The collapsed building in Miami needed repairs and works worth more than nine million dollars, including $ 3.8 million just for the garage and pool, which should have been properly waterproofed and not done.
That’s one of the new revelations contained in the 2018 report, which highlighted that the building had structural damage. Nearly three years before the Champlain Towers waterfront condo near Miami collapsed, an engineering firm estimated that the major repairs the building needed would cost more than $ 9 million, according to recently released emails.
The email from the firm Morabito Consultants was part of a series of documents published by the city of Surfside (Miami-Dade County) as rescue efforts continued at the site of the collapsed building, amid debris, where more than 150 people were still missing.
At least five people died in the collapse. The release of the 2018 cost estimate followed the earlier release of another company document showing that the building’s ground floor pool deck rested on a concrete slab that had “major structural damage” and needed a thorough repair.
An aerial view of the collapsed building. Reuters photo
That report also discovered “abundant cracks and chipping” of columns, beams and concrete walls in the parking lot. The report did not warn of the imminent danger of the damage and it is unclear if any of the observed damage was responsible for the Champlain Towers South collapse, but it is being investigated.
The cost estimate showed that repairs throughout the building would cost more than $ 9.1 million, and that the cost of work on the garage, driveway and pool deck would represent more than 3.8 million.
The work was not finished when the building collapsed. The previous report said that the waterproofing under the pool deck had failed and it had been incorrectly positioned flat rather than slanted, preventing the water from running off.
Rescuers search the pile of rubble for survivors. AFP photo
“Failed waterproofing is causing significant structural damage to the structural concrete slab below these areas, “says the report. If the waterproofing is not replaced” in the near future, the extent of deterioration of the concrete will expand exponentially, “the report said today.
The firm recommended that the damaged slabs be replaced in what would be a major repair. Some of the concrete damage in the parking lot was minor, while other columns had exposed and deteriorated rebar. He also noted that many of the building’s previous attempts to repair columns and other damage with epoxy (a special resin) were marred by poor workmanship and were failing Under the pool deck “where the slab had been injected. With epoxy, new cracks were radiated from the originally repaired cracks, “the report says.
These were all problems that should have been resolved quicklyGregg Schlesinger, a construction defect attorney and former construction project engineer, was quoted as saying by local press.
“The building speaks to us. It tells us we have a serious problem,” said Schlesinger. “They (for building managers, NDR) they kicked the can down the road. The maintenance was inadequate. All of these were red flags that needed to be addressed and were not done, “he said.
In a statement, Morabito Consultants confirmed that its report “detailed significant cracks and breaks in concrete, which required repairs to ensure the safety of residents and the public. “The firm said it was rehired in June 2020 by Champlain Towers South to begin the 40-year recertification process that would detail what work needed to be done.