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Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

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RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

Rings of Hyatt Regency back in the 80's.

Music is a killer...

Where do you drag up these things JAE? bigears

Celebrating another Clemson win I guess...

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

...just like the Texas bridge, is was caused by 'climate change'...hehe smile

In all seriousness, sorry to see there where injuries.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

I own a 96 year old house with 2X8 floor joists and other underdesigned structural elements (by today's standard). I am mindful of that when inviting people over for social occasions. Most college kids wouldn't give it a thought.

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

When I held my wedding at my house I reinforced a small landing on my deck which was poorly designed. I suspect most people don't consider this at all though, I wonder what homeowners insurance does in the instance of holding an unsuitable gathering or otherwise having a failure due to overload of a structure?

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

Quote (TehMightyEngineer)

I wonder what homeowners insurance does in the instance of holding an unsuitable gathering or otherwise having a failure due to overload of a structure?
I would imagine failures like that happen regularly. We only hear of the occasional one where a number of people are injured. Also, I would think your home owner's insurance would cover your liability, unless it was proven that you built the structure yourself, and without the proper permits and inspections. Then again, we see lots of reports of local contractors building decks with permits and inspections that are significantly short of the code standards, so in that case I would think that the contractor would be liable, but on the other hand it has to do with the law so who the hell knows who would sue who and who would pay and how much?

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

I don't take Engineering Failure/Disaster to mean anything other than an incident involving a structure or system (engineered or otherwise), or some catastrophic event that engineer's must respond to, or maybe even a structure that is intentionally demolished or destructively tested. If there is something to be learned then I am happy to see it on this forum.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

thebard3, I suspect older wood was of a better quality than what you find now.

Maybe oak floors, or maybe pine. Not popular like today.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

One advantage of living on the West coast is that almost everything is new and purpose-built, so nightclubs tend to be code-compliant. We don't what the history of this building was, and what code it was built to, and whether its current use is even remotely consistent with its original design.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

IR...

It was a frat house with who knows how many undocumented changes over the years.

Probably had 4" diameter holes drilled in 2x6 floor joists for all I know. Like that's never been done before...

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

Hang on, IRstuff identified what he thinks is an advantage of living on the West coast. Let him have at least one.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

(OP)
Well there's good wine and very good food that's for sure (coming from a midwesterner in the US who's visited there a bit.

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RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

There obvious exceptions; like the warehouse that was converted into a non-code compliant dwelling that because a fire trap, or those amusing condos with structural beams running through the kitchen and its cabinets.

Lots of great Chinese and Japanese food on the West coast, that's almost good enough alone.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

What? Are we trying to compare the East and West coast construction?

It appears that things on the West coast have been shaken, and on the East have been stirred. At this point some of the old stuff that is unstable is likely to have been destroyed on both.

So why are we making this review? What's the point?

If someone gets a permit to change a building, is it not required, everywhere, to have it re-inspected?

The exception maybe a barn. Then again, maybe the inspector may not know...

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

Quote (cranky108)

If someone gets a permit to change a building, is it not required, everywhere, to have it re-inspected?

Not reinspected, no. At least not structurally. IEBC requires gravity system to comply with current building code if load increases. Any reinforcements made to achieve this would require inspections just like new construction. But there are no building-wide inspections required that I know of. And if the load is the same even if occupancy changes (say changing residential to parking, both 40 psf under IBC though parking does have point loads to deal with), then even the analysis isn't technically required.

And IEBC requires absolutely nothing for lateral resistance provided you don't change the risk category or remove resisting elements (or add wind area/seismic mass).

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

There's a more recent story on the local station's web page.

https://www.wyff4.com/article/fraternity-responds-...

The property is the Woodlands of Clemson Clubhouse, perhaps not a dedicated frat house. I'd love to see the drawings but it may not matter much. The occupant load was pretty clearly far in excess of any reasonable expectation.

https://www.woodlandsofclemson.com/


https://www.google.ca/maps/@34.7019245,-82.7982101...


RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

The max occupancy load of 135 for the first floor seems like it's probably reasonable for the party thrown, no?

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

But what was the criteria was used to determine maximum occupancy? Was it available square footage or floor load? And even if it was floor load, was it static or dynamic?

I ask this because here in SoCal, virtually all commercial establishments like restaurants and bars, have the 'Maximum Occupancy' posted near the entrance, and most newer buildings, at least here in SoCal, have no basements, they have a solid floor. Therefore the only conceivable criteria for this determination would have to be related to square footage and perhaps the ability to safely exit the facility in the case of an emergency. Floor load would not be a factor at all.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
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It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

Ah, that makes sense.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

(OP)
I think most occupancy limits are based on fire egress and not floor loading.

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RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

To my dumb mechanical mind that seems somewhat counter-intuitive. I would've assumed that if you have a max of 135 people allowed due to egress, the building would also be able to sustain that load? If not, how do event buildings and the like know how many people can be safely be in the space?

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

'Max occupancy' is probably not the best metric in this case since that is more closely related to egress than it is to structural capacity. An architect or an engineer would have designed the floor for 100 psf, say, and the fire marshal would have set the max occupancy based on aisle widths and lengths, lack of fixed seating, fire sprinklers, etc. Maybe 'effective live load' would be a better term.

From watching the videos there could have been 80 people in a 16'x16' space. That only works out to about 40psf static live load. The dynamic live load was easily twice that and certainly much higher since they were in phase and possibly near a natural frequency of the floor system.

Edit: The witnesses statements were that just before the collapse "the beat was about to drop". If I translate that into engineering/geezer speak, it means that the occupants were about to apply an extra high impulse at a precise and simultaneous moment.

Another video just after the incident with better lighting:

https://twitter.com/ShaleRemien/status/10538956414...

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

It's not unusual to see storage mezzanines and similar posted with an allowable live load of, say, 100 pounds per square foot.
So Engineers always get the panic call when someone sees that someone else has spread that 100 pounds over many square feet, thinking it should only be over a single square foot.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

I just dealt with a partial collapse in a 1920's college rental house - same thing 100 people dancing in a small space.
The joists were full 2x10's spanning 16 ft. spaced 16" O.C.
6 joists broke. Fortunately, the floor only dropped about 12" in the middle and no one was hurt to my knowledge. The damage was a combination of flexural failure - mainly at knots on the tension side of the member and shear failure at the ends due to the joists being notched 4" for the 2x4 ledger.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

A photograph from the local station shows the floor trusses.


=]]

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

Those trusses are laid out weird. I noticed in the video. It shouldn't fail like that with standard framing.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

It looks like a mechanical chase/Vierendeel panel down the middle of the floor trusses.

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

The space doesn't really look like it was meant to be used for assembly or a dance floor.

The scale is hard to work out but the truss members and plating almost don't look like a typical parallel cord truss. Could the chords and webs be less than 2x4s?

RE: Floor Collapse Near Clemson Univ.

As a public room in a multi-family residential building, I think it would have been designed for 100 psf, which is the same as dance halls, so is it likely that the actual load exceeded the code required design live load?

What is that floor sheathing material? It doesn't look like plywood or OSB? Maybe this truss system wasn't braced adequately?

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