Falling buildings

Discussion in 'General Writing Discussion' started by MemoryTale, Feb 16, 2017 at 8:24 PM.

  1. MemoryTale

    MemoryTale Good with a stick

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    So short story shorter, there's a scene in my WIP when my police officer character is trying to direct human traffic away from a building that's in danger of falling down. I see the building as being ten floors high, which according to a calculator I'm using means it should be around 50.7 meters high.

    So my question is for any demolition experts here, how big a cordon would he need?
     
  2. RX-79G

    RX-79G Well-Known Member

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    There isn't an exact answer, because buildings don't "fall" the same way. The police would want to insure that no one was hurt by ruble or flying glass, so I would imagine they would evacuate at least 2-3 blocks in every direction.

    A story is between 3 and 4 meters, so a ten story building would top out at 40 meters.
     
  3. Stable

    Stable Watching you from upside down

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    It could be taller if you use the counting system that goes Ground Floor, 1, 2, etc., then have a loft or roof space. Either way, it probably won't make a whole block's difference to the question
     
  4. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    Research demolition guidelines instead. That should give you a sense of minimum safe distance which you can apply to your police.

    pH
     
  5. MemoryTale

    MemoryTale Good with a stick

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    Thanks for the advice guys. Incidentally I find it hilarious that someone named Stable has commented on a thread about falling buildings :D
     
    Stable likes this.
  6. Stable

    Stable Watching you from upside down

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    The nickname was originally given to me ironically, so it may be more appropriate than you thought!
     
  7. Theophania Elliott

    Theophania Elliott Well-Known Member

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    If you're interested in why buildings fall down, I recommend Why Buildings Fall Down: Why Structures Fail by Matthys Levy & Mario Salvadori. It won't tell you where to stand, but it gives you valuable background, and it's also just a really interesting read. If you like civil engineering.

    Apparently, the lead author wrote Why Buildings Stand Up (which I have not yet read) and presented a copy to his mother, who said, "Yes, dear, very nice, but I would have been more interested in reading about why they fall down."

    So he wrote that.
     
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