Construction Failure

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, 1997 - Technology & Engineering - 512 pages
2 Reviews
First published in 1968, Jacob Feld's Construction Failure has long been considered the classic text on the subject. Retaining all of the key components of Feld's comprehensive exploration of the root causes of failure, this Second Edition addresses a multitude of important industry developments to bring this landmark work up to date for a new generation of engineers, architects, and students.

In addition to detailed coverage of current design tools, techniques, materials, and construction methods, Construction Failure, Second Edition features an entire chapter on the burgeoning area of construction litigation, including a thorough examination of alternative dispute resolution techniques. Like the original, this edition discusses technical and procedural failures of many different types of structures, but is now supplemented with new case studies to illustrate the dynamics of failure in action today.

Jacob Feld knew thirty years ago that in order to learn from our mistakes, we must first acknowledge and understand them. With this revised volume, Kenneth Carper has ensured that Feld's now-posthumous message will continue to be heard for years to come.

Jacob Feld's comprehensive work on failure analysis has now been skillfully amended to address current design and construction tools, materials, and practices. Building on the first edition's peerless examination of the causes and lessons of failure, Construction Failure, Second Edition provides you with expanded coverage of:

  • Technical, procedural, structural, and nonstructural failures
  • Natural hazards, earthworks, soil and foundation problems, and more
  • Reinforced, precast and prestressed concrete, steel, timber, masonry, and other materials
  • Responsibility and litigation concerns, dispute avoidance, and alternative dispute resolution techniques
  • Construction safety issues
  • Many different types of structures, including dams and bridges

Construction Failure has as much to teach us today as it did thirty years ago. This revised volume is an essential resource for design engineers, architects, construction managers, lawyers, and students in all of these fields.


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It is an enlightening!


Causes Costs and Benefits
Effect on
Earthworks Soil and Foundation Problems
Dams and Bridges
Timber Structures
Steel Structures
Reinforced Concrete Structures CastinPlace
Precast and Prestressed Concrete Structures
Nonstructural Failures
Construction Safety and Failures during Construction
Litigation and
Learning from Failures

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About the author (1997)

JACOB FELD (1899-1975) was a prominent structural engineer in New York for many years with design responsibility for a number of important buildings, including the New York Coliseum, Guggenheim Museum, Yonkers Raceway, and Lincoln Center. From 1966 until his death in 1975, he was a partner in the firm of Feld, Kaminetzky & Cohen. Feld was a graduate of City College, receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree from that institution in 1972, as well as a PhD from the University of Cincinnati in 1922. He served as president of the New York Academy of Sciences and was a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which cited him as "Metropolitan Engineer of the Year" in 1969. Feld also received the Townsend Harris Award of the City College Alumni Association, the Alumni Award of the University of Cincinnati, and the French Order of Merit. He taught as a visiting professor at Purdue University, Northwestern University, and North Carolina State University.

KENNETH L. CARPER, a registered architect with degrees in both architecture and civil engineering, is a professor in the School of Architecture at Washington State University. He has received many teaching awards, including the 1994 all-university President′s Faculty Excellence Award at WSU. A past chair of the ASCE Technical Council on Forensic Engineering, Carper is the current and founding Editor in Chief of the ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities. His professional awards include the national ASCE Daniel W. Mead and Richard Torrens Awards. In 1994, he was named "Engineer of the Year" by the Inland Empire Section of ASCE (Washington and Idaho). Carper has lectured extensively about structural failure to students, faculty, and professional groups of architects, engineers, and building officials in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and Japan. Prior publications include the books Forensic Engineering and Forensic Engineering: Learning from Failures.