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To the untrained eye of a nonprofessional and even to the trained eye of many professionals, it is not uncommon for casual observance of the facade of a high rise structure to suggest all is well. However, one must look deeper to uncover obscure telltale signs that may reveal underlying problems of great significance. Two case studies illustrate that what is not readily obvious may be critical to public safety in facade inspection. These two studies include a 20 story building built in the mid 1920s with a steel frame and masonry cladding that had developed vertical cracking extending up the corners and a 29 story building barely a decade old which signaled distress when a panel of brick masonry veneer fell to the sidewalk below.
building, facade, inspection, cladding, masonry, failures, case studies
Professor, Architectural, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC
Principal Engineer, Sutton Kennedy & Associates Inc., Greensboro, NC