Engineering & Transportation
Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.95
  • Save: $3.49 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: ALMOST VERY GOOD CONDITION--MAY HAVE SHORT, NEAT, SMALL INSCRIPTION AT INSIDE OF FRONT COVER. ISBN MATCH. . FULFILLMENT BY AMAZON.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Why Buildings Fall Down: Why Structures Fail Paperback – February 17, 2002


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.46
$8.75 $0.99
12%20Days%20of%20Deals%20in%20Books

Frequently Bought Together

Why Buildings Fall Down: Why Structures Fail + Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength of Architecture + The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects (Ziggurat Book)
Price for all three: $38.48

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

China
Engineering & Transportation Books
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (February 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039331152X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393311525
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Structural engineers Levy and Salvadori have written a well-paced, highly informative, nontechnical work describing failures in a variety of structures such as buildings, bridges, and dams. Salvadori wrote Why Buildings Stand Up (Norton, 1990), so this is a natural complement. The subject, somewhat grisly in nature, is presented here with respect for the tragedies involved, and yet with a lighthearted pursuit of the truth as to the cause of the failure. Analysis of the failure is discussed and recommendations for improvement are offered, but without the usual condescension hindsight allows. Profuse illustrations by Kevin Woest, well labeled and explained, and several appendixes aid access. An index (not seen) is provided, but no glossary. This fascinating book is easily accessible to laypersons. Highly recommended.
- Alex Hartmann, Bloomsburg Univ. Lib., Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

The reader is sure to find the disaster that suits his or her taste. -- New York Times Book Review

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

A fascinating book regarding what causes failures in structures.
EBL
The book is very well written, in an accessible style supported by some useful appendixes on structural engineering principles.
Andrew Johnston
A great read for anyone but especially those interested in engineering or structures.
Jake Trowbridge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Johnston on April 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Such is our morbid fascination that this book is inevitably more attractive than one called "Why Buildings Stay Up". That said, I think I have not only learned more about structural engineering than I would have done from a positive counterpart, but I have also learned vastly more about the other factors, human and natural, that influence the ultimate success or failure of structures.
The book is based on the same material as the late 1990s TV series of the same name, and having watched that series many of the incidents and issues were familiar to me. The advantage of the book is the ability to digest information at your own speed and refer back to earlier pages, but it has to be said that the TV series communicated some of the issues better, helped by animated graphics and by the better mutual support of both pictures and narrative.
Each chapter takes a topic, whether a human factor like the law, a type of construction such as the dome, or a cause of failure such as metal fatigue, and then illustrates the issues by consideration of a number of case studies, frequently including some notable successes as well as dramatic failures. In the case of failures the book always attempts to assess both the practical cause, and also any human cause, impact and implications.
The book is very well written, in an accessible style supported by some useful appendixes on structural engineering principles. However, sometimes the simple line drawings and verbal descriptions of a structure don't manage to communicate a full understanding, and more sophisticated illustrations might have helped.
Mario Salvadori died in 1997 (at the good age of 90), and the surviving author, Matthys Levy updated the book in 2002.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 1997
Format: Paperback
We see all the time buildings working as they should (i.e., standing up and not collapsing), however, it is very interesting to read of some real life collapses. Salvadori does an excellant job of writing so that people without a technical background can understand why these structures failed. And he writes with such detail that engineers are not bored by lack of detail. Simpley explained, fully detailed, and thoroughly researched. Excellant book for anyone who is interested in buildings, structures, or failures
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Buisman on June 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you have read the book 'Why Buildings stand up' you should definitely read this one, since it is much more interesting to know why certain buildings collapse, since this makes the news.
There are some chapters almost the same as the first book, but most chapters are case studies on bridges (the famous galloping Gertie in Washington State), explosions, structural failures etc. An extra chapter is added to explain the collapse of the the World Trade Center Towers after the September 11 Attacks in 2001. Also 5 Appendixes are added dealing with stress, loads and more engineering things, which can also be found on the PBS site on buildings.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
This was a great introduction to the fundamentals of building science - understanding why things don't work is a great help in understanding why they do. Each chapter discusses one example of something that went wrong and explains another reason why structures can fail.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pumpkin King on March 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
An entertaining book for readers who know about structures, and an educational book for lay readers, WHY BUILDINGS FALL DOWN is an interesting collection of case studies concerning building failures. Never condescending, but never too technical, it's a fun way to learn about architecture or structural engineering.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marvin Douglas on May 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Meticulously and simply written, beautifully illustrated. Fascinating cases from antiquity to the present. You get a real feel for the field of large structures, their conception, design, building, maintenance, and the associated personalities.

I would encourage the authors to do a similar book on the World Trade Center collapses, including WTC7. Since they are associated with a company that was involved in WTC litigation, they might be in a good position to do such a review book.

And they might evaluate some of the associated factors, such as extreme high temperatures in the wreckage, possible iron microspheres in the dust, .....

I found this book in the bibligraphy of a report entitled "What Did and Did not Cause Collapse of WTC Twin Towers in New York" by Zdenek P. Bazant. Bazant is a very heavy academic hitter in the field of structure analysis and behavior. His article is very technical, laying out the establishment collapse scenario, which has been contradicted by the people that want a new investigation, e.g. [...], [...].

The US Government National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) study did not pursue the actual collapse, it just studied fire, and possible structural distortion up to the moment of collapse. Bazant follows the collapse but not in a lay intelligible manner.

Maybe the authors could do better.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tiago Ilharco on April 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm a young Civil Engineer from Portugal. Some months ago I went to New York and I found this fantastic book. I've also bought the book "Why buildings stand up" which is, again, amazing. The descriptions are in such a simple way that even lay people can understand easily the functioning of structures.

It was a pleasure to read such interesting books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews