"Then again, well, shouldn't immunity against such events be a stringent design criteria for construction in mountain areas?"

Seriously? We don't even do that in the US. Floods, tornadoes, etc. routinely demolish buildings and towns, and I don't see anyone saying that the re-builds should be tornado or flood proof. Or earthquake proof in Alaska and California. We don't demand that our cars be build to withstand all possible collisions. We don't demand that our airplanes have triple redundancy in all systems.

We actually do design for snow and wind loading in specific geography; as well as size heating and cooling systems accordingly.

I recall reading that a homeowner in Tennessee was able to save his home from the recent forest fires because he had managed his property (clearing brush) over the years to mitigate the effects of a forest fire

In your own experience, if you have a chronically wet basement you put in shelving to keep stuff off the floor.

The challenge is what to do with existing structures

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Lets start with you can't protect, or regulate stupid. Yes beach houses get washed away every year.
So maybe one should start with insurable risk. If the cost of insurance is real high, then maybe that's the wrong place.

In the middle of the US houses get blown away by tornadoes, but some houses survive for over 100 years. So much for bad luck.
However, if the houses were designed as earth shelter houses, they might better survive. But they have a lower resale value.

I have heard many times that people should not be allowed to build there because of the risk. Yet, I can say the same for building on the coast, or even for house boats.
The fact is there is no place that has no risk.

Was this a bad place for a building? Or had more than usual risk?
I don't know, but if there is a way to reduce the risk or effects, then let's hear it.

RE: Avalanche Burys Hotel in Italy

Yes,
pls. give me the chance of a rehearsal of wording and to add some illustration:
- "design criteria" to be read "choice of location" - criteria,
- immunity: Instead of building at a per se dangerous location (add fences / protections at cost as described as above by others), why not use excavated soil + some boulders to build up some breakwater ("breaksnow"), in case no other location is at hand and especially instead of doing nothing and waiting for the big one?
These are commonplaces, sure enough. However, doesn't it seem as if commonplaces aren't hardwired into regulation there's a good chance to get them ignored?

I'm sorry the ill. is an attachment only, the "upload image"-functionality doesn't work anymore for me.

Roland Heilmann
Lpz FRG

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