Cover image for Collapse : when buildings fall down
Collapse : when buildings fall down
Wearne, Phillip.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York: TV Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
255 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TA656 .W415 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TA656 .W415 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
TA656 .W415 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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What happens when the very ground beneath your feet gives way? In Collapse, Philip Wearne tells the stories behind the worst structural engineering disasters of the last fifty years, and the forensic engineers who investigated their causes.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Forensic engineering, which seeks answers to why structures fail, is the subject of this book. Using material collected for the Learning Channel's series Why Buildings Fall Down, Wearne (not an engineer) tells the stories behind 11 of the worst structural engineering disasters of the last 50 years. These include the Hartford Coliseum and Kemper Arena roof collapses, the Tacoma Narrows and Point Pleasant bridge failures, the Hyatt Regency Hotel skywalk overload, and the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. A combination of eyewitness accounts and nontechnical interpretations of engineering reports make this fascinating reading for those interested in either engineering or human disastersDmost of which are caused by misunderstanding, incompetence, greed, or corruption. The small format of this volume, with very few illustrations, fails to reflect the visual presentation one might expect from a companion to a TV documentary (which aired on the Learning Channel). Still, this is recommended for public libraries with disaster fans and academic libraries with architecture and engineering programs.DJay Schafer, Bay Path Coll. Lib., Longmeadow, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Writer and television producer Wearne describes 11 cases of structural failures ranging from the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The book is divided into four chapters, each covering a topic such as failure by design; overload; safe as houses; and under pressure. Each chapter details several actual cases of failures of buildings, bridges, and dams around the country and the world and the investigations that followed to determine the reasons for these disasters. This book is very well written and easy to read. It could serve as a resource for anyone involved in the area of construction and civil engineering, and also as a reference work for an undergraduate- or graduate-level course in civil engineering. Recommended for the libraries of all engineering schools. S. N. Amirkhanian; Clemson University