Media Reports on Miami High Rise Collapse Might Not Be Accurate

Residential Building In Miami Partially Collapsed

Photo: Getty Images North America

In the age of social media and the 24 hour news cycle, we have to be careful about the information we put out there. Earlier this week, a high rise in Miami, Florida collapsed, and since then people have wanted to know what happened.

One of the prevailing theories being proposed is the building was sinking into the ground, as it was built on reclaimed wetlands. This would cause the structural failures that caused the collapse. One listener emailed me saying this might not be the case. Check out the email below.


The building (attached) is a good example of how much a building can move without failure. The study all the talking heads are quoting says it's built on reclaimed wetlands ( everything in miami is built on reclaimed wetlands) and 2 mm a year settling. That's 2.5" in 40 years. A geotechnical study is usually written in a way that lays out the history of a property since when the dino's roamed the earth. The fact that its on reclaimed wetlands is accurate but the reclaiming happened in the 19 teens and 1920's. News agencies getting ahold of the Florida International report is a little bit of information being dangerous. This article discusses a well known building in San Fran that has WAY worse settling issues and is still standing. Construction techniques have an impact on how much movement a building can take but typically 2.5" especially if uniform wouldnt be enough to cause this kind of failure. More poorly vetted info being put out by the media. Its not just politics. Compare and contrast.


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