Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis is an investigation into the causes of various incidents of building failure and structural collapse. The work includes failures of design, construction, supervision, and control of building projects. In addition to partial and total structural collapses, cases of settlement, deflection, and disintegration are also included in the discussion of building failures. The format of the thesis is a series of case studies of buildings in New Mexico and elsewhere that have, for a variety of reasons, developed problems of this nature. While the focus of its concern is with building failures within the metropolitan area of Albuquerque, the thesis includes some examples of failure from a number of other cities in order to further illustrate failures of a particular type. The purpose of this research is to document and define the primary causes of building failures in Albuquerque and elsewhere; and to establish the procedural oversights which contributed to their occurrence. Because the lives and fortunes lost in these incidents amount to no modest sum, the intention of this study is aimed at providing some basis for the minimization or elimination of such phenomenon in the future. The work is intended to be a body of largely practical information, of use not only to architects, but to all members of the building profession and to laymen alike.

Project Sponsors

The Office of Research and Fellowship Services



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Degree Name


Level of Degree


First Committee Member (Chair)

Robert Carlton Walters

Second Committee Member

James Innis

Third Committee Member

William R. Gafford

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Architecture Commons