SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - Surfside engineers have started to complete a structural review of Champlain Towers North, the sister building of the South condo that partially collapsed, killing at least 86 people.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said he spoke with the engineers responsible for the review on Friday. The engineers who were hired worked on a structural review following the 9/11 attacks.
“I spent about an hour today with Allyn Kilsheimer, our engineer, and he is actively going through all the plans,” Burkett said. “We’ve got the samples. We’ve taken concrete samples. We’ve taken ground-penetrating radar samples. Those have been sent back to his offices for modeling right now. That’s basically an analysis of the soil and the components of the soil, the composition of the soil. That’s very important right now.”
The mayor said he had deep concerns about the North condo because it is essentially the same building as the South condo. It was built at the same time by the same developer with the same plans and, likely, the same materials, he said.
“When you design a building, you design it for the requirements and standard in the industry of what was required then, so to compare a building that was done 40 years ago with what’s done in a building today, isn’t a reasonable comparison,” Kilsheimer told CNN.
“We are going to go ahead and get samples of the concrete from the collapsed building very shortly,” Burkett said. “We are going to compare those samples to the samples we pulled out of the building on the north end with Champlain North.”
Engineers have focused their attention on the building’s beams, slabs and concrete that hold the structure together.
“Usually, this would all be done microscopically,” Kilsheimer said. “I’m looking to see if the gray is still connected to the stone. This small aggregate, which is sand. I see the large aggregate. I see the paste, which is the gray adhered to everything, so it’s well consolidated.”
The building’s management said the pool and pool deck have recently been renovated, the balconies have also been rehabilitated and the building is in good shape.
However, about half of the building’s residents have decided to move until the review is complete.
“I think for right now it’s livable,” Burkett said. “I think the threshold is going to be whether or not the engineer can find enough that concerns him to say, ‘Hey listen, we’ve got a problem at this building.'”
Engineers and other officials will take several weeks to get the full results from the review. After that, they can decide what to do with the North condo.
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