Renowned Architect Updates Explanation of Davenport Building Collapse
Days after the partial collapse of a downtown Davenport apartment building, an internationally renowned architect did his own analysis with the information that was available to give his determination of what caused the building to come down.
He's now shared an update to his theory.
The First Video
Mike Bell, an architect from South Africa known for his analysis of building failures that he helps explain on his YouTube Channel published a new video using citizen drone footage of the damage as well as interviews with residents and witnesses, and gives a digital recreation of the event.
While it's not an official inspection because obviously, he hasn't been to the site of the collapse, he still gives a reasonable theory to why it did.
Mike explains that while the collapse was sudden, there were a few moments of warning leading up to the event, such as the story of the cleaning crew who heard the roof collapsing and got out of the area just in time before the collapse happened.
The building was constructed with a hybrid of brick and steel, which he explains was unusual but common at the time. The outer walls are load-bearing brick with a steel frame on the inside.
"The brick holds up the steel beams while simultaneously, the steel is the support of the lateral wall," Mike explained.
Mike explained this mixed structure type is not ideal, because the materials move and expand in different ways than each other, which is why it isn't used anymore.
Mike speaks of residents complaining of sagging floors and cracks, the covered walk installed around the building to protect pedestrians from falling bricks. He says that the signs of the building's state can be seen on Google Street View as early as 2008.
"There is water damage and efflorescent salts leaching out," he says. "It was repainted two years ago to cover over the decay."
Which brings us to his second video.
The New Updated Analysis
Mike's new video takes much of the information from the first, but he now has a better understanding of what caused the collapse.
His biggest discovery was what he calls improper shoring of the wall, sharing a photo from days before the collapse.
He shares photos of how it should've looked, explaining that there's much more to a proper shoring that was ignored, either purposefully or unknowingly.
Bell chalks up the cause of the collapse to years of poor maintenance and cut corners combined with improper shoring of the wall.
Check out the new update here: