Building components are liable to fail depending on the materials, designs, environment conditions, and the methods of construction.
Buildings do not suddenly collapse, the entire collapse results from the failure of the different components of the building.
1. Design Faults
Building structures are designed to support loads without failing. The building is expected to be able to carry the live loads, and dead loads that comes on it. Failure can occur when the structure is not designed in accordance to the load it is supposed to carry.
A structural engineer is expected to do a thorough calculation of the loads, not just work based on assumptions. He shouldn’t ignore the effects of stresses, and should ensure to choose the right materials.
2. Inadequate Construction
The engineer’s negligence to build according to drawings and specifications can cause building collapse. Buildings should be built with the right, standard materials, not substandard ones.
Extra loads on the building due to alterations and additions can cause building failure.
3. Performance Failures
Performance failure is known as the unbearable difference between expected and existing design and construction.
The structural engineer’s design drawing must be put aside at the construction stage a that the structure can be effectively constructed. Failure can occur when there is inadequate supervision of operations on site.
4. Weak Foundations
Adequate foundations can be costly, but they are worth it. Foundations can sometimes cost up to half the price of the whole building, it shouldn’t be surprising since the foundation is what carries the weight of the building on it.
When designing foundations, the strength of the soul and the weight of the building coming on it should be considered.
When you try to save money on foundations, and you don’t design a strong foundation, you will end up with a collapsed building which will be more costlier to repair.
5. Untested Strength
The strength of the building should be tested at the point of construction. Unfortunately, most engineers do not do this, they waive it aside, but it has been known to be one of the cause of building failures.