A team of technical experts from the federal government and outside specialists will collect building material samples and study soil conditions to determine the technical reasons for a South Florida condominium collapse, have officials announced Wednesday.
The team assembled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology will gather evidence and analyze data to determine the cause of the collapse of the 12-story South Champlain Towers. Team members will also assess whether building codes, standards and practices need to be changed.
“It will be a technical fact-finding investigation, not fault-finding,” James Olthoff, director of the agency, said at a press conference Wednesday night. “It will take time, maybe a few years, but we will not stop until we determine the probable cause of this tragedy.”
The team of experts want to understand how the building was designed, constructed, modified and maintained, said Judith Mitrani-Reiser, deputy head of the agency.
âWe come in with an open mind,â Mitrani-Reiser said.
NIST investigations previously looked at the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, as well as how the structures were leveled during the tornadoes in Joplin Missouri and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. and hold hearings, Mitrani-Reiser said.
“Our job is to understand the failure of the building,” she said. “We will look at everything. We will look at the site conditions, the structure itself, and any environmental conditions that may have affected the structure.”