60 Engineering Ethics: An Industrial Perspective
Stuart, R., Toll at 111 in Kansas City hotel disaster. NY Times,A1, July 19, 1981.
Wyatt, C., Paris terminal “showed movement.BBC News, May 26, 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/
hi/world/europe/3751263.stm.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Should the steel fabricator and detailer assume more responsibility for
their work on shop and erection drawings?
2. Download AISC’s Designing with Structural Steel: a Guide for Architects at
http://www.aisc.org/Content/ContentGroups/Documents/ePubs_Architects_
Guide/ArchitectsGuide.pdf. Read Part I, Basic Structural Engineering, on
pages 21–36.Which elements were used in the Hyatt atrium design?
3. The AISC 2000 Code of Standard Practice for Steel Buildings and
Bridges is contained within the appendix of this guide. Read pages
275–289, which describe procedures for design, shop, and erection
drawings. How have these procedures been influenced by the Hyatt
disaster?
4. During a fast-track project, the actual construction of a building begins
before the design work is completed. In this way, the owner may avoid
the full impact of escalating construction costs during the period of
design and construction. Time pressure is put on the structural engineer
to expedite shop drawing review, as the construction team is ready to
proceed and lacks only the contractually required review and approval
of shop drawings by the engineer (Administrative Hearing Commission,
1985). How ethical is the fast-track project delivery system?
5. On May 23, 2004, a 30-meter section of the roof of Terminal 2E of the
Paris airport collapsed. This new terminal had opened only 11 months
prior to the collapse and had been built using steel, concrete, and 36,000
sq m of reinforced glass. It had cost $900 million. Internationally
renowned French architect Paul Andreu did not believe his futuristic
design was to blame. He has created more than 50 airports around the
world.
Immediately after the collapse, construction details began to
emerge. Trade unions in France claimed that builders were put under
pressure to open the terminal on time. Airport cleaners admitted that
two major water pipes had burst in the weeks before the accident.
After the first water leaks, the cleaners had seen dust and particles
falling from the ceiling. Airport officials confirmed that during an
early stage of construction cracks appeared in the pillars holding up
the concrete structure in an area of the terminal that did not collapse,
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1981: Kansas City Hyatt Regency Skywalk Collapse 61
which then had to be strengthened with carbon fiber. Shortly before
the building’s completion, 300 extra metal beams had been added to
increase its stability (Wyatt, 2004).
On July 5, investigators announced that the metal support structure
had perforated the concrete, causing it to split and collapse.Although the
exact reasons were not known, the concrete was probably deteriorating
(BBC News, 2004). How can this type of collapse be prevented in the
future?
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