Failure Types in a Building

Article No. 22 “Failure Types in a Building”

Failure Types in a Building

By Hammad Bashir

Failure of Concrete

Concrete failure occurs in two principal areas: in the material itself and in the individual structural elements. Material failure will often surface during the manufacturing process – during casting or during the hardening of the paste. During casting operations, when some of the basic requirements are ignored, failure ensues. When concrete is not vibrated properly, hollows and honeycombs result. Failure also occurs many years later during the life of the structure. Deterioration of concrete in use is often caused by freeze-_thaw cycles. Whenever air-entraining agents have not been Incorporated in the concrete mix, the concrete will deteriorate when exposed to the environment.


Major loss of durability of concrete is due to the action of carbon dioxide of atmosphere corrosion on bars and deleterious chemically reactive agents inside of the concrete and from outside sources.

Failure of Steel Structure

  • Insufficient temporary bracing during constructiondownload (1)
  • Errors in design and/or fabrication/erection
  • Deficient welding
  • Low quality welding
  • Corrosion because of lack of protection or maintenance
  • Poor anchorage
  • Embrittlement during welding.

Foundation Failures

The most common categories of foundation failures are:

  • Excessive settlementsimages
  • Differential settlements
  • Water ingress
  • Undermining of safe support
  • Load transfer failure
  • Unequal support
  • Drag-down and heave
  • Design error
  • Construction error
  • Flotation and water-level change
  • Earthquake effects

Hammad Bashir
B.Sc Civil Engineer
University College of Engineering
Sciences and Technology (UCEST)

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