Paris Airport Collapse Insurance Recoveries Unclear

June 1, 2004

  • June 7, 2004 at 10:03 am
    Tan says:
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    Check the effect of prestressing on the elliptic ring shape, which may cause unusual distribution of internal forces. Perhaps bending did occur, which is not taken care of. The situation can be rather different from the conventional case of a circular ring.

  • June 10, 2004 at 11:06 am
    Dr. Michael Hogan, P. Eng. says:
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    De Gaulle Airport Collapse – Vive la Stupidité

    The punishment fits the crime.

    The collapse (punishment) is a direct result of the egomania (crime) of its Architect-Designer Paul Andreu.

    Egomania is not uncommon amoung Architects.

    Roger Thibert, the French Architect who brought Canada the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, (a similar building disaster) suffered from it also.

    General De Gaulle also suffered from egomania. Je me souviens: “Vive le Québec libre” – while he was a guest in Canada!

    The “genius” Architect/Engineer Paul Andreu had this oxymoron to proffer after the collapse:

    “The design of this terminal was adventurous (“audaceuse” is his word in French), but there was nothing revolutionary in the building methods used. I can’t explain what happened. I just don’t understand it.”

    This is not true. The design and construction of this terminal brought a whole new dimension to building design with the use of composite carbonfibre, adapted from aircraft design. These concepts have never been used on a major civil engineering project. They were used in the rudder design of the Airbus that crashed in New York City on November 12, 2001, killing 260 people.

    It is obvious to anyone who looks at this collapsed structure that it cannot support its own weight. It would be prudent to tear the whole terminal down – all U$1 billion of it.

    Dr. Michael Hogan, Professional Engineer
    Hogan & Greenfield
    Toronto, Canada
    416 738 5939
    Formerly: Participating Associate in the Partnership of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Architects & Engineers, New York, Chicago, San Francisco.

    Technical Background of Michael Hogan

    1967 – Senior Structural Design Engineer, Commerce Court Tower, Toronto, Canada -Tallest in British Commonwealth when built.
    1971 – ” ” ” ” Sears Tower, Chicago, USA -Tallest in World for 25 years.
    1974 – ” ” ” ” La Tour Apogée, Paris, France – Tallest in Europe when built.

  • June 12, 2004 at 8:54 am
    Dr. Michael Hogan, P. Eng. says:
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    Additional Information:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/523415.html

    My e-mail is: hogangrn@passport.ca

  • July 9, 2004 at 10:10 am
    Dr. Michael Hogan, P. Eng. says:
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    Dear Ms. Clark, Journalist, International Herald Tribune:

    Your articles of June 5/04 and July 7/04 have provided the best technical information to date on this, but, a New York Times article has been quite good also – with a little more skepticism.

    I have been a Senior Structural Design Engineer for more 30 years, with responsibilities for many of the world’s landmark structures (Sears Tower, Chicago; Commerce Court Tower, Toronto; La Tour Apogée, Paris; etc.)

    I have to say:

    “The suggestion by the French Inquiry Commission that the cause of the collapse is weak concrete is totally misleading.

    The cause is structural instability caused by the failure of the designer (Paul Andreu) to recognize the progressive buckling nature inherent in his foolish design concept.

    The collapse mechanism is called ‘Euler Buckling’ or ‘P-Delta Effect.’ Every post graduate engineering student studies it.

    The use of a giant elliptical eggshell with huge perforations makes no sense.
    It cracked like an egg – just as you would expect, at a location where there is a large opening.
    Even an egg has enough sense to be round in its principal stress direction.

    In lay terms:
    The eccentricity of the load causes an increase in the bending stresses,
    which causes more eccentricity of the load,
    which causes more bending stresses, and so on,
    until the structure collapses.

    Dr. Michael Hogan, P. Eng.
    Hogan & Greenfield
    Toronto, Canada

    Formerly: Participating Associate in the Partnership of Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Architects & Engineers, Chicago.
    Senior Structural Engineer on many of the World’s Landmark Structures.

    About Leonard Euler:
    http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/j/a/jao161/Euler.html

  • August 2, 2004 at 10:37 am
    Dr. Michael Hogan, P. Eng. says:
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    Any remaining similar roof structure at de Gaulle Airport should be closed to the public permanently and torn down. More of this structure is likely to collapse.

    It is unstable due to a fundamental design fault, not “weakened concrete” as suggested by the French Inquiry Commission.

    The concrete was provided by Lafarge Group, world’s largest concrete supplier. Please see http://www.lafarge.com under the heading “Press Releases – Failure of Terminal 2E”. All concrete met the specifications.

    The French Inquiry Commission has been quite successful at covering up the real cause of the collapse – Elastic Buckling, sometimes called Euler Buckling or P-Delta Effect. The designer, Paul Andreu, is a member of France’s Legion Of Honor.

    The French Inquiry Commission, noted “the structure folded up like a billfold”. That is elastic buckling just as if you overloaded an out-of-plumb column.

    There were a number of unauthorized photos taken immediatley after the collapse that also verify “Euler Buckling”. These photos will eventually become public.

    How was it missed in the design? This effect is usually negligible in structures, but not in an elliptical cylinder whose walls are 3′ thick in concrete! The weight of the concrete plus the eccentricity resulting from the elliptcal shape with large openings, made this normally small, secondary, non-linear effect, critical. It could not hold up its own weight!

  • August 2, 2004 at 6:16 am
    keith cook says:
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    i work for a oil company and was on rout home ;i had booked into that termanil at 05h30;and was smack in the middle of the roof falling in ,all i could do was run for my life,as for the poeple that where sitting about four rows from me ,well i dont think they were so lucky,every body talks about water pipes and bad concrete,what i heard and what i read is two different things ,maybe someone could tell me what realy happend on that horific day that changed my life forever,as for me flying threw paris again;no ,the treatment i got from air france staff was disgusting and still suffering from that day
    all i want is some ansers,feel free to check on my log in time at c22

  • February 16, 2005 at 9:20 am
    Alan M Dransfield says:
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    The recent inquiry into the Paris Airport Roof Collapse at CDA has implied the concrete design was flawed and responsible for the disaster which claimed 5 lives.
    Lafarge Cement Company supplied the cement for Airport project and are currently indicted under UK law for supplying sub-standard cement to ready mix concerete companies for over two years. Lafarge have admitted gross irregularities at one of their UK Cement Plants, hence, I would expect the French Authorities will take a very CLOSE look at the Cement/Concrete qualities on the CDA in Paris

  • February 20, 2005 at 4:37 am
    Alan M Dransfield says:
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    The following beggars belief.
    1.All the vertical columns were “wrapped” in carbon fiber AFTER Construction as a “precaution”?? A PRECAUTION against WHAT??? Who knew what??
    2. The Terminal Vault was jacked up to facilitate numerous vertical colomns repair??!!.
    3.Inquiry investigation team debarred from visiting the site for several months AFTER the roof collapsed and their investigation taken from photographs ONLY.
    4.Outside Temprature on the day of collpase in MAY ( repeat MAY ,not Dec) was 39F but “extreme cold weather” has been attributed to the collapse??!!.
    5.Lafarge UK Cement have supplied 2 million tonns of “dodgy cement ” to the South West of UK in the same period.
    6.Lafarge have “ruled out” any simliar problems on the CDG by POST/MIX concrete test only.Post mic cubes test DO NOT identify ASR,concrete cancer.
    7. Lafarge have stated their “DODGY” cement is “LOW RISK” only,hence, maybe this collpapse is ALSO Low Risk??!!.
    8.Foundation subsidence ruled out as “cause”.

    Look no further than the Lafarge Cement supplied on this Projects and watch out for SIMILAR CATASTROPHES.

  • February 20, 2005 at 8:02 am
    Dr. Michael Hogan, P. Eng. says:
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    To Alan Dransfield:

    Your comments are mostly valid.

    I have followed this collapse in great detail as I have been a Structural Engineer for almost 40 years and have been responsible for the structural design of many of these types of structures. Every one is an ego trip for the Architect. In this case, the Architect, Paul Andreu, was also the Structural Engineer. This gave him double authority, but no check on his design.

    Here is a detailed analysis of your comments.

    1) Columns were wrapped in Carbon Fibre after they began to crack. True. This should have been a clue to the design failure, (columns were too skinny), not weak concrete. The Inquiry Commission, in its final report stated that the concrete quality was NOT a factor. Also, independant inspection companies, VINCI, then VERITAS, were charged with verification of concrete strength. The concrete test results were available. You are correct: wrapping cracked columns with carbon fibre is nonsense.

    2. You are correct. Construction should have been stopped and the project scrapped at that time. However, the column failures were not involved in the collapse. The collapse was an explosion of the shell structure resulting from Euler Buckling, also called P-Delta Effect. The designers did not anticipate the large deflections of the shell under its own weight. These large deflections caused increased bending stress which caused larger deflections, etc., until it burst. It was “Progressive Structural Instability”.

    3. Inquiry barred from the Site. Yes: more foolishness on the part of the authorities. This can only add to the deliberate obfuscation (Obscure + confuse).

    4. You are correct. +4C is NOT cold and weather was NOT a factor in the collapse. I don’t see how the Inquiry Commission can have any credibility with a statement like that. But, the lawyers can probably spin it somehow.

    5. Lafage has the test reults to prove the quality of the concrte and you can see from the photos the fractures were large – no “crumbling” that signifies weak concrete.

    6. What is ASR concrete cancer? I am not familiar with that term.

    7. Lafarge is being unfairly targeted to deflect the attention from the incredible design blunder! There was plenty of concrete available after the collpapse for test purposes but it does not appear that any was tested. Has it been disposed of?

    8. Foundation was not a poroblem. I agree. The Inquiry Commission agrees.

    Conclusion: You may have had substandard concrete by Lafarge in UK. I have used Lafage concrete here in Canada for alsmost 40 years and never had substandard, although sometimes truck drivers have added water at the jobsite. We always catch that with out independant inspection.

    This collapse will be the ultimate case study for Structural Engineering students in “How Not To Design A Structure”.

    Someone should have a close look at the Structural Stability of the new Beijing Opera House – M. Andreu’s latest “marvel”.

    Michael Hogan

    email: hogangrn@passport.ca

  • February 20, 2005 at 9:42 am
    Dr. Michael Hogan, P. Eng. says:
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    I have received a large pictorial file, produced by the Inquiry Commission, which shows how the shell collapsed. It actually burst and landed off to one side by about 2 meters.

    Unfortunately, I am not able to find a way to post it here.

    If anyone wants to see it, contact me at:
    hogangrn@passport.ca



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