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Case Studies 4 (Print) Case Studies on Failure Investigations in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering

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This monograph presents case studies on failure investigations in structural and geotechnical engineering in three sections: building collapses, bridge collapses, and structural failures leading to the loss of serviceability of the structure (failures without collapse). This bulletin is the result of the work lead by the Task Group 5.1 (TG5.1) ‘Forensic Structural Engineering’ as part of Commission 5 ‘Existing Structures’ of IABSE. The work of TG5.1 is not limited to any building material or type of structure and focuses on the exchange of knowledge on causes (technical, human, and/or organizational) of structural failures and on forensic investigation methods and techniques. These case studies are selected from a wide range of reported and investigated structural failures. While this is an ‘incomplete’ set of case studies, the selection has been made based on well documented structural failures, either from direct contact to forensic engineering experts who worked in the technical investigation process, or from highly detailed investigation material that has been summarized by the relevant chapter author(s). As a result, this bulletin covers a wide range of causes, technical and legal investigation processes, and finally highlights the lessons learnt for each of the described structural failures. The aim of the bulletin is not only to describe case studies but, mainly, to use emblematic case studies to show procedures that can be used when dealing with structural failures. In addition to obtaining a deeper insight into the technical causes for structural failure, the reader would be duly informed about the different countries’ legal issues related to the investigation process.

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