Catastrophic Collapse: Lessons Learned, After the Fall

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When

05/03/2022 12:00 pm - 07/27/2022 5:00 pm

Cost

Free

Where

421 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Building collapses are rare but can happen for a host of reasons: earthquakes, extreme weather, human error, or a combination of factors. Fortunately, the lessons we learn from building failures make us all safer. These lessons often lead to refinements in construction codes and maintenance protocols, and can even bring about critical retrofits of existing buildings.

The American Institute of Architects has chosen eight well documented structural failure case studies, highlighting how building safety has been improved in their wake. The exhibition concludes with some speculation as to what we may learn from the recent collapse of a condominium building in Surfside, Florida, in 2021.

The exhibition features some of our nation’s most catastrophic structural disasters—from the South Fork Dam and Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the Northridge Meadows Apartments and the World Trade Center. Each catastrophic collapse offers a story with lessons learned that improved the way we design buildings today.

  • 1889……… South Fork Dam / Johnstown, PA
  • 1922……… Knickerbocker Theatre / Washington, DC
  • 1940……… Tacoma Narrows Bridge / Tacoma, WA
  • 1981……… Hyatt Regency Hotel / Kansas City, MO
  • 1994……… Northridge Meadows Apartments / Los Angeles, CA
  • 2001……… World Trade Center / New York, NY
  • 2005……… New Orleans Levees/Floodwalls / New Orleans, LA
  • 2021……… Champlain Towers South / Surfside, FL
  • 2021……… Western Kentucky Tornado