When Buildings Fall Down, People Can Die
It was a busy Friday morning in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota on December 2nd of this year. About 10:30 a.m. near the corner of East 10th Street and South Phillips Avenue, Boyd McPeek was inside the Coffea coffee shop, when the 1916 building across the street collapsed.
“I just happened to glance out the window and I saw the front door fall out and a cloud of dust,” McPeek said. According to McPeek, the collapse left the people in the coffee shop speechless. “It was kind of slow motion as the bricks were falling,” McPeek said.
Joe Batcheller, Executive Director of Downtown Sioux Falls, speculated the construction work weakened the nearly 100-year-old building, causing the collapse.
Sioux Falls City Building Services approved a limited building permit authorizing Hultgren Construction to remove interior finishes, such as furnishings, floor coverings, ceiling tiles, and an existing bar area. The city was awaiting structural engineering and architectural submittals from the builder before issuing authorization to begin any further work on the project, according to city officials.
Now, please keep in mind, the city had not authorized any structural changes, yet the contractor posted on their Facebook page, two days prior to the collapse, a photo showing a structural wall having been removed.
The building collapse resulted in the unfortunate (and probably avoidable) death of a workman who was inside the building at the time.
How does the collapse of a century old building impact your choice of whom should provide your new pole building?
The key phrase is the city was awaiting “structural engineering and architectural submittals”….. unless you personally happen to be a Registered Design Professional (RDP – engineer or architect), it truly is not prudent to design your own pole building. Nor should you entrust your life, or the lives of your friends or loved ones, to a building which has not been designed by a RDP.
If an engineer didn’t design it – then who did?