Failure and Documentation of Building Structures

Niels-Jørgen Aagaard, Erik Steen Pedersen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In recent years, a number of structural failures have occurred in buildings in Denmark, trigging a debate on safety and reliability in the built environment in general. In this context, the quality of the documentation of the capacity and functionality of building structures has been criticised and a common understanding of content and quality assurance of the documentation of load bearing building structures has been identified. Based on experience from the Danish building industry as well as guidelines published by the Danish Building Research Institute, the paper discusses the outline and control of documentation of load-bearing building structures. The qualitative analysis includes the content of individual parts of the documentation. A distinction between the documentation of the physical structures and the documentation of the design process is introduced. Furthermore, the organisation of the design process and tasks related to the individual parts of the documentation are discussed both regarding the engineer in charge of the main design and for the individual engineering tasks for all elements of the structure, including drawings and structural calculations. Finally, the paper discusses a set of information and document management issues of critical importance for the resulting safety of the documented load-bearing structures; e.g. how to administer, document, identify and draw up the individual parts of the documentation; especially how to incorporate results from digital modelling and simulation of structural behaviour into the documentation. It is concluded that an industry standard is necessary in order to maintain the safety levels of load-bearing building structures in the future.
Translated title of the contributionSvigt og dokumentation af bærende konstruktioner
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th CIB World Building Congress, Brisbane 2013 : Construction and Society
EditorsStephen Kajewski, Karen Manley , Keith Hampson
Number of pages14
PublisherQueensland University of Technology
Publication date1 May 2013
Article number399
ISBN (Print)978-0-9875542-1-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventCIB World Building Congress 2013 - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 5 May 20139 May 2013
Conference number: 19


ConferenceCIB World Building Congress 2013
LocationBrisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
SeriesCIB Proceedings


  • Structural Failure
  • Defects
  • Safety
  • Quality Assurance
  • Documentation


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