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The Murrah building collapse: a reassessment of the transfer girder

Byfield, M.P. and Paramasivam, S. (2012) The Murrah building collapse: a reassessment of the transfer girder Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 26, (4), pp. 371-376. (doi:10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000227).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building caused a progressive collapse that consumed nearly one half of the building, killing 168 people. The use of a transfer girder along the front face of the building is often cited as the prime reason for the severity of the incident, although this paper provides evidence that suggests the transfer girder may not have been responsible. A method of predicting column failures due to blast is introduced and used to accurately predict the column failure pattern observed during the forensic investigation. The frame was adjusted with the transfer girder replaced with a conventional beam column arrangement. The failure pattern of the reconfigured building indicates that the extent of the collapse would be largely unchanged. This finding has important implications for the design of buildings that may be subjected to accidental or malicious damage. It is argued that the other buildings have demonstrated an ability to survive similar incidents and that the Murrah Building was vulnerable because it combined a glazed façade with open plan architecture, in addition to lacking alternative load paths capable of redistributing loads after multiple column failures

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 12 March 2011
Published date: August 2012
Keywords: blast, progressive collapse, reinforced concrete, design, robustness, structures, column, load paths
Organisations: Infrastructure Group, Civil Engineering & the Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 190697
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/190697
ISSN: 0887-3828
PURE UUID: b36bcc5d-6f9a-47d6-b220-d55d41523c7e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Jun 2011 14:18
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:37

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