Hyatt Regency Hotel Case Study

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In 1981, the suspended walkway at the fourth floor collapsed onto the walkway at the second floor, and both walkways across the atrium of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City collapsed onto the first-floor atrium due to the failure of the hanger rod connections. This tragedy of structural failure killed and injured a lot of people. The engineers involved in designing the structure of the Hyatt Regency Hotel lost their licenses without being charged of criminal negligence. There were several factors which caused the walkways to collapse including technical, socio-technical, management, and ethical factors. First of all, the main technical factor was the change of the original design on the rod connections. In the original design, the rods were designed to suspend the second and fourth-floor walkways from the ceiling. In the new design, however, the rods actually…show more content…
Engineering and ethical lessons can be learned from this experience and failure. The structural engineers must always reexamine the final design under accurate building construction codes if there is a design change. The building code is the first criterion to prevent from potential risks. Also, engineers must uniformly communicate with other engineers and management involved in their project. Ambiguous communication will result in misunderstand of their responsibilities on the project. Moreover, management must investigate problems when there is an accident during the construction and must not save money on public safety and health. Most of all, engineering ethical knowledge is the most important. Engineering must be responsible for public safety, health, and welfare. Consistent engineering ethical education must be stressed in school, company, and project, so that any similar failures will be prevented in the

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