Drexel professor, engineer reflects on How and Why of building collapse

Building collapse at 22nd and Market streets. in Philadelphia. Credit: Metro
Building collapse at 22nd and Market streets. in Philadelphia. Credit: Metro

Drexel University Associate Professor Robert Brehm said there is no easy answer to the question of the day: Was the building properly secured by demolition crews?

“When you’re demolishing an old building, it’s not a science,” said Brehm, who teaches in Drexel’s department of civil, architectural and environmental engineering.

“We’re not going in there and doing precision cutting,” Brehm added. “And when you have old buildings, it’s hard to predict exactly how they are going to respond.”

Brehm, who has more than 40 years experience in construction, said if he was working on this demolition project, he would look to the close proximity of other buildings.

He said it appears the mason wall of the four-story building fell outward, toward the thrift store, as opposed to inward into the demolition, and that led to the collapse.

“It’s coming down one way or the other,” he said. “It’s either going to fall to the left or fall to the right. I don’t know know what caused it to fall outward as opposed to inward, but you’re starting with a very unstable structure.”

If he was investigating this project, he said the first question he would ask is, “What were the protocols and procedures?”

“I would have made sure I secured the site,” he said. “And what does that mean? That means taking people out of harm’s way.”

He said what happened he’s sure wasn’t expected, “but it’s predictable.”

The collapsed building at 2136-38 Market Street was owned by Richard Basciano.

The demolition was done by Griffin Campbell Construction, owned by Griffin T. Campbell. A call made to the Griffin home was not returned. Non-union workers were used on the project, officials said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."