Understanding Structural Failures
Understanding structural failures and how to avoid them
In a sense, civil engineering technologies are always a work in progress, as continuous advancements in the craft are all geared towards making everything better and better as time goes by. Even Reddy Kancharla recognizes that as impressive as civil engineering has been throughout the years, there have also been construction projects that failed. This article discusses structural failures and how these can be avoided.
Civil engineers who work simultaneously on a project simply must function as a team in order for the project to bear fruit. Most causes of structural failure are almost always traceable to a communication problem. Here are some common reasons for this to happen:
(1) Poor communication between any number of design professionals involved in the project, such as conceptual designers and field supervisors
(2) A failure between the fabricators and erectors to be on the same page with regard to execution
(3) Low standards of workmanship, as a result of misunderstood design decisions
(4) Compromises in professional ethics and a lack of accountability to the community at large
Reddy Kancharla shares that structural integrity and failure is an aspect of engineering whose main interest is the ability of a structure to support a specific structural load. A successful design is one that does not break, or is able to endure challenges with little to no damage involved.
If a civil work, whether it is a structural component or a structure in its totality, is able to hold together under a load, without breaking or deforming excessively, it is said to have good structural integrity. Simply put, when the opposite happens, you have a structural failure, says Reddy Kancharla.
When structural failure happens, this is not only costly in the monetary sense, although it is worth noting that failures of this sort have been known to amount to multi-millions in dollars. A failed structure can cripple the local economy within its vicinity if it is depended upon by businesses, tenants, and workers. Also, structural failures have been the cause of human casualties, which is really the saddest thing about it.
To avoid structural failures, civil engineers must make a conscious choice to be deliberate in their efforts to communicate with each other on the things that they need in order to make a project successful.
In closing, Reddy Kancharla also wishes to impart the knowledge that aside from structural integrity, personal integrity should also be a huge part of the work ethics of civil engineers like himself, with firm accountability to the community, and the commitment to do things right every step of the way.