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Multi-Story Condominium Complex in Santiago, Chile


A relatively new 24-story condominium complex in Santiago, consisting of two towers, was observed the afternoon of March 6. The buildings appeared to have no structural damage and were currently occupied. Residents were concerned about cracks in their walls on one of the towers on a matt foundation. Cracks were mainly on partitions made of light-weight hollow brick finished with plaster. The neighboring building with a two-level basement, although not examined from the interior, reportedly had much less nonstructural wall damage with the partitions constructed from gypsum on light gauge steel studs. The observed building was lacking hot water due to damage to the boilers on the top floor, which apparently were not anchored. The boilers were estimated to move up to 10 inches (Figure 1), fracturing the elbow (Figure 2) or T-joint connector (Figure 3) to the connecting pipes on top for two of the three boilers. The other boiler impacted a partition wall.

 

The observed building was lacking hot water due to damaged boilers on the top floor, which apparently were not anchored.

Figure 1: The observed building was lacking hot water due to damaged boilers on the top floor, which apparently were not anchored. It's estimated the boilers moved up to 10 inches.

An elbow pipe to the connecting pipes on top of two of the three boilers was fractured.

Figure 2: An elbow pipe to the connecting pipes on top of two of the three boilers was fractured.

A T-joint connector to the connecting pipes on top of two of the three boilers was fractured.

Figure 3: A T-joint connector to the connecting pipes on top of two of the three boilers was fractured.


Report and photos submitted by Gilberto Mosqueda
Date: March 8, 2010