Accidental deaths in buildings are always due to the failure of the structure that is their back bone. Readers of this book want to know why buildings collapse, and they expect explanations for structural failures.
But just as the medical doctor considers health to be the norm and illness the exception, and gains most of his knowledge from illness, so the engineer considers standing buildings to be the norm and structural failures the exception, although he learns much from failure.
The reader should know why almost all buildings stand. This may seem a difficult task. Buildings serve so many purposes and take so many forms. They are composed of many materials and are designed to with stand many types of loads and forces. There is no way that a mere layman can understand how a structure works.
About the Book
Join us on this journey of discovery. Once you understand how structures behave, you will understand that they always do their best to avoid collapse, as if they have asocial obligation to us. The appendices to this book explain the basic behavior of structures in layman’s terms without appealing to mathematical or physical concepts.