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ENGR/PHIL 482 Engineering & Ethics. 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center2 Instructors o Dr. Ray James, P.E. (Civil Engineering) o 140 CE—845-7436.

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Presentation on theme: "ENGR/PHIL 482 Engineering & Ethics. 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center2 Instructors o Dr. Ray James, P.E. (Civil Engineering) o 140 CE—845-7436."— Presentation transcript:

1 ENGR/PHIL 482 Engineering & Ethics

2 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center2 Instructors o Dr. Ray James, P.E. (Civil Engineering) o 140 CE—845-7436 o r-james@tamu.edu r-james@tamu.edu o Dr. Charles E. (Ed) Harris, Jr. (Philosophy) o Bolton Hall—845-5697 o e-harris@tamu.edu

3 William LeMessurier and the CitiCorp Center A case study in engineering and ethics.

4 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center4 Background o William LeMessurier was the structural engineer in responsible charge of the 1977 Citicorp building o Site constraint--historic St. Peter’s Lutheran Church obstructed part of the site o Innovative design solution used “air rights” above the church, built a new church o Required unusual first floor column layout

5 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center5 Citicorp Center Statistics o Located in New York City o 59 stories, 915 ft, steel skeleton o Engineer: William LeMessurier and Assoc. o First tall building to include a tuned-mass damper to improve serviceability under wind loading o Completed 1977 at a cost of $175 million

6 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center6 LeMessurier’s innovative column layout Conventional column layout Innovative column layout

7 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center7 Citicorp building site challenge... © Norman McGrath

8 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center8 Design of the structure To employ the innovative column layout, LeMessurier developed a series of diagonal braces to transfer the upper floor loads to the four columns.

9 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center9 Design of the steel structure Then he performed an otherwise conventional structural analysis. To analyze wind loads, he adopted the usual simplifying assumption that the critical wind direction was perpendicular to the widest side of the building.

10 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center10 Design of the steel structure, cont’d... An innovative tuned mass damper system was designed to reduce building sway in design winds.

11 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center11 Completion, 1977 The Citicorp Center building was completed in 1977. In 1978, LeMessurier got a telephone call from an engineering student...

12 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center12 A new, and serious question is raised... o Stimulated by the student’s question, LeMessurier initiated additional analyses which led him to discover that, because of the unusual column layout, the critical wind direction was not what he had assumed, but rather, a direction diagonal to the building.

13 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center13 Analysis for diagonal winds... o His calculations indicated that there would be more wind load in the diagonal members than he had anticipated, so he reviewed their design.

14 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center14 Review of structural capacities... o LeMessurier had previously learned that a change order during construction had resulted in the substitution of (weaker) bolted connections in the diagonal members rather than the called-for welded connections. o At the time, the bolted connections appeared to have adequate capacity, so his staff approved the change order.

15 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center15 His disturbing conclusions: o The structural analysis error (incorrect critical wind direction assumption) coupled with the weaker bolted connections in the diagonal members meant that the diagonal members were overloaded by a design wind from a quartering direction. o Basically, the Citicorp Center building could collapse in a moderate hurricane.

16 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center16 So….. o You have just learned that your prize project could, with reasonable likelihood, collapse with casualties in the thousands and losses in the billions. o What do you do?

17 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center17 What did LeMessurier do? o Advised his architect client’s lawyer and client’s insurance company o Advised Citicorp, the building owner o Advised the city authorities o Installed back-up generators for the tuned mass dampers o Retained a team of meteorological experts to determine the risk of damaging windstorms

18 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center18 What did LeMessurier do, cont’d? o Initiated a repair plan whereby the bolted diagonal splices would be reinforced with welded plates to increase their capacity o Developed an emergency evacuation plan for the area within a 5-block radius of the structure, involving 2000 Red Cross volunteer workers

19 2 Sept 2002LeMessurier and Citicorp Center19 What did LeMessurier do, cont’d? o Created a cover story to provide for the press, to explain the night-time welding operations in progress as an upgrade to reflect a recent change in the NYC building codes.


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