Slender column long span beam structures are inherently unsafe

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Perhaps the reason why there has been so much obfuscation surrounding the collapses of WTCs 1,2 and 7 are because it is known that slender column long span beam structures are inherently unsafe.

If this is the case, it would explain the collapses. It would also raise serious questions as to the safety of trillions of dollars worth of other similarly constructed offices and buildings.

I suggest that slender column long span beam structure is inherently unsafe and this is being covered up.

To underpin, this speculative argument I cite the previously mentioned buildings which have suffered far more severe and longer lasting fires, without collapsing, (apart from some minor collapses which always accompany a severe fire).

It has been suggested that these 'other' buildings had concrete rather than steel cores and this is why they did not collapse.

If this is true, why then has there not been a ban on slender column long span beam structures and a return to concrete cores which are apparently much safer.

http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/anal...are/fires.html

"One Meridian Plaza is a 38-floor skyscraper in Philadelphia that suffered a severe fire on February 23, 1991. The fire started on the 22nd floor and raged for 18 hours, gutting eight floors and causing an estimated $100 million in direct property loss. It was later described by Philadelphia officials as "the most significant fire in this century".

"The tallest skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela experienced a severe fire on October 17, 2004. The blaze began before midnight on the 34th floor, spread to more than 26 floors, and burned for more than 17 hours. Heat from the fires prevented firefighters from reaching the upper floors, and smoke injured 40 firefighters."

"The most recent example of a spectacular skyscraper fire was the burning of the Hotel Mandarin Oriental starting on February 9, 2009. The nearly completed 520-foot-tall skyscraper in Beijing caught fire around 8:00 pm, was engulfed within 20 minutes, and burned for at least 3 hours until midnight. Despite the fact that the fire extended across all of the floors for a period of time and burned out of control for hours, no large portion of the structure collapsed."
Content from External Source






 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
To say they are "inherently unsafe" seems to imply they are in danger of collapsing in a strong breeze.

Really it took quite an extraordinary sequence of events to bring down the WTC structures. What was shown though is that aspects of similar structures are vulnerable to extensive uncontrolled fires in ways that had not been fully considered before, and this led to some recommendations for future construction.

The One Meridian Plaza and other building were also considered IN GREAT DEPTH in NCSTAR 1-9 Section 8.5 "Lessons from Historic High-Rise Fires", here's a summary of the key differences:


To make a compelling case here, you really need to read at least that section (8.5).

https://www.metabunk.org/files/NCSTAR_1-9_WTC7_unlocked.pdf
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The fact the One Meridian Plaza did not collapse kind of distracts from the fact that it nearly collapsed.

About six hours after the fire started, at 2:15 a.m. the next day, “fire was reported to be burning on the
24th and 25th floors and extending to the 26th floor” (Routley et al.1991). Thus, fires were burning
simultaneously on at least two floors at a time, and the vertical fire spread rate was approximately 90 min
per floor. Fire fighters reported (Eisner and Manning 1991),

“…continual movement and cracking [of concrete] in all three [stair] towers.
Floors had moved as much as three feet…and beam flanges were cracked.
SFRM on beams in stairways had fallen off and the now-unprotected members
were twisting, moving, and starting to elongate. Main structural elements were
beginning to fail.”

A structural engineer advised the fire department of the potential for structural collapse, and a decision
was made to pull back firefighters. The order to evacuate the building was issued at about 7:00 a.m. on
February 24. Fire continued to spread vertically until, at the 30th floor, it was stopped by automatic
sprinklers.

Structural Fire Damage

The USFA report (Routley et al. 1991) indicated that, “After the fire, there was evident significant
structural damage to horizontal steel members and floor sections on most of the fire damaged floors.
Beams and girders sagged and twisted—some as much as three feet—under severe fire exposures, and
fissures developed in the reinforced concrete floor assemblies in many places.” It was reported that the
columns continued to support their loads without obvious damage. The Philadelphia Fire Commissioner
later commented that, “vertical member protection was a major factor in preventing a total collapse of
upper floors” (Eisner and Manning 1991). Recall that the fire protection for the columns was reported to
exceed the code requirements.
Content from External Source
If anything, this seems to me to be very strong evidence that an uncontrolled fire could lead to collapse.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
To say they are "inherently unsafe" seems to imply they are in danger of collapsing in a strong breeze.

Fair enough, I will clarify. When I suggest they are 'inherently unsafe', that suggestion is confined to their ability to withstand significant fire, (which can originate from a coffee machine), without collapsing in the manner which WTC's did.

It has been put forward, quite reasonably I think, that the cited buildings which did not collapse were of better design and construction to withstand an inferno, which is evidenced by the fact they did not collapse.

Now I am unsure as to the veracity of the suggestion that the other buildings were constructed with a concrete core, ( I will look into it), but if that is true, how dangerous are the many existing slender beam buildings which are in use today should a fire break out. Are they likely to fall within a few hours like the WTCs?
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
The fact the One Meridian Plaza did not collapse kind of distracts from the fact that it nearly collapsed.


If anything, this seems to me to be very strong evidence that an uncontrolled fire could lead to collapse.

Not really, because despite burning much more fiercely and for 18 hours and despite significant structural deformations, it did not collapse. It nearly collapsed does not cut it.

The new one has the following;

http://www.iklimnet.com/hotelfires/meridienplaza_building.html

Construction was classified by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections as equivalent to BOCA Type 1B construction which requires 3-hour fire rated building columns, 2-hour fire rated horizontal beams and floor/ceiling systems, and l-hour fire rated corridors and tenant separations. Shafts, including stairways, are required to be 2-hour fire rated construction, and roofs must have l-hour fire rated assemblies.
Content from External Source
Which appears significantly less durable in the face of fire than it's predecessor.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
One Meridian Plaza did not have a concrete core, here's the section from NCSTAR 1-9 in more detail. Read this in conjunction with table 8-1 above.


8.5.1 One Meridian Plaza
At approximately 8:30 p.m., February 23, 1991, a fire was reported at One Meridian Plaza, a 38 story
office building in Philadelphia (Figure 8–9). The fire, which started on the 22nd floor, ultimately
consumed the 21st through 29th floors. Fire fighting operations were suspended when it was determined
that there was a possibility of a major structural collapse; the fire was extinguished only when it reached
the 30th floor, which had a functioning automatic sprinkler system. Information regarding this fire, taken
largely from Eisner and Manning (1991), Klem (1991), and Routley et al. (1991), is summarized here.



The Building
The One Meridian Plaza office building was designed and built to the 1949 Philadelphia Building Code
and was completed in 1969. It was classified as “Type 1B” construction requiring 3 h fire-rated columns,
and 2 h fire-rated beams. The building was steel frame construction with non-composite concrete slab
floors over metal deck. It had moment frame construction with all girder-to-column connections moment
resisting , i.e., what would today be termed “fully restrained.” Beams were protected with cementitious
sprayed fire-resistive material (SFRM), and the columns were encased in plaster and gypsum. Columns
were reported to have a 4 h fire resistance rating, which exceeded the 3 h code requirement.

The building was approximately 68 m by 29 m (223 ft by 94 ft) in plan and had an open-plan floor layout
with offices around the periphery (Figure 8–10). There was a service core located on the south side of the
building leaving roughly 1,600 m2 (17,000 ft2) of tenant space per floor. The 22nd floor, where the fire
started, had a “convenience stairway” to the 21st floor which was open (i.e., not separated by fire-rated
partitions and doors). There was a similar stairway connecting the 24th and 25th floors, allowing for easy
vertical fire spread.


Fire Protection Systems
An automatic sprinkler system was being installed in the building, and tenant floors were sprinklered or
would have been sprinklered as they became vacant or were renovated. At the time of the fire, sprinklers
had been installed on Floors 30, 31, 34, and 35, and parts of Floors 11 and 15, with installation scheduled
for completion by 1993. There were three stairways, two served by 6 in. “wet” risers. Pressureregulating
valves on Floors 13 through 25 had not been properly calibrated on installation and initially
limited available water for fire fighting operations.




Combustible Load
The building tenants were law offices, and brokerage, banking and accounting firms. The fire load was
characterized as “heavy” in the USFA Technical Report (Routley 1991) with “heavy wood paneling,
heavy wood furniture, and an abundance of office machinery.”

Growth and Spread of Fire
The fire was determined by the Fire Marshal of the City of Philadelphia (Eisner and Manning 1991) to
have started by spontaneous heating, resulting in the ignition of oily rags left in an office where wood
paneling was being refinished. The fire was first detected by a smoke alarm that activated at
approximately 8:23 p.m. The Philadelphia Fire department was notified at 8:27 p.m. and the first unit
arrived within 4 min, at which time heavy smoke was reported, with fire observed from one window on
the 22nd floor.
The fire on the 22nd floor spread to the 23rd floor. It was reported that “Vertical fire extension resulted
from unprotected openings in floor and shaft assemblies, failure of fire-resistance rated floor assemblies,
and the lapping of flames through windows on the outside of the building” (Routley et al. 1991). Fire
fighting efforts were severely hampered by low pressure in the standpipe water supply system and loss of
electrical power, allowing uncontrolled fires to continue to spread vertically.
About six hours after the fire started, at 2:15 a.m. the next day, “fire was reported to be burning on the
24th and 25th floors and extending to the 26th floor” (Routley et al.1991). Thus, fires were burning
simultaneously on at least two floors at a time, and the vertical fire spread rate was approximately 90 min

per floor. Fire fighters reported (Eisner and Manning 1991),

“…continual movement and cracking [of concrete] in all three [stair] towers.
Floors had moved as much as three feet…and beam flanges were cracked.
SFRM on beams in stairways had fallen off and the now-unprotected members
were twisting, moving, and starting to elongate. Main structural elements were
beginning to fail.”​


A structural engineer advised the fire department of the potential for structural collapse, and a decision
was made to pull back firefighters. The order to evacuate the building was issued at about 7:00 a.m. on
February 24. Fire continued to spread vertically until, at the 30th floor, it was stopped by automatic
sprinklers.


Structural Fire Damage
The USFA report (Routley et al. 1991) indicated that, “After the fire, there was evident significant
structural damage to horizontal steel members and floor sections on most of the fire damaged floors.
Beams and girders sagged and twisted—some as much as three feet—under severe fire exposures, and
fissures developed in the reinforced concrete floor assemblies in many places.” It was reported that the
columns continued to support their loads without obvious damage. The Philadelphia Fire Commissioner
later commented that, “vertical member protection was a major factor in preventing a total collapse of
upper floors” (Eisner and Manning 1991). Recall that the fire protection for the columns was reported to
exceed the code requirements.

Content from External Source
and a brief description of One New York Plaza:

One New York PlazaOn August 5, 1970, fire broke out on the 33rd floor of One New York Plaza, a 50 story office building in
New York City (Powers 1970). Fire spread to the 34th floor and then to the 35th floor. Damage to the
structural steel was reported on the 33rd and 34th floors. The official report on the fire, conducted by The
New York Board of Fire Underwriters (Powers 1970), stated,


“Steel beams in the south corner and west center section of the 33rd floor were twisted or
deflected several inches and the connecting bolts sheared off or failed allowing the beams
in some sections to rest on the flange of the girder.”

“Beams [on the 34th floor] were severely deflected and distorted and the most severe
structural damage occurred in the west section of this floor.”

While there were no floor collapses in this case, there were connection failures, and deflection
and distortion of floor beams.
Content from External Source
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Not really, because despite burning much more fiercely and for 18 hours and despite significant structural deformations, it did not collapse. It nearly collapsed does not cut it.

Consider though that it had bay spacing that was half that of WTC7, meaning WTC7 had four times the stress on the joints. It also had very different framing. See table 8-1
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I know that no one likes this to be brought up, but COST is always a factor and so is RISK. We could build cars that would reduce the deaths and injuries in major crashes. They would cost a lot more and use even more fuel. Few cars are ever in a major crash. The same thing is done, down here in tornado alley with tornadoes. Buildings are not built to stand the rare F5 tornado. They are built to stand the must more common weaker tornadoes.

Look at all the thousands of skyscrapers in the world, and look at how FEW long duration fires are.

More columns also mean less usable floor space, a consideration when rents are in the sq ft.
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
I know that no one likes this to be brought up, but COST is always a factor and so is RISK. We could build cars that would reduce the deaths and injuries in major crashes. They would cost a lot more and use even more fuel. Few cars are ever in a major crash. The same thing is done, down here in tornado alley with tornadoes. Buildings are not built to stand the rare F5 tornado. They are built to stand the must more common weaker tornadoes.

Look at all the thousands of skyscrapers in the world, and look at how FEW long duration fires are.

More columns also mean less usable floor space, a consideration when rents are in the sq ft.

Not only cars but aircraft as well. Sorry to bring reality further into this but various commercial and governmental entities have long had the temerity to place a monetary value on a human life!
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
Consider though that it had bay spacing that was half that of WTC7, meaning WTC7 had four times the stress on the joints. It also had very different framing. See table 8-1

Mick if I had a buck for every time structural and design differences have been mentioned and ignored here I could buy me a nice bottle of single malt! The working assumption is that all high-rise buildings are designed and constructed the same and that all fires would affect them similarly. [...]
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
We do it our selves. Say someone built a car that provided, say a 95% chance of surviving a head on crash. (let's assume that the chance in a regular car is 50%--that is just a guess). The regular car is $25,000 and it will get 20 mpg. The SAFE car will cost you $50,000 and get 10 mpg. I doubt that many folks would buy the safer car, even if they could afford it
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here are the two floor plans to scale. The WTC7 failure started with column 79

 
Last edited:

F4Jock

Senior Member.
We do it our selves. Say someone built a car that provided, say a 95% chance of surviving a head on crash. (let's assume that the chance in a regular car is 50%--that is just a guess). The regular car is $25,000 and it will get 20 mpg. The SAFE car will cost you $50,000 and get 10 mpg. I doubt that many folks would buy the safer car, even if they could afford it

Essentially, cars of any price aren't supposed to ram into other objects and no matter how safely they are designed they cannot possibly be designed for every eventuality. Nothing can. Remember the Turkish Airlines DC 10 that went down many years back? Three FC systems and all failed because they were run below the cabin floor and someone didn't properly secure the aft cargo door.

An L 1011 went down in Florida. Cause was ultimately traced to a faulty nose gear indicator light, an autopilot disengage alarm that wasn't loud enough and some confusion in the cockpit. How do you design for that cascade of events?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Just like you design a building to handle a normal fire, not one caused by a plane running into it.
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
Just like you design a building to handle a normal fire, not one caused by a plane running into it.

The towers were STRUCTURALLY designed to take a 707 hit. Compare that aircraft for size, weight and fuel capacity with a 767. What engineers and designers apparently failed to anticipate was the growth of airframe size, fuel capacity and the possibility of fires fueled by building contents, the composition and volume of which they could not predict in several ways.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
We do it our selves. Say someone built a car that provided, say a 95% chance of surviving a head on crash. (let's assume that the chance in a regular car is 50%--that is just a guess). The regular car is $25,000 and it will get 20 mpg. The SAFE car will cost you $50,000 and get 10 mpg. I doubt that many folks would buy the safer car, even if they could afford it

I think you mean an extra $11 more and no increase in fuel.


The tale of the Pinto is burned deep into American pop culture at this point: Company builds car, car has terrible problem, company ignores it, people die. It's a bit more complicated than that, though. The genesis of the Ford Pinto came sometime in 1968, when Ford's then-president Lee Iaccoca decided that his company would not sit idly by as new Japanese competitors dominated the small-car segment. He pushed the board to greenlight the Pinto program, and by August 1968 the program was underway. It would have aggressive targets: no more than 2000 pounds, not a penny over $2000 and a delivery deadline of just 25 months, a record at the time and still impressive today.

Everything was going well until, deep into the development cycle, a problem was discovered in the fuel tank design. In low-speed rear-end crash testing, the fuel tank, positioned behind the rear axle and in front of the rear bumper, exhibited several flaws. Upon impact, the filler neck would tear away from the sheet-metal tank and spill fuel beneath the car. The tank was also easily punctured by bolts protruding from the differential and nearby brackets. One report later described the entire contents of a tank leaking out in less than a minute after an accident. These problems combined to create a serious risk of fire, so engineering teams proposed solutions. One was to borrow a design Ford already used in its Capri, a tank that sat above the axle and out of the way. Another alternative was installing tank shields to prevent punctures, and reinforcements around the filler to prevent tearing.

In today's environment, those measures unquestionably would have been taken. But at the time, management's attitude was to get the product out the door as fast as possible. So, Ford did a cost-benefit analysis. To fix the problems would cost an additional $11 per vehicle, and Ford weighed that $11 against the projected injury claims for severe burns, repair-costs claim rate and mortality. The total would have been approximately $113 million (including the engineering, the production delays and the parts for tens of thousands of cars), but damage payouts would cost only about $49 million, according to Ford's math. So the fix was nixed, and the Pinto went into production in September 1970.

By 1974, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating complaints of failing fuel tank straps and of the generally dangerous build quality of the car. However, the agency didn't really get serious until a 1977 article in Mother Jones that exposed the Pinto's fire danger and Ford's internal documents showing the company knew of the potential problem
Content from External Source
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
Would they also have expected the high speed impact of the planes?

Allow me to correct myself. The buildings were not specifially designed to take a 707 hit. The structural analysis stated they COULD withstand one, apparently based on a speed of about 180 knots and considering it to be low on fuel. In other words, it was supposed to be lost in a landing attempt not unlike the B-25 that hit the Empire State Building. Nowhere can I find any design that took into account sustained fires caused by anything.

And given the flight patterns at Idelwild / Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark, no one could have reasonably expected them to be hit on takeoff by a plane with essentially full fuel tanks.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Mick if I had a buck for every time structural and design differences have been mentioned and ignored here I could buy me a nice bottle of single malt! The working assumption is that all high-rise buildings are designed and constructed the same and that all fires would affect them similarly. [...]

[...]
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Even when it had been shown that seat belts and later air bags would save lives in a crash, and they were offered as a choice, more folks folks preferred to upgrade sound systems than safety.

The Pinto issue is LONG past and I was discussing a PERSON's choice.

Let's talk about Firestone 500 radial tires then. I had a narrow call with them. My blow out happened within sight of a long bridge over the Brazos river.
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
I think you mean an extra $11 more and no increase in fuel.


The tale of the Pinto is burned deep into American pop culture at this point: Company builds car, car has terrible problem, company ignores it, people die. It's a bit more complicated than that, though. The genesis of the Ford Pinto came sometime in 1968, when Ford's then-president Lee Iaccoca decided that his company would not sit idly by as new Japanese competitors dominated the small-car segment. He pushed the board to greenlight the Pinto program, and by August 1968 the program was underway. It would have aggressive targets: no more than 2000 pounds, not a penny over $2000 and a delivery deadline of just 25 months, a record at the time and still impressive today.

Everything was going well until, deep into the development cycle, a problem was discovered in the fuel tank design. In low-speed rear-end crash testing, the fuel tank, positioned behind the rear axle and in front of the rear bumper, exhibited several flaws. Upon impact, the filler neck would tear away from the sheet-metal tank and spill fuel beneath the car. The tank was also easily punctured by bolts protruding from the differential and nearby brackets. One report later described the entire contents of a tank leaking out in less than a minute after an accident. These problems combined to create a serious risk of fire, so engineering teams proposed solutions. One was to borrow a design Ford already used in its Capri, a tank that sat above the axle and out of the way. Another alternative was installing tank shields to prevent punctures, and reinforcements around the filler to prevent tearing.

In today's environment, those measures unquestionably would have been taken. But at the time, management's attitude was to get the product out the door as fast as possible. So, Ford did a cost-benefit analysis. To fix the problems would cost an additional $11 per vehicle, and Ford weighed that $11 against the projected injury claims for severe burns, repair-costs claim rate and mortality. The total would have been approximately $113 million (including the engineering, the production delays and the parts for tens of thousands of cars), but damage payouts would cost only about $49 million, according to Ford's math. So the fix was nixed, and the Pinto went into production in September 1970.

By 1974, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating complaints of failing fuel tank straps and of the generally dangerous build quality of the car. However, the agency didn't really get serious until a 1977 article in Mother Jones that exposed the Pinto's fire danger and Ford's internal documents showing the company knew of the potential problem
Content from External Source

The key phrase here is "deep into the development" which would have required an expensive rework and delays. Notice the final figures of 113 million vs. 49 million. So: Your boldface aside, it wasn't as simple as the eleven bucks per vehicle. What SHOULD have been in boldface was at least the next sentence!

Thank you for making two points. 1) What we said about cost / benefit analysis vs. safety was spot on. 2) In trying to make your points you ignored what we said.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think you mean an extra $11 more and no increase in fuel.

I think you miss the point and change the subject.

Safety is a cost/benefit statistical decision. There is usually no such thing as 100% safety, and often we take risks to save money.

For example: About 90% of the buildings in Los Angeles will collapse if we get a magnitude 9.0 earthquake. We could make it so none of them would collapse. But it's too expensive, and a 9.0 is not likely, so we take the risk.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Even when it had been shown that seat belts and later air bags would save lives in a crash, and they were offered as a choice, more folks folks preferred to upgrade sound systems than safety.

The Pinto issue is LONG past and I was discussing a PERSON's choice.

Let's talk about Firestone 500 radial tires then. I had a narrow call with them. My blow out happened within sight of a long bridge over the Brazos river.

No, let's stick to the subject in hand... the difference between all the other buildings which did not collapse in a demolition type manner even though they suffered far worse fires and damage for far longer than wtc7.

Are you saying that it is acceptable on cost grounds that other buildings collapse like wtc7 after a few hours of fire? Perhaps you think it is but likely you don't work in one if that's what you think.
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
No, let's stick to the subject in hand... the difference between all the other buildings which did not collapse in a demolition type manner even though they suffered far worse fires and damage for far longer than wtc7.

Are you saying that it is acceptable on cost grounds that other buildings collapse like wtc7 after a few hours of fire? Perhaps you think it is but likely you don't work in one if that's what you think.

Asked and answered. Many times!
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
The key phrase here is "deep into the development" which would have required an expensive rework and delays. Notice the final figures of 113 million vs. 49 million. So: Your boldface aside, it wasn't as simple as the eleven bucks per vehicle. What SHOULD have been in boldface was at least the next sentence!

Thank you for making two points. 1) What we said about cost / benefit analysis vs. safety was spot on. 2) In trying to make your points you ignored what we said.

No it is you that miss the point. Ford made a decision that it was cheaper to let an anticipated number of people burn to death than to fix the problem. They callously put a value on peoples lives who were driving their product with a known (to them, not the customer), major defect. YOU may think there is nothing wrong with that but most people did not agree with you which is WHY they were fined extraordinary penalties BECAUSE IT WAS UNACCEPTABLE even though you obviously think it is.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
No, let's stick to the subject in hand... the difference between all the other buildings which did not collapse in a demolition type manner even though they suffered far worse fires and damage for far longer than wtc7.

Are you saying that it is acceptable on cost grounds that other buildings collapse like wtc7 after a few hours of fire? Perhaps you think it is but likely you don't work in one if that's what you think.

Wait, are you just arguing now that "WTC7 should have been build stronger, or with better sprinklers" (which it probably should, with hindsight), or are you trying a roundabout argument that will end up with controlled demolition?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I fail to see where working in one is a factor, since what is important is that you are able to evacuate the building quickly. No one is going to hang around to wait hours in a burning building.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
No it is you that miss the point. Ford made a decision that it was cheaper to let an anticipated number of people burn to death than to fix the problem. They callously put a value on peoples lives who were driving their product with a known (to them, not the customer), major defect. YOU may think there is nothing wrong with that but most people did not agree with you which is WHY they were fined extraordinary penalties BECAUSE IT WAS UNACCEPTABLE.

Yes it was, they crossed the line. However the line is still there.

Why do expensive cars have more airbags than cheap cars?

The point is that buildings cannot be made 100% safe. They can only be made SAFER. They can be made safer and safer if you spend more and more money. We have codes that give a baseline as to how safe they need to be. All the building were up to code. Some code revision have happened because of the events.
 

F4Jock

Senior Member.
No it is you that miss the point. Ford made a decision that it was cheaper to let an anticipated number of people burn to death than to fix the problem. They callously put a value on peoples lives who were driving their product with a known (to them, not the customer), major defect. YOU may think there is nothing wrong with that but most people did not agree with you which is WHY they were fined extraordinary penalties BECAUSE IT WAS UNACCEPTABLE even though you obviously think it is.

in case you missed it -- I essentially agreed with that analysis earlier when I stated that companies and governments DO, for whatever their reasons, put a price on human life. And I never stated it was totally acceptable, only that it was fact. What I did say that you apparently lost, is that every safety eventuality cannot be anticipated or taken into account in a design, and that some of these eventualities are so far-fetched that designing for them is not cost-effective.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Wait, are you just arguing now that "WTC7 should have been build stronger, or with better sprinklers" (which it probably should, with hindsight), or are you trying a roundabout argument that will end up with controlled demolition?

Well I was merely trying to have an adult reasoned discussion about the pro's and cons of different designs and their abilities to withstand protracted and severe fires without falling down as if they were poleaxed by a raygun, but it is becoming more and more difficult to hold a reasoned conversation without attracting the 'I hate conspiracy theorists because they are loonies' crowd.
 

JeffreyNotGeoffrey

Active Member
one line from COD Modern Warfare:"Remember your gun is always built by the lowest bidder." I think that can be extrapolated to other areas. There was that funny bit in Fight Club about recalls.

Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
Woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
Woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?
Narrator: A major one.
Content from External Source
My point is everyone does a cost analysis but business is business. Just ask Crocs and their nigh indestructible shoes. You only need one pair. The same for buildings. Sure everyone wants an ergonomic carbon printless office built to last forever but COST. Look at Apple's mothership. Bloated and overbudget for dubious gains. Financiers other than Apple cut corners legitimately, because they just want revenue right here right now. I think their mentality is good enough for code good enough for the underwriters.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Well I was merely trying to have an adult reasoned discussion about the pro's and cons of different designs and their abilities to withstand protracted and severe fires without falling down as if they were poleaxed by a raygun, but it is becoming more and more difficult to hold a reasoned conversation without attracting the 'I hate conspiracy theorists because they are loonies' crowd.

I've trimmed the thread, let's move on.

Do you think there is something suspicious here? I'm a little confused because I thought you though that WTC7 was a controlled demolition. So I'm wondering if you think that's where this discussion should lead? Or are you reconsidering, and now maybe it's just badly built?
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
I've trimmed the thread, let's move on.

Do you think there is something suspicious here? I'm a little confused because I thought you though that WTC7 was a controlled demolition. So I'm wondering if you think that's where this discussion should lead? Or are you reconsidering, and now maybe it's just badly built?

As I have always stated, I am open to new information, (to me), and new possibilities. As far as I am concerned one of the major factors in my suspicions is the uniqueness of 3 total failures in one day when previous structures have had either minimal or minor collapse with far greater fire damage.

If a design fault can give explain the collapses then I would be interested to explore that and the implications thereof. Currently I am taking your advice and doing some research.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
The key phrase here is "deep into the development" which would have required an expensive rework and delays. Notice the final figures of 113 million vs. 49 million. So: Your boldface aside, it wasn't as simple as the eleven bucks per vehicle. What SHOULD have been in boldface was at least the next sentence!

Thank you for making two points. 1) What we said about cost / benefit analysis vs. safety was spot on. 2) In trying to make your points you ignored what we said.

Sorry but I can't move on until I address this point. The $113 million was the total 'extra cost to production' of over a million cars... that is why it worked out to $11 per car. It was a cold and callous decision. I think most people would pay an extra £11 to have a major known fault fixed, we are after all talking about people and their loved ones here so it does annoy me when people try to poo poo this type of blatant disregard for peoples safety when the people are purchasing something which they trust. Obviously nothing is 100% safe but this was a known and unacceptable fault.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Sorry but I can't move on until I address this point. The $113 million was the total 'extra cost to production' of over a million cars... that is why it worked out to $11 per car. It was a cold and callous decision. I think most people would pay an extra £11 to have a major known fault fixed, we are after all talking about people and their loved ones here so it does annoy me when people try to poo poo this type of blatant disregard for peoples safety when the people are purchasing something which they trust. Obviously nothing is 100% safe but this was a known and unacceptable fault.

Prevention is a thankless task, because that which you prevent never happens. Since getting far into "safe" territory costs more and more money for what seems like the same result, there's an obvious profit motive to surf as close to the danger zone as you can get away with.

Consider the Space Shuttle. In some ways that was like the Pinto. The cost/benefit risk calculations were, in hindsight, whack. But they went ahead anyway because otherwise they would have to double or triple the budget, and possibly add decades to the development schedule. They thought their risk of failure was measured in the "1 in X million" range, but as it happened they had two catastrophic failures and 14 deaths out of 135 launches. One death every ten launches. A horrific failure rate. And yet the calculations were deemed sufficient, they just wanted to get it up there.

The Pinto decision was more cynical. But it happened back in the 1960s, and it's the type of thing we've learned from. Nobody is defending it. But you can see why such things happen in the absence of sufficient regulation and legislation to prevent it. And it's not even really clear if more people died because of it.

But is there any evidence of such known faults in WTC7? I don't think so. I think the faults in the design were only discovered with the benefits of hindsight, and (though I hesitate to mention this) powerful computers which were not even remotely available when it was designed.
 

RolandD

Active Member
Inherently unsafe also implies that there is a greater chance at loss of life, not just loss of property. The amount of time that it takes a fire to weaken the spans allows those that survive the fire to escape a collapse. This is an issue that only the insurance companies would really be concerned about and considering that most buildings which suffer major and extensive fire damage are razed anyway, what difference does it make if the building collapses on its own or must be torn down?
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Inherently unsafe also implies that there is a greater chance at loss of life, not just loss of property. The amount of time that it takes a fire to weaken the spans allows those that survive the fire to escape a collapse. This is an issue that only the insurance companies would really be concerned about and considering that most buildings which suffer major and extensive fire damage are razed anyway, what difference does it make if the building collapses on its own or must be torn down?
I guess it is important to the people stuck on the top floors . . . :)
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Prevention is a thankless task, because that which you prevent never happens. Since getting far into "safe" territory costs more and more money for what seems like the same result, there's an obvious profit motive to surf as close to the danger zone as you can get away with.

Consider the Space Shuttle. In some ways that was like the Pinto. The cost/benefit risk calculations were, in hindsight, whack. But they went ahead anyway because otherwise they would have to double or triple the budget, and possibly add decades to the development schedule. They thought their risk of failure was measured in the "1 in X million" range, but as it happened they had two catastrophic failures and 14 deaths out of 135 launches. One death every ten launches. A horrific failure rate. And yet the calculations were deemed sufficient, they just wanted to get it up there.

The Pinto decision was more cynical. But it happened back in the 1960s, and it's the type of thing we've learned from. Nobody is defending it. But you can see why such things happen in the absence of sufficient regulation and legislation to prevent it. And it's not even really clear if more people died because of it.

But is there any evidence of such known faults in WTC7? I don't think so. I think the faults in the design were only discovered with the benefits of hindsight, and (though I hesitate to mention this) powerful computers which were not even remotely available when it was designed.
I might remind you of the Ford Explorer tire scandal which happened much more recently . . . suspect some of the same cynical process was involved there as well . . . corporations are generally not our friends . . . just an observation . . .
 
Top