Champlain Towers South (Surfside, FL) Collapse Investigation

Matthew F. Fadden, Associate Principal
Gary J. Klein, Executive Vice President and Senior Principal

In the early morning of June 24, 2021, the eastern half of the twelve-story Champlain Towers South Condominium collapsed, killing ninety-eight residents of the forty-year-old building in Surfside, Florida. WJE was retained by attorneys representing the condominium association to determine the cause of the collapse and provide litigation support.

Our scope of work included a review of design and construction records, videos, and photographs taken before, during, and after the collapse; site inspections at the Champlain Towers South collapse site and NIST primary evidence facility; testing of construction materials and subsurface conditions (in coordination with the involved parties); review of relevant codes and standards; and structural analyses. Our investigation found that the flat plate slab supporting the pool deck above an underground garage was under-designed, with significant structural distress apparent before the collapse.

In this webinar, WJE structural engineers Matthew Fadden and Gary Klein detail WJE’s investigation and findings, including our collapse theory.

By the end of the webinar, you will be able to:

  • Describe the significant conditions observed before the collapse
  • Recognize punching-shear-related distress and parameters affecting flat plate slab performance
  • Summarize the timeline of the pool deck collapse and subsequent building collapse
  • Explain WJE's theory of the collapse based on evidence, material testing, and analysis
more to learn

View this webinar in our interactive audience console to earn 1 AIA HSW learning unit, access related resources, submit questions to the presenters, and download a certificate of completion.