40-Year-Old Champlain Towers In Surfside Collapses Overnight

Champlain Towers South, which was built in 1981, partially collapsed last night – and experts say it could take years to understand why.

The condo building has 136 units.

A total of 55 units were in the collapsed wing, and the building was said to be relatively full, according to the property manager.

Records show that a Notice of Commencement was filed in April to begin roofing work.

The mayor of Surfside however has said in interviews that it is unlikely the roofing work is the cause, even though that work had begun in the last 30 days.

The president of a national contractor association told the Herald that the collapse was “an oddity of biblical proportions.”

An investigation could take years, he said, and the cause could be a combination of factors.

All buildings in Miami-Dade County are required to undergo an inspection at 40 years old for structural integrity and electrical condition.

The 40 year county recertification process was just beginning to get underway, with an engineer hired to begin drawing up plans.

 

(photos: Miami-Dade Fire)

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Anonymous
1 month ago

I heard it on the news this morning. This is horrible and I feel for those families affected.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Tragedy strikes us again.. RIP souls.

MiamiArchi
1 month ago

This is just so baffling.
40 year old Concrete buildings don’t just implode.
Looking at the video that was released I will be very shocked if some kind of explosion didn’t cause this. Just don’t have any idea what kind of explosion it could be.
Gas leak?
So sad, hope they can get some leads soon and give other people in the similar buildings near by some peace of mind.

Anonymous
1 month ago

I live in a 40 year-old condo in Miami now going through recertification. The building has an underground, very “leaky-wet” garage. I’m scared as heck now!

Anonymous
1 month ago

Sorry to hear that, make sure to govern yourself accordingly. That may mean that the government comes by tomorrow to order everyone in your building out.
I’d get proactive. Make sure your condo assoc has been transparent about the engineering reports, and insist that you all collectively shore up anything that is not safe.

Anonymous
1 month ago

RIP, I drive by this building all the time

Anonymous
1 month ago

So sad. Will be a long investigation and plenty of lawsuits Im sure will fly. Wonder if Terras new building contributed to this structural failure

Anonymous
1 month ago

This is a huge tragedy. At this point there is no way to know why this building collapsed, too many opinions from people who have not even been on the scene. The most important thing now is to look for survivors and pray.

Jesus
1 month ago

This is ridiculous. What kind of city, country do we live in where the buildings we live in are not trustworthy? I know this is a tragedy but this similar to many things could’ve been avoided. Hopefully the news doesn’t get worse than it already is.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Look at all the Melo shills downvoting this. What a rigged site. Kek

Anonymous
1 month ago

You know that miami dade looks like banana republic. Too much corruption in every level.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Joking about this?

Anonymous
1 month ago

Like 100 people were converted into pancakes, crazy

Anonymous
1 month ago

As the seas rise and salt water storm surges eat away at foundations of buildings the local and state governments are unwilling or unable to protect with sea walls, drainage, and other infrastructure, this will probably occur more and more. Wouldn’t want to be in a hurricane in a high-rise on beach, as it might collapse w/ the surge.

Anonymous
1 month ago

The salt in the air already “eats” at the buildings if not covered with retardant material.

Anonymous
1 month ago

This is a 40 year old building. As buildings age, it IS more likely that without proper attention, they will fail. “Without proper attention” is the key phrase. Some were alerted to subsidence of the earth around this property in 90’s (so I’ve read).

What is likely to be revealed in months ahead in my opinion, is that, like the FIU Bridge tragedy, the systems were failing and humans did not act properly to avoid or prevent the disaster.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Wow
Wonder where you got your PhD.

Anonymous
1 month ago

This is not funny, this is very very sad, this isn’t anything to joke about

Anonymous
1 month ago

Read a report from 2018, the entire structure was compromised, especially the columns and slabs in the parking lot and under the pool and ramp. It was recommended to make several repairs to the structure, balconies and windows because of all the leaks, cracks and damages found, the reinforced slab was also defective since it didn’t have a slope to drain the water. “However, the waterproofing below the Pool Deck & Entrance Drive as well as all of the planter waterproofing is beyond its useful life and therefore must all be completely removed and replaced. The failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas. Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially. MC approach to the repair of this structure is different from what is specified in contract documents in numerous aspects, which are briefly described below.”…

Anonymous
1 month ago

a. The main issue with this building structure is that the entrance drive/pool deck / planter waterproofing is laid on a flat structure. Since the reinforced concrete slab is not sloped to drain, the water sits on the waterproofing until it evaporates. This is a major error in the development of the original contract documents prepared by William M. Friedman & Associates Architects, Inc. and Breiterman Jurado & Associates, Consulting Engineers.
b. It is also important to note that the replacement of the existing deck waterproofing will be extremely expensive as removal of the concrete topping slab to gain access to the waterproofing membrane will take time, be disruptive and create a major disturbance to the occupants of this condominium building. Please note that the installation of deck waterproofing on a flat structure is a systemic issue for this building structure.

Anonymous
1 month ago

This actually worked out pretty good for those of us in the building across the street. We now have more of a beach view even on the lower floors so I’m not complaining

Anonymous
1 month ago

Our view just got way better too with the most recent demolition they did there last night, hopefully the evacuate that north tower and demolish it too then we should be pretty set for the next couple years before they break ground on something new there

Anonymous
1 month ago

So sad…I bet a lot of people will be more inclined to take buyouts from developers. Those buildings from the 60-70-80s always looked very top heavy. Maybe this was a combination of poor structural design, saltwater erosion of the rebar. Maybe one of the base pillars was carrying to much load and the rebar rusted through causing it to shear off and the column slide outward. I wonder if they had epoxy coated rebar back then.

Anonymous
1 month ago

I want to know how it was built in 1981 and specifically the concrete. Was it mixed with beach sand by a corrupt contractor?

Anonymous
1 month ago

I wonder what new luxury tower will be replacing this site, and who are all these people that can afford 2 % RE taxes and thousands in maintenance fees per month?

Jason Thomas Cortes
1 month ago

It turns out that epoxy-coated rebar (developed in 1973) actually makes the corrosion problem WORSE! Here’s the best (Laymens level explanation):
structuresguy (Structural)15 Dec 03 20:38
Well, it seems the only people who like the epoxy coated rebar are the epoxy manufacturers. In theory it works well because the epoxy is an electrical insulator. Without an electrical pathway between the steel and concrete, no corrosion can occur.

In practice, structures with epoxy rebar deteriorate faster than with normal uncoated rebar. The reason for this is if there are any nicks in the epoxy coating, all of the corrosion potential of the system drives corrosion to occur at very fast rates in small localized areas. Thus, a bar can corrode right thru in one spot while everywhere else it is in perfect shape. THere are many precautions that must be used when handling shipping and installing epoxy rebar to avoid nicks. But it is almost impossible to avoid damaging the coating. Even something like the vibrator (which is supposed to be covered with rubber) can damage it by vibrating a sharp peice of aggragate against a bar, and WAMMO you got a nick. Most highway departments have outlawed it if they are smart. Otherwise they absolutely require it.

Stay away from it if you can. A good quality concrete with a proper mix design and cover will provide you all the corrosion-free service life you need. If you really need a super high corrosion resistance, consider MMFX steel rebar, or even stainless steel. THe MMFX is somewhat more expensive than normal rebar, but it also has higher strength. Plus it has corrosion resistance similar to that of stainless steel.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Great post. These are the helpful posts. Thanks for taking the time.

Anonymous
1 month ago

This actually looks like one of those apartment buildings in Palestine after an Israeli rocket attack.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Wtf bro, wtf.

Anonymous
1 month ago

One resident woke hours before the collapse to loud creaking sounds and could not go back to sleep.

Anonymous
1 month ago

That building didn’t come down by accident I was in seclusion

Anonymous
1 month ago

They keep talking about the engineers. The engineers are not on site during the construction. This is most likely the contractor taking shortcuts and the owner not paying for inspections

Anonymous
1 month ago

Wrong. Structural Engineers must observe the installation of all structural members from rebar placement, size, quantity. They also must observe and submit a report on the concrete mix, welds, basically all structural items. They provide a report saying the building was built according to their design.

Anonymous
1 month ago

It was a sink hole and there will be more in the future

Anonymous
1 month ago

Someone stated it was a wasteland before and dangerous to construct big condo buildings but the american dream does not make sense only dollars

Anonymous
1 month ago

They will never let you know though that it was a sink hole because and the possibilities for more which there will be because that will bring panic on people and luxury beach living in Florida is done and btw should never have been allowed like that in the first place but money ans greed talks and many lives ans morw lives will be the cost. Is living not worth more than money?

Anonymous
1 month ago

Im guessing bal harbour and surf side will be undergoing a massive redevelopment soon……

Anonymous
1 month ago

I would like to see TNM cover more of this story. They have not posted anything since that dreadful day. Given their emphasis on real estate and new developments/construction, it would be helpful to everyone if they cover more of this unfortunate event.

Anonymous
1 month ago

It’s hard to imaging the new roofing didn’t contribute to this tragedy, just seems like it would be too much of a coincidence.

Anonymous
1 month ago

But why would the roof cause the entire building to collapse so abruptly?

Anonymous
1 month ago

Ya I definitely wouldn’t know myself, but it seems like such a big coincidence. I’ve heard of older building using cables as weight bearing structures and maybe there was weight put where it shouldn’t have been. Key word being maybe…

Montenegro
1 month ago

Champlain Towers is located in a prime lot next to the brand-new Cesar Pelli’s ultra luxe condo, Arte by Antonio Citterio and the Four Season Surfside Club Hotel and Residences. Just saying….time will tell.

Anonymous
1 month ago

So you must be in teal estate……….
Im sorry that you’re so cynical.

C'est moi
1 month ago

and that new condo has an UNDERGROUND PARKING built… Just saying maybe not foul play but boring that caused sinkhole or strain on the other condo foundation. Another thing to note is that entire area (from 87 to 60st) has been the developper prime hunting and it goes as definition of building being “BLIGHT”, what they do is if they cannot repair to the new standard (meaning big assessement for the owners and making it hard for REsale) then it’s PRIME buy for peanuts.

Anonymous
1 month ago

God forbid! Underground parking!
About 1/2 the fruitcakes that post here think that parking pedestals are more evil than Communism. Underground parking is great.

Ummm….and if property owners want to sell their property to property buyers, what is wrong with that?

C'est moi
1 month ago

Clearly you are not from Miami. there are only a few authorized UNDERGROUND PARKING in Miami BEACH (APOGEE, CAPRI and 87 PARK). Reason be (reclaimed land and hurricane). When you do UNDERGROUND, water is coming (you need expert to make it happen, the same experts like for Port of Miami tunnel!). When you dig/Boar undeground, it makes VIBRATION and in a reclaim land it can create SINKHOLE or move an already SINKING structure…

Anonymous
1 month ago

It is next to the RENZO PIANO ultra luxe condo.

“Just saying…time will tell”. Saying what? You didn’t post a complete thought.

La Condesa de San Ignacio
1 month ago

What he means is that the Renzo Piano construction next door could have cause the collapse of this building.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Thanks for that Condesa. It seemed to me that he “just saying” nothing directly, but trying to imply that it was calculated demotion to free up valuable development land.
“Champlain Towers is located in a prime lot next to the brand-new Cesar Pelli’s ultra luxe condo, Arte by Antonio Citterio and the Four Season Surfside Club Hotel and Residences.”

I think that there a lot of evil people in this world, but none that would kill people like that to build a new condominium on the graves of so many.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Cesar Pelli did it!

Anonymous
1 month ago

Trump did it!

Anonymous
1 month ago

If I was to guess the cause – one of the top balconies gave way from some reason that I don’t know. When that balcony fell, it fell on the next lower balcony. The impact from the fall probably hit the outer part of the lower balcony and/or the weight of 2 balconies on one caused that balcony to fall on the next lower balcony causing a downward vertical domino effect.
The World Trade Center collapsed because each lower floor could not handle the weight of the upper floors that collapsed from impact on those specific floors.

Anonymous
1 month ago

World Trade Center was a controlled demolition. Towers don’t crumble from top to bottom without structural failure at the base.

Are you really that naive?

Anonymous
1 month ago

Assuming that it could not happen from a structural failure on top causing a domino effect is ridiculous. An assumption that buildings can only collapse exclusively from a structure failure at the base is also ridiculous. Go back to school and learn gravity again. Moreover, a failure at the base or farther at the top don’t have to be mutually exclusive. It could be a combination of both to be the cause of the event, although one may be the but for cause. Stop drinking.

Anonymous
1 month ago

You’re drinking koolaid my friend. Do some research on how the engineering community interpreted the WTC collapse.

Anonymous
1 month ago

That is what I have been guessing. It is a combination for structural failure at/near the bottom, and some weight placed on the roof, and wrong place on the roof, being the combination that started the avalanche.
One thing is for sure, people need to be active in reading their engineering reports and taking this stuff seriously.
This is a serious tragedy.

La Condesa de San Ignacio
1 month ago

World Trade Center was a terrorist attack! Go back to your alternate reality TV!

Anonymous
1 month ago

Exactly

Anonymous
1 month ago

Well at least the collapse didn’t damage that new building next door.

Anonymous
1 month ago

“The mayor of Surfside however has said in interviews that it is unlikely the roofing work is the cause, even though that work had begun in the last 30 days”

Sure the roofing work didn’t cause this collapse Mr Mayor.. especially after this building stood for forty years with no problem until the roof work started.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Who is the roofing contractor?

Anonymous
1 month ago

Strange how this comment received thumbs down…. It wouldn’t be the roofing company?