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Royal Palm Resort Collapse

Determination of cause of earthquake-induced collapse of newly constructed hotel; presentation of results in US Federal Court.

The 12-story reinforced-concrete Royal Palm Resort building was three weeks old when it collapsed and had to be demolished as a result of the 1993 (7.7 magnitude) Guam earthquake. Weidlinger Associates served as the lead structural engineering consultant for the subsequent damage investigation and trial in US Federal Court. Weidlinger documented the damage, investigated and documented the construction defects, retained engineering seismologists to estimate the earthquake ground motion at the site, retained material and experimental structural engineering testing experts to quantify material and beam/column joint performance, and performed structural engineering calculations. Sophisticated three-dimensional nonlinear analyses were used to determine the cause of failure. A special computer program, developed by combining the best features of two internationally recognized programs, provided unprecedented accuracy in calculating the forces in the columns and joints.

Completion Date: 2000
Location: Agana, Guam
Owner or Client: Royal Palm Resort
Prime Consultant(s): WAI Prime; Holland & Knight

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