Regular structural inspections are critical for identifying issues and avoiding a catastrophe

By Phil De La Mare 

Many building owners across the country are understandably concerned about the structural integrity of their own facilities following the horrific June 24 collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium building in Miami. 

Early investigations of the condo collapse indicate that there were several issues involving the structural integrity of the building (as well as its certification through the state) that, had they been identified, could have avoided the event entirely — and the resultant mass casualties and millions of dollars in damages.   

As a structural engineer with many years of structural forensics experience and repairs, I recommend that all structures be visually inspected every 10 years and a thorough in-depth element inspection be conducted every 25 years. This consistent schedule of inspections can not only help ensure the safety of occupants and visitors, it also can eliminate prohibitively costly construction repairs if left neglected — and complete reconstruction should the structure collapse.  

Just as we should not avoid going to the doctor for regular check-ups even when we seem healthy, we also should not let hidden structural problems go unnoticed until it’s too late. Engage your structural engineer to help identify simple measures and preventive steps that can be taken to ensure the safety and stability of your building to avoid catastrophe. 

Learn more about IMEG’s structural engineering forensics and diagnostics services. 

Categories: Structural