The Champlain Tower Collapse

Analysis and Lessons Learned for Professional Design Firms – Webinar for HSW Credit

This webinar centers around the events that occurred before and after the collapse of the Champlain Towers in Florida. While the official review and forensic report is still ongoing and has not been published yet, the webinar considers possible causes of the collapse that can be clearly seen by an examination of public documents that are available on the Surfside website.

Glenn Birx, FAIA, LEED AP, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Ayers Saint Gross, moderates the session with presenters Daniel McKelvey, AIA, a firm principal at Ayers Saint Gross in Baltimore with 38 years of experience in architectural design and construction, and James Lee, Esq., an attorney with more than 40 years’ experience focused on the business-side of operating a design firm.

The presenters examine the history of the Champlain Towers leading to the events on the day of the collapse and identify the issues from the forensic analysis of the building’s construction and maintenance history that possibly contributed to the collapse. They discuss the professional responsibility of architects and firms in the design and construction of buildings and how the Champlain Towers collapse as well as past building disasters shape the direction of the industry and profession.

The webinar focuses on the architect’s responsibility to the public to design buildings for occupancy that are not only pleasing and functional, but more importantly safe and resilient. Architects and their firms must implement effective practice management programs and project documentation leading to improved building resilience and post occupancy building evaluations. The webinar does not present definitive conclusions about the actual cause of the collapse, as that is yet to be determined by Federal authorities, but examines a series of possible or contributory causes, based on the documents available to the public, for educational purposes.

AIA members who view the webinar and complete the Self-Assessment Test will receive 1.5 HSW/LU AIA Continuing Education Credits.




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