Reconnaissance and preliminary assessment of a damaged high-rise building near ground zero

Gordon Warn, Jeffrey Berman, Andrew Whittaker, Michel Bruneau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


An MCEER research team, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, visited Ground Zero twice in the two weeks following the attacks of September 11, 2001, to collect perishable data related to the collapse of the two 110-story towers and collateral damage to buildings and infrastructure surrounding the World Trade Center complex. The visit on September 23 involved a walk-through of one high-rise building that was badly damaged by large pieces of debris that were ejected from World Trade Center Tower 2 as it collapsed. This paper presents information from the building-interior reconnaissance on September 23 and the subsequent analysis of a building frame with properties similar to those of the damaged building. Linear and non-linear analyses were undertaken. Such analyses showed that the use of rigid beam-to-column connections in the building frame enabled gravity loads in the frame above the segment of the building that partially collapsed to be transferred to adjacent undamaged vertical components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-391
Number of pages21
JournalStructural Design of Tall and Special Buildings
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 15 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


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