On July 17, 1981, the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri had held a tea dance in their atrium lobby the hotel had been open about a year at this point before the collapse. The collapse injured around two hundred people and kill around one hundred and fourteen people. The walkway cost a lot to fix after the disaster.
What went wrong/right with the Hyatt Regency hotel walkway. There were many people there to view the dance group perform at the tea dance when the rods that way from the ceiling. The rods that supported the walkways that collapsed the second and the forth floor walkways that collapsed, the fourth-floor walkway collapsed and took the second floor with it. Leaving the third-floor walkway in tacked due to the off set. One hundred and fourteen people lost their lives and two hundred were severely injured in the collapse of the walkways.A lot of the parties that were involved in the construction process of this project had lost their engineering licenses and some had just changed there names in 1983 law suits were made and settled out of the courts.
Most of the parties involved went bust the engineers were calming to not have received any contact form the designers i.e drawings or phone calls from the designer about the flaws about the problems The parties involved in the design of the hotel in 1978 the owner of the crown centre redeveloped company started the project as a design and build. The construction started on April the 4th 1978 entered a standard contract with gce professional consulting from structural engineering from as jack d Gillum associates they had re named the company gcs in may 1983 Jack d Gillum p.
e structural engineering state was licensed on February 26th, 1968Daniel m Duncan p.e. structural engineering were licensed on February 27th, 1979 PBNDML architects planners since inc architect Gce agreed to provide all structural engineering services for a 750 room hotel projected. Lack of communication between the fabricator is one of the contributors to the walkways failing the engineering firm had gotten a set of drawings and stamped them with the seal of approval authorizing construction the new drawings were not capable of holding the walkways and failing to be up to the building code Technical details during construction of the hotel there were changes made in the design of the hanger rod connectors. The fabricators had doubled the number of rods supporting the walkways from one rod to two in the design.
Doubling the load on the connector in the end caused he walkway to fail the fabricator didn’t want to thread the full length of the rod in order to thread the washer and the nut the new design consisted of the top 3rd and 4th floor supported rods were attached to the atrium roof the bottom ends were threaded through the box beam where the washer and nut were threaded on. The second rod was attached also attached to the box beam four inches from the first rod the 2ndfloor walkway was suspended from the 4th floor in the same way. The fabricator while in sworn testimony claimed that his company had called the engineering company for a change in the design to be approved the engineering company denies all aspects of and phone calls even with the way it was originally designed the walkways were barely capable of holding up the required load and wold have failed to meet the building requirements. The Kansas city building code requires a minimum support value of 151KN.
The original design was capable of supporting 90KN. With the design changes made during construction, walkways would be supporting double that ie 180KN assuming that the walkways were loaded with the maximum recommended weight limit. During construction, the roof had collapsed and had caused problems and is connected to the walkway collapsing A lack of communication between the designer and the fabricator is one of the major reasons that the walkways had failed the engineering company did not look over the drawings during construction of the Kansas city hotel but had stamped it with their seal of approval authorizing construction the new design was less capable of supporting the required forces and was not designed up to building code regulations with Kansas city.
Many parties involved had lost there engineering licenses engineers were found guilty of gross negligence misconduct and unprofessional conduct in the practice of engineering expensive legal suits were settled out of court several companies went bankrupt’The lessons learned on this project is that proper communication is key threw out the project all the contractors including the sub contractors and the designers should all keep in touch and communicate properly so if anything needs to be changed ie drawing they should work together properly to resolve any problems that occur to avoid any damage injury’s or any deaths. There should be tests done on all materials to make sure that the materials can with stand the weight per KN per mm squared and the materials do not fail after construction is finished and the building is handed over to the client health and safety is key in all construction projects.From the Kansas city hotel walkway collapse the importance of an engineers responsibility can be seen in aspects of ranging from design to the construction the collapse of the atrium roof during construction was indicative of problems with the overall design engineers should thoroughly look over there designs and modifications made during the construction phase and to ensure the safety of the project