The Harbour Cay Condominium in Cocoa Beach, Florida in March 1981 is another important example. The five-story casting-place reinforced concrete building collapsed due to design and construction deficiencies killing eleven construction workers and injuring 23 others.
Structural failures occur when there is a reduction of the capability of a structural system or component to such a degree that it cannot safely serve its intended purpose (Janney, 1986, pg. 1. Yates, 2007, pg. 68). A construction failure is a failure that occurs during construction and such failures are considered to be either a collapse or distress of a structural system to such a degree that it cannot safely serve its intended purpose.
Failures may result from a single error. However, it is more common for a failure to be the result of several interrelated contributing factors. These may involve technical problems and unexpected deficiencies in material performance. Procedural deficiencies may result from human errors in judgement or from human tendencies towards ignorance, incompetence, negligence and greed. The constructed project may be subjected to environmental conditions or loads that are unpredicted by the designer or by accepted standards of practice.
According to Thornton (1985, pg. 14), construction failures may be classified into three categories: safety, functional and ancillary, while the causes of failure fit into five general areas of deficiency, design, construction, material, administrative and maintenance.
Yates (2007, pg. 68) identified two broad causes of construction. technical causes and human causes. Technical causes of construction failures are those that are actual physical proximate causes. For example, improper compaction of soil could lead to excessive settlement of a foundation. Procedural causes are related to human errors and they include things such as communication problems or shortcoming in the design and