An Architect’s Guide

50-page PDF booklet that can be read in about two hours. See preview details here.

Course Description:

Never before has a steel-framed high-rise collapsed from fire. Why, then, did three such buildings collapse on September 11, 2001?

“Beyond Misinformation: What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7” provides a comprehensive overview of the most important evidence and a careful examination of the two leading hypotheses.

The 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7) was not struck by an airplane. It had fires that were similar to those that have occurred previously in high-rise buildings. Yet it fell symmetrically into its own footprint in the manner of a typical controlled demolition. Similarly, the destruction of the Twin Towers exhibited most of the features of controlled demolition, with the exception that it did not start from the base of each tower.

According to the reports issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the collapse of WTC 7 was caused by normal office fires, while the collapse of the Twin Towers resulted from the combined effects of the airplane impact damage and ensuing fires.

Is NIST’s explanation for these unprecedented structural failures valid? Decide for yourself after reading this graphically rich, thoroughly researched 50-page booklet. Based on two hours of reading, you will be able to evaluate which of the two hypotheses — fire-induced failure or controlled demolition — is more consistent with the evidence.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the characteristics of building fires and the aspects of high-rise design that contribute to make fire-induced failure in steel-framed high-rise buildings a rare occurrence.
  2. Recognize the distinct features associated with fire-induced failure and the distinct features associated with the procedure of controlled demolition.
  3. Describe step-by-step the series of structural failures that the National Institute of Standards and Technology found to be the most likely cause of the collapse of World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7.
  4. Analyze the physical evidence and the dynamics of the collapse of the Twin Towers and Building 7 according to how consistent they are with the competing hypotheses of fire-induced failure and controlled demolition.


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