"Foreword Errare humanum est .... We structural engineers are human and so have made a number of errors over the years resulting in narrow escapes, badly performing structures, and even fatal collapses. But as Seneca continues ... sed perseverare diabolicum, we must not repeat our errors. To avoid this means that we must learn from our past mistakes
we must know what went wrong and why. Some of the lessons from our past errors get embodied in clauses in codes of practice, but many do not, and the collective memory of the profession tends to fade as the generation of engineers who learnt from the mishaps and catastrophes retires. Past books on the subject of structural failures tended to deal with the general causes of failures and methods of investigation, illustrated with the more spectacular examples. However, details of some failures that have not made the headlines, but nevertheless hold important lessons, are hard to find or may not even be in the public domain. In the past, Robin Whittle and I worked together at Arup R&
D on a variety of problems of concrete structures. Some of these arose from failures, and others were encountered when forestalling undesirable outcomes of the enthusiasm--untempered by experience--of some of our younger colleagues. Robin was also in close contact with researchers at the now sadly defunct Cement &
Concrete Association, the Polytechnic of Central London, and the universities of Leeds, Durham, and Birmingham, and so was privy to much of the background for the initial draft and subsequent revisions of"--
Building failures -- Prevention. ; Concrete construction. -- TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Civil / General -- bisacsh.
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