MIAMI, Florida – Six engineers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal agency that investigates structural failures in buildings, arrived in Surfside on Tuesday to begin their work.
Globe Live Media consulted a civil engineer who emphasized the importance of waiting for the results of the investigation, but explains some of the information that has already been revealed.
POSSIBLE SIGNS PRESAGING A SURFSIDE TRAGEDY
That is one of the many questions surrounding this tragedy. In 2018 an independent report from an engineering company detailed a series of structural problems at Champlain Towers South.
Globe Live Media sent the report to a civil engineer from Conconcreto, a construction company with 60 years of experience that offers engineering and construction services in the United States, Colombia, Panama and other countries in South America.
Daniel Cremades, Conconcreto’s civil engineer, gave his point of view. “Events like this that occur in a professional career have occurred on more than one occasion, I have seen them happen, they impact a lot and make us doubt a lot.”
Cremades explained that signs of deterioration on the terraces or balconies are to be expected on the coast.
“Loss of paint and loss of concrete exposure in balconies are usually very common due to the aggression of the sea and the winds and waters, which is common,” said Cremades.
There are other damages that caught his attention. The report points to damaged columns that had been previously repaired and structural damage around the pool and the building’s entrance.
“It is more worrying because the lower elements support the upper elements, when you see a damaged beam the stress is much higher than an upper element,” said Cremades.
But he points out that “that does not mean that you will see a damaged column and the building will fall or much less. The Florida code makes buildings very safe.”
FACTORS THAT MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE COLLAPSE OF CHAMPLAIN TOWER SOUTH
Cremades stated that there are several factors that could have contributed to the collapse, since “these events are very rare and are usually the result of a long sequence of pathologies and actions.”
The investigation will include the complete history of the building and the actions that were taken or not taken.
In reviewing the condo association files, during a meeting a month after the referenced report, then-Surfside construction department official Ross Prieto told the association that the building was in good repair.
Prieto no longer works for the Surfside municipal government and has not responded to requests from Telemundo 51 for an interview.
The engineer that Globe Live Media consulted also pointed to the importance of seeking expert opinions after building inspections to make all the necessary repairs.