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A collapsed building in Florida: 'Structural damage' observed in 2018

A collapsed building in Florida: ‘Structural damage’ observed in 2018

A report on the condition of the building early in 2018 noted “significant structural damage,” as well as “cracks” in the building’s basement, according to documents released Friday evening by the city of Surfside.

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In this document, expert Frank Morabito writes: “The waterproofing under the edge of the pool and the access road for vehicles (…) is beyond its lifespan and therefore must be removed and replaced entirely.”

“Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will greatly expand the extent of concrete deterioration,” he added, calling for “timely” repairs, without increasing the risk of collapse.

The mayor of Miami-Dade County confirmed Saturday that the city was unaware of the study, but that a review of the building and all buildings built more than 40 years ago will be completed in the next 30 days.

Attention was also drawn to another study conducted in 2020 that showed that the Champlain Towers, built in 1981, cooled by about 2 mm per year between 1993 and 1999.

However, the study author explained, in a joint statement with his university, that subsidence alone would not cause the building to collapse.

Several officials said work to upgrade the building to a standard level is also underway, especially on the roof, however they consider it unlikely that they were the cause of the collapse.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Saturday that a building built at the same time as the Champlain Towers by the same architects is also under watch.

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I know they’re planning to evacuate her. I don’t know if there are indications of problems with this building, but given the similarities,” he explained.

Meanwhile, experts have warned that the investigation to determine the exact causes of the Surfside tragedy will likely continue for several months.