Birmingham Airport Sign Collapse

Click through for this long-form article about the events leading up to the installation of an airport video display that collapsed and killed a 10 year old boy. For those of us in the design/engineering profession, it is always important to thoroughly check and comment on shop drawings that come through.

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Fish used the architect’s design drawings to create the shop drawings. Shop drawings obtained through the records request show that they were completed Aug. 15, 2012. An employee of Brasfield & Gorrie approved the drawings on Aug. 17, 2012, and an architect with KPS approved them on Aug. 19, 2012.

In a change from earlier designs, the Fish shop drawings called for MDF to be used for the front of the display. Instead of a three-quarter-inch sheet of MDF as the core of the display panel’s front, the new design used three layers which together were 1.75 inches thick.

The change as drawn added more weight to the front. Some of the heaviest materials in the display were now to hang over open space.

via Birmingham airport sign collapse: The making of a tragedy | al.com.

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About Matthew Peterworth

I currently work as a Technology Specialist at Henderson Engineers in Kansas City – a Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) design firm. Prior to that I was a Project Manager for Information Technology Services (ITS), the central IT department at the University of Texas at Austin. As of July 2008 I am a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) through BICSI. And as of June 2011 I am a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the great state of Texas. Please follow me on Twitter @mpeterworth. https://twitter.com/mpeterworth

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