Failure Portrait: Semi-Failure

by Don Friedman on February 9, 2016

I already used the title “Sometimes It’s Subtle” but that’s appropriate here. A problem can be old, and built into the surrounding non-structural elements, the way that replacement windows are sometimes hung askew to match a distorted opening in the wall. In this case

IMG_6571mod

the steel beam is badly twisted and a concrete-block partition was built right up to the beam bottom, matching the curve of the twist. It can be hard to see, so I’ve added green arrows that point out the edge of the bottom flange…and that’s not remotely a straight line. The partition is supposed to be nonstructural, but it’s likely taking some load from that deformed beam. (The red line is a network cable, hopefully nonstructural.)

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