1st Edition

Failures in Concrete Structures Case Studies in Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete

By Robin Whittle Copyright 2013
    44 Color & 122 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    148 Pages 44 Color & 122 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Some lessons are only learned from mistakes but, it’s much cheaper to learn from someone else’s mistakes than to have to do so from your own. Drawing on over fifty years of working with concrete structures, Robin Whittle examines the problems which he has seen occur and shows how they could have been avoided.

    The first and largest part of the book tells the stories of a number of cases where things have gone wrong with concrete structures. Each case is analyzed to identify its cause and how it might have been prevented. It then looks at how failures in structural modelling can lead to big problems if they are not identified before construction is undertaken. Beyond this it examines how contract arrangements can encourage or prevent problems in the designing and building processes. It concludes with an examination of the role research and development in preventing failures.

    By identifying the differences between shoddy economizations and genuine efficiency savings, this book offers savings in the short term which won’t be at the expense of a structure’s long-term performance. Invaluable reading if you’re designing or building concrete structures and want to avoid problems which could be expensive or embarrassing further down the line.

    Failures due to Design Errors
    Edge Beam and Column Connection
    Concrete Truss
    Circular Ramps to Car Park
    Transfer Beam with Eccentric Loading
    Early Thermal Effects
    Secondary Effects of Prestressing
    Temperature Effects on Long-Span Hybrid Structure
    Loading for Flat Slab Analysis
    Precast Concrete Car Park
    Arch Floor
    Precast Concrete Stairflights
    Shear Studs on Steel Column to Support Concrete Slab
    Piled Raft for Tower Block
    Floating Pontoon for Residential Building
    Precast Column Joint Detail

    Problems and Failures due to Errors in Structural Modelling
    Reinforced Concrete Transfer Truss
    Modelling Rigid Links
    Assessing Model Limits and Limitations
    Empirical Methods
    Initial Sizing of Slabs
    Analysis of Flat Slabs with Finite Element Programs
    Scale Effects

    Failures due to Inappropriate Extrapolation of Code of Practice Clauses
    Cooling Towers
    Design Bending Moments
    Piles with High Strength Reinforcement
    Shear Capacity of Deep Sections

    Failures due to Misuse of Code of Practice Clauses
    Flat Slab and Two-Way Slab Behaviour
    Ribbed Slab Supported on Broad Beam
    Car Park Columns

    Problems and Failures due to Inadequate Assessment of Critical Force Paths
    Heavily Loaded Nibs
    Shear Wall with Holes and Corner Supports
    Design of Boot Nibs

    Problems and Failures due to Poor Detailing
    Concrete Offshore Platform
    Assembly Hall Roof
    University Building Roof
    Minimum Reinforcement and Cracking
    Precast Concrete Panel Building

    Problems and Failures due to Inadequate Understanding of Materials’ Properties
    Changes over Time
    Rebending of Reinforcement
    Tack Welding of Reinforcement
    High Alumina Cement
    Calcium Chloride
    Alkali–Silica Reaction
    Lightweight Aggregate Concrete

    Problems and Failures due to Poor Construction
    Flat Slab Construction for Hotel
    Steel Piles Supporting Block of Flats
    Shear Cracks in Precast T Units
    Cantilever Balconies to Block of Flats
    Precast Concrete Tank
    Car Park
    Cracking of Offshore Platform during Construction
    Spalling of Load Bearing Mullions
    Two-Way Spanning Slab
    Chimney Flue for Coal-Fired Power Station

    Problems and Failures due to Poor Management
    Column–Slab Joint
    Placing of Precast Units
    Weak Aggregate Concrete in Chimney

    Problems and Failures due to Poor Construction Planning
    Power Station on River Thames
    Tower Block

    Problems and Failures due to Deliberate Malpractice
    Floor with Excessive Deflection
    Piles for Large Structure
    In Situ Columns Supporting Precast Building

    Problems Arising from the Procurement Process
    Effects of Different Forms of Contracts
    Checking Construction

    Contributions of Research and Development toward Avoidance of Failures
    Links between Practice and Research
    Flat Slab Behaviour
    Span and Effective Depth Ratios for Slabs
    Beam and Column Joints
    Tension Stiffening of Concrete




    Robin Whittle has over 50 years design and site experience of working with concrete structures. He is currently a consultant to the Arup Group ltd.

    "With the need to learn from ‘near misses’ being one of the outcomes of the recent forensic engineering conference in London, this book offers a good start by providing a useful selection of failures as well as ‘near misses’ of concrete structures. The author’s undoubted expertise in design and construction with concrete, attained over half a century of working experience with a major consultant in the UK, is evident from the introduction right through to the end."
    Forensic Engineering

    "The book provides a fascinating insight into what can go wrong. It illustrates the importance of approaching problems from first principles and identifying the key load paths, loads, etc. This type of material rarely sees the light of day for reasons of litigation and commercial confidentiality."
    —Robert Vollum, Imperial College, London, UK

    "This book is essential reading for any experienced engineer and offers insight into how designers and builders accidentally create structures that fail. This book both explains how things fall down and what was done or could have been done to overcome these errors. Learning from errors is an essential part of any engineer’s knowledge and expertise."
    David M. Scott, Laing O’Rourke, Connecticut, USA