champlain towers collapse–best summary yet…

Architect and engineer Twitter has been busy this week speculating about the cause(s) of the building collapse north of Miami. The best summary I’ve seen yet is in this morning’s Washington Post and deserves a full read by anyone curious/concerned, including reasons why a foundation failure or sinkhole seems increasingly unlikely.

Elsewhere, the truly chilling document from the president of the building’s HOA and associated engineer’s report emphasize just how pervasive the building’s deterioration had become. Deferred maintenance and short-term financial decisions are their own post/book idea, but this is a prime example of how primed we are to ignore risks of long-term catastrophe when faced with difficult short-term decisions.

5 thoughts on “champlain towers collapse–best summary yet…

  1. Discussion in my office has to some degree centered on the fact that Morabito used language we use all the time: the damage is not unsafe now but it will get worse and at an accelerating rate. Every report we write, we’re trying to thread the needle of being scary (to get owners to act) but not exaggerating the danger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s probably a long post in waiting about the physical consequences of the passive voice, among other things…


  2. Tom:

    Thanks for forwarding the NYT story about Champlain Towers. The Washington Post article, however, can only be opened by subscribers to the Post.

    I commiserate with Jean Wodnicki, and all condo presidents who have to deal with recalcitrant owners. It’s hard enough just getting agreement on a needed assessment increase, much less money for major repairs.

    As the ex-CEO of two small condominium associations in Chicago, I devised a saying: “Everything I know about evil is what I learned as a condo president.”




    • Sorry about the paywall–I’ll confess to being an avid Post subscriber, and they don’t let you know what’s blocked vs. what’s publicly available…My condominium experience is pretty fresh, but mygawd, the correspondence from the Champlain Towers board supports your aphorism 100%…


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