Today’s Illustration: One Of The Most Basic Rules Of Architecture

“Collapse”:  It is an emotionally packed word.
The accounts of “collapse” range
 from buildings, bridges, walkways, scaffolding, dams, and tunnels.
Here is one of many that did not involve the loss of life.
(Below, there are other links to different stories of collapse. )


What:  The brick facade of large three-story building collapsed onto the sidewalk below and miraculously misses pedestrians walking on the sidewalk below.

“the facade suddenly collapsed onto the sidewalk below. The collapse was caught on tape by a resident’s outdoor security camera across the street, showing two pedestrians walking only a few feet beyond the building when its wall came crashing down. . . . narrowly missing two people who had just walked by. . . . city documents now show that the owner of the building did not install a covered walkway on that very stretch of sidewalk as they said they would, increasing the likelihood that pedestrians below could have been injured.”

Video: An Amazing Sight — It’s a must-see video!


Where: Northeast Washington, D.C. — corner of Florida Avenue and Staples Street

When:  Wednesday, January 15, 2020 — approximately 1:30 in the afternoon

  • No one was killed.
  • One person was injured.
  • No one was in the building during the collapse.
  • An elderly woman, walking along with her caretaker on the sidewalk below, had just missed the falling bricks.
  • A firetruck just happened to be driving by the building seconds after the collapse.
  • The building was being renovated.

. . . . .

Some Natural Causes of Collapse:

  • Poor construction
  • Fire damage
  • Termite damage
  • Terrorism
  • Building materials
  • Poor engineering / Design flaw
  • Demolition
  • Weather
  • Sinkholes

. . . . .

Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • foundations  – rock & sand
  • edification
  • stress / anxiety
  • marriage
  • family
  • integrity
  • temptation
  • trials
  • Bible Accounts: Joseph & Potipher / Ruth / Esther Joseph & Mary
  • The Great Tribulation
  • troubles

. . . . . .

Sermonic Example: (include whatever details from the account you find useful)

I am told — quote —  “a basic rule of architecture is that the weakness of any structure will present itself under stress.”

I can assure you that marriage comes with stress!  Raising children comes with stress!  “Empty nest” comes with stress.  Retirement comes with stress.  You will find that marriage in all of its stages comes with various strains and stresses.  If there is a “weakness of the structure, it will present itself!”

I am told that . . . .

“When a building or structure has a proper foundation, there is the promise that the weight of the building can be supported, and that the integrity of the structure will be protected. When there is poor structural integrity, there is a much greater likelihood of a collapse.”

The likelihood of collapse in families, marriages . . . . . wherever that weakness is, it will show itself when the pressure is on . . . . whether it be . . . . .

Other Information & Links:

“In some cases, it has taken no more than ten seconds for towering edifices to come crashing down, transformed into smoldering mounds of mangled debris and burying everyone inside.”


Philadelphia Building Collapse Victim Buried for 13 Hours

Mariya Plekan was the most seriously injured of the people who survived the collapse, which killed seven people and injured 12.

Before she was pulled from the rubble, Plekan endured 13 hours buried under debris from the collapsed building. The Philadelphia building collapse victim required removal of the entire lower half of her body from the hips down and has undergone 30 surgeries, according to a lawyer. She has also suffered kidney failure and lost her ability to speak.”


The 10 Worst High-Rise Building Collapses in History

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“A basic rule of architecture is that the weakness of any structure will present itself under stress.”

“Poor Structural Integrity: When a building or structure has a proper foundation, there is the promise that the weight of the building can be supported, and that the integrity of the structure will be protected. When there is poor structural integrity, there is a much greater likelihood of a collapse.”

“A principle of architecture states that the weakness in any structure will present itself under stress. This can be applied to relationships too. The Christian worldview is different from the secular one and sooner or later will become a source of contention.”

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Common building problems

Most houses are not as safe as they could be. The following presents some common structural problems and how to recognize them. Once you determine if your building has one or more of these problems, prioritize how and when to fix them, and get started.

Myth #2: Don't be fooled!


The best building codes in the world do nothing for buildings built before a code was enacted. While the codes have been updated, the older buildings are still in place. Fixing problems in older buildings — retrofitting — is the responsibility of the building’s owner.

Inadequate foundations. Look under your house at your foundation. If the foundation is damaged or built in the “pier and post” style, consult a contractor or engineer about replacing it with a continuous perimeter foundation. Look for bolts in the mudsills. They should be no more than 1.8 meters (6 feet) apart in a single story and 1.2 meters (4 feet) apart in a multistory building. Adding bolts to unsecured houses is one of the most important steps toward earthquake safety. This can be done by a contractor or by someone skilled at-home maintenance.

Unbraced cripple walls. Homes with a crawl space should have panels of plywood connecting the studs of the short “cripple” walls (see figure above). You or a contractor can strengthen the cripple walls relatively inexpensively.

Soft first stories. Look for larger openings in the lower floor, such as a garage door or a hillside house built on stilts. Consult a professional to determine if your building is adequately braced.

Unreinforced masonry. All masonry (brick or block walls) should be reinforced. Some communities have a program for retrofitting buildings made of unreinforced masonry. If your house has masonry as a structural element consult a structural engineer to find what can be done. Inadequately braced chimneys are a more common problem. Consult a professional to determine if your chimney is safe.”

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“It is imperative that firefighters have a thorough understanding of how buildings are constructed and, more importantly, how they can collapse. Many officers have learned their decision-making process through experiences on the fireground; however, the clues that existed in the past, such as sagging floors, racking windows and doors, and smoke coming from separations in walls may all serve to be “too little, too late.” Today, buildings are built with approximately half the materials used years ago but are creating almost five times the potential rate of heat release, resulting in faster destruction of structural components—and quicker collapse. It is critical to understand the physical aspects of construction, mainly gravity, loads and forces.

Gravity has been called the greatest of firefighter enemies, as it is unforgiving, unpredictable and always a factor for consideration. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, gravity is continually exerting forces on a structure. Overall, these stresses may not be visible, but they are still in place.

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Bridge Collapse:

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1 teen killed, several injured in Brownsburg structure collapse

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Giant five stories deep sinkhole threatens population of New Port Richey, Florida

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One Killed in New York Scaffolding Collapse

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