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CDG Collapse Due To Design/structural Faults  
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 22
Posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4033 times:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4266591.stm

"Design and structural faults were to blame for the fatal collapse of a terminal at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport last year, a report says."

Tony


[Edited 2005-02-15 16:57:02]


Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDIJKKIJK From France, joined Jul 2003, 1785 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3958 times:

So it was Paul Anrdreu's shoddy design to blame, finally.

They should send that man to prison on manslaughter charges.



Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
User currently offlineIcarus75 From France, joined Oct 2003, 796 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3855 times:

Where did you see it was the fault of the design from the architect?
Why do you want to put him in jail?

This collapse of the terminal is again a good example of what ADP is :
- State owned company with bad management.
- State owned company that do not have to have good financial results.
- Stae owned company that managed badly one of the biggest airport in the world.

When I see what happened and what will happened, I'm in some ways ashamed to be french!!!
The best solution : Put down the remains, buid a new terminal.
Unfortunately, it will be again at the expenses of french people and it won't help AF!!



Flying is amazing!
User currently offlineVarig md-11 From France, joined Jul 2000, 1583 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3784 times:

I am disgusted

TV channel "France 2" in the today 8pm news just concluded it is more the fault of the subcontractor that dealt with the construction itself than the fault of the architect.

they find excuses for this pinhead of Andreu and argue that from day one not enough steel has been inserted in the concrete therefore making it too soft

1- if indeed less steel has been inserted in the concrete, it is because some technicians commented at the time that design and technology were so extravagant they had no other choices if Andreu's design had to be followed.

2- big mouth Andreu shamelessly comments today that he knew from the beginning some steel was missing: what not say it in time?? you're the freakin' architect and should keep track of the making of your project!!!

3- the building has been given the agreement by "bureau Veritas" and the Prefecture 93 as "fit for public use": why aren't these inspectors put behind bars?? what were they inspecting: building on plans only?? what €€€ Veritas received for these inspections??

next step:subcontractor will explain that some slovak workers did not follow instructions and therefore it cannot be blamed for their deeds

France is a rich country (in proportion the US has more budget deficit than France) and therefore taxpayers money will end up in the same architects and subcontractors to build a less lame building
we are used to it




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User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3631 times:

Steel Rebar is used to hold the very brittle concrete together and provide it some flexibility.

If in fact the plans where not followed by the contractor then we really can't put that much blame on the designer.

I would go so far as to say that not one person designed that building, and more blame would probably have to go to the engineers that where doing the math and working under him.

But it sounds like the rest of the building is going to have to come down..



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineViveLeYHZ From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 194 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3600 times:

The architect bears no responsibility what so ever. The sizing and placing of steel bars in the design is the responsibility of the engineer, and its proper placement is the contractor's job. The same is true for the sizing of the concrete shell, the specified concrete strength, etc. The architect only tells the engineer how the terminal should look, the engineer designs the structure to safely resist the various loads, and the contractor makes it happen.

As L-188 mentioned, the design, construction, and inspection was not the responsibility of a single person that can be pinned down. It is a collective team(s) effort.

Many things had to go wrong for this portion of the terminal to collapse. Engineering design codes (which I am sure the designers followed to the best of their ability) contain many safety factors such that the possibility of failure is so small, even if a steel bar is missing somewhere or the concrete is a bit weaker than it should be. Even when a failure is to occur, the codes (if followed properly) ensure it comes with early sings (like large deflections, and excessive cracking). Concrete structures in particular have many redundancies so that if a small part fails, the load can go through a different path.

Who knows ?!

Cheers,
ViveLeYHZ


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3581 times:

The point I was making is that more then one person screwed the pooch on the terminal.

And despite the postive comments in the article, I don't see how it could be re-opened with the current structure. I don't see how they can eliminate the possiblity that other sections where built similarly shabbily.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineViveLeYHZ From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 194 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3556 times:

L-188,

One method of strengthening an old (or, in this case, a poorly designed) concrete structure is using fiber reinforced plastic (composite) strips, it can also be done with steel plates, but composites are more efficient.

The method has been used in retrofitting many old bridges, where the replacement cost and time are prohibitive. This would be a great deal cheaper that the cost of replacing the entire terminal.

Cheers,
ViveLeYHZ


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3525 times:


[quote=Varig md-11,reply=3]2- big mouth Andreu shamelessly comments today that he knew from the beginning some steel was missing: what not say it in time?? you're the freakin' architect and should keep track of the making of your project!!![/quote]

I don't know how things work in France (to be honest, in this regard, I don't know how things work in the real world -- I just know how things work in the State University-funded/-owned projects I am involved with).

However, in the projects I am involved with the Architect and Structural Engineer retain complete liability for the projects they design and are very involved in the construction process from before the site is graded to well after the building is finished.

We have Architect's reps and an independant Construction Manager on site for most of the construction. They are resposible for making sure that the contractor follows the plans that have been approved (by a variety of authorities) are followed strictly and that these kinds of corners are not cut.

In this case, at least, the contractor would be just as--if not more--liable than the contractor should the building fall down.

Then again, our practices (and structural requirements) place a strong emphasis on earthquake resistance...not really common throughout the US, let alone the rest of the world.

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3358 times:

Is everybody convinced the structure did not start oscillating in the wind (or had done so in the past)? Seems to me like a perfect candidate for some very complicated flexing and twisting action: two different competing structure layers, the heavy glass plating on top, and everything made as light as possible. No redundancy anywhere: when it breaks, it breaks good.

User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3291 times:

Is everybody convinced the structure did not start oscillating in the wind


These were the contributing elements to the collapse:

(i) The section which fell was asymmetrical compared with much of the rest of the building - rather than being a complete 'tube' this section had three gaps on its northern side for footbridge access.

(ii) The structure had little redundancy which meant that stresses resulting from a localised failure could not be dissipated through other parts of the building - the result being that they would further weaken the failed area.

(iii) The building was subject to cyclic stresses, particularly from the air temperature changes.

(iv) Cracks in the structure, exacerbated by these stresses, combined with insufficient reinforcement and an inability to dissipate damaging forces meant that the building would eventually be unable to contain a problem. It would only take a minor event to start a chain reaction.

(v) That minor event could have been the temperature drop on the morning of 23 May 2004. It was particularly cold and the building was known to be sensitive to climatic cycles.

(vi) At about 5:30am a concrete section failed and led police to cordon off the affected area for safety. The localised failure, for the reasons given, started a chain reaction which 90 minutes later caused the northern wall to fracture and collapse under its own weight, and push the entire southern wall off its supporting columns. This, of course, resulted in the roof dropping onto the departure zone below.

[Edited 2005-02-18 01:02:32]

User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3180 times:

Quoting L-188 (reply 6):
I don't see how it could be re-opened with the current structure. I don't see how they can eliminate the possiblity that other sections where built similarly shabbily.

...that brings to mind the following question: taking this report into consideration, are they still allowing patronage of some parts of that terminal? If not, when did that cease?


User currently offlineViveLeYHZ From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 194 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3134 times:

ConcordeBoy,

Only a small part of the terminal has reopened last August with just six scheduled daily flights. This number might have gone up since then. Before the roof collapse, the terminal had a capacity of 25000, or around six million pax annually.

Cheers,
ViveLeYHZ


User currently offlineGoCOgo From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 701 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3064 times:

I am a civil engineering student. This will most likely be blamed on either the engineer of the contractor, depending on if the construction was done to the engineer's specs. I wouldn't know without reading the engineer's report, which this reporter woefully summarized. For instance, it says "Parts of the concrete shell of the terminal were cracked before it collapsed, engineer Jean Berthier is quoted as saying by Reuters news agency." So? I will admit not having taken my concrete design course yet, but concrete cracking is not a rare thing and should be designed for. Some cracks can be bad, others harmless. IT depends on the crack. Just saying that there are cracks doesn't mean anything without analyzing the cause of the cracks. Like one prof told me once "steel rusts, concrete cracks. It happens."

Personally, I think it's the architects fault. They love to design beautiful structures, but give little to no thought of how the engineer is going to support it. Looking at the cross section, that would likely suck to analyze. I hope architects learn a lesson from this: design structures that engineers can easily analyze and apply the appropriate design codes. Engineers aren't miracle workers.



"Why you fly is your business, how you fly is ours"
User currently offlineViveLeYHZ From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 194 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3017 times:

GoCOgo,

It is always nice to talk to fellow future-Civil Engineers. I am a Civil Engineering student myself, working on what I hope to be my last year in the PhD program. However, I totally disagree with your blaming the architect for this structural failure.

They love to design beautiful structures

Exactly. This is what architects do, and some of them do a great job. Most structures that we Civil Engineers design are very repetitive and pose little technical challenge. The awesome part of our job is when we are faced with an architectural concept unlike anything we have designed before. Most airport terminals would fall under this category. This is why airports are some of the best examples of Civil Engineering triumphs. (I particularly love the ones built on the water in Asia. Now that's engineering).

Thousands of buildings (even hundreds of thousands of homes) go up every year in the US and Canada, but very few (if any) airport terminals. Since millions of homes and buildings have been built already, the design codes will tell exactly what works and what doesn't. The code will not tell you how to design an airport terminal. It would be a shame if all airports were to look the same, or simply become glorified bus-stops with little open space. Airports are some of the very few structures that have distinct characters, they're designed with a focus on aesthetics as well as functionality.

I hope architects learn a lesson from this: design structures that engineers can easily analyze and apply the appropriate design codes

I hope they don't.

Again, most design codes are developed with typical low-rise buildings in mind. These code tell us nothing about the design of high-rises, stadiums, nuclear power plants, airport terminals, ... etc. The unfortunate part of our Civil Engineering professions comes from the fact that we (for the most part) treat design codes as recipe books. THEY ARE NOT. The engineers who designed the A380 (or even the 747 and Concorde over 30 years ago), for example, could not rely heavily on design codes, yet that did not stop them from undertaking that enormous design challenge.

In the case of the CDG collapsed terminal, the architects had every right to design the terminal the way they did. The structural engineers would look at the design, assess the loads that the terminal structure has to resist, and then come up with the right structural concrete/steel design.

If the architectural design is simply whacked, it is the responsibility of the Civil Engineer to tell the architects that their design concept cannot be materialized, and needs modifications. Let's also not forget that the contractors and building inspectors have responsibilities too.

I hope you find my ranting helpful, or at least not overly boring.

Cheers,
ViveLeYHZ


User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2987 times:

CDG Terminal 2E is ultimately a truss-roof structure and such structures have to be treated with respect because of their relative lack of internal support.

Fire-fighting personnel are given special training to handle fires in truss-roof buildings because of the risk of an extensive collapse should part of the structure weaken.


User currently offlineSCCutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5491 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2866 times:

It is the responsibility of the architects to retain competent engineers. It is the engineers' responsibility to create a structural design which is adequate and appropriate. It is also the responsibility of the design team (architects and engineers) to supervise the contractor to ensure that the design is followed. The contractor, of course, is responsible for following the design.

These principles apply in all countries in which modern construction is done.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineViveLeYHZ From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 194 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2847 times:

SCCutler,

It is the responsibility of the architects to retain competent engineers

I would think it is the responsibility of the airport managers. They choose the architectural design, and they have the final say on who does the structural design. Here is simply what it will come down to:

It is the structural engineers' fault if the design was inadequate.
It is the contractor's design fault if they didn't follow the design drawings.

It seems people want to ultimately blame the architects, and I don't think that's fair. From what I know about the structural design process, you can NEVER blame the architects. If what the architect wants cannot be done, it is the job of the structural designer to say it won't work. Clearly this didn't happen here, as the structural engineers went ahead and designed the terminal to the functionality and spatial requirements of the architect.

Architects are not engineers, they are more like artists. In the case of an airport terminal design, the architects always try to break from the conventional, and try something new. One of my favourites is the DEN airport terminal, which is unlike most buildings that engineers usually work on.


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The same is true of CDG's ill-fated terminal 2E, it looks stunning. Unfortunately, something went wrong in structural design or construction, but not the architectural design. When the structural design or construction is wrong, the structure falls, however, if the architectural design is faulty, the building will stand, it will just look ugly.


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Cheers,
ViveLeYHZ


User currently offlineGoCOgo From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 701 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2812 times:

ViveLeYHZ,

It as also a pleasure to see a fellow civil engineer on the board. I do agree with a lot of waht you said, but let me defend a little of what I said.

1. Utilitarian structures are beautiful as well. Unfortunately some architects think a beautiful structure can only be one that doesn’t look like anything that has been built before. I'm certainly not saying that architects are to design something that looks ugly. What I want them to consider is how the engineer will go about designing it. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to push the envelope, but perhaps they need to be educated just where that envelope currently resides before they try to go outside it. They shouldn't just develop the attitude, "I don't care, the engineer will figure it out later." Had the architect had a basic knowledge of supports, the architect may have kept the tube idea, but perhaps used two joined inverse hyperbolic cosine curves to form it. That is something an engineer would have understood, and that shape has been shown very effective is supporting loads.

2. I've found the primary purpose of codes is to ensure we as engineers don't screw up. When a new structure is proposed where current codes don't currently fit, the architect is allowing an immense possibility for human error to enter the design. The design loads likely were required by law to come from a code that the engineer probably had difficulty in applying to such an unusually shaped building. Baby steps, please. Do new things on a smaller scale first to develop an understanding how that new idea works. The CDG collapse certainly will garner a few paragraphs in concrete and masonry codes to give engineers an idea of where problem areas are and how to design for them. There is no reason those had to come from a building collapse.

Quoting ViveLeYHZ (reply 14):
If the architectural design is simply whacked, it is the responsibility of the Civil Engineer to tell the architects that their design concept cannot be materialized, and needs modifications.


That is certainly the case. Unfortunately, pride and ego comes into play too frequently, along with the fear your firm losing respect because another comes forward and says "It can be done."


Quoting ViveLeYHZ (reply 14):
These code tell us nothing about the design of high-rises, stadiums, nuclear power plants, airport terminals, ... etc.


To the contrary, codes apply in some respect to all of those structures (the physics of a nuclear plant aside). The weakness is the lack of experience in designing those mean some caveats have not yet been incorporated into the codes. Just because there is no heading "stadiums" in a code book does not mean the code does not cover it. Plus, I don't know how things work in Canada, but in the US, ASCE produces nearly exhaustive publications for snow loads, wind load, earthquake loads, and other live loads for many types of buildings.

And for things like the A380 and the like, the engineers are able to build prototypes and test them. The other day there was a pic of an A380 wing that was going to be tested to it's ultimate strength. Thus, they can push the envelope a little more because they can test it before they pack it full of people, which can't be done with a large structure. And it might be said they do have a code: the planes must meet certain standards to obtain an airworthiness certificate.

By the way, I'm not planning on going for a structural specialty. I'm looking more at water resources of transportation, so sorry if I'm not he complete expert on structural matters. I just think architects, too, should remember this little saying one of profs has: "Doctors have much easier jobs than engineers. See, we both can kill people, but doctors do it one at a time. When an engineer screws up, hundreds or thousands can die." That's why I think architects and engineers have to be careful when the push the envelope.

Sorry if I ranted a little on you, too.



"Why you fly is your business, how you fly is ours"
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