Letters to the Editor

Issue 7 and Volume 140.

Letters to the Editor Lift slab construction method involves hazards for firefighters The recent fatal collapse of a concrete building under construction in Bridgeport, Conn., that took 28 lives has focused attention on the lift slab method of construction and the problems associated with it. Lift slab construction, also known as the “Youtz-Slick” method, was first used for the construction of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. In this type of construction, the ground floor slab is cast first. The other floor slabs and the roof are cast on top of the ground floor slab. Bond breakers are used between the slabs so they won’t adhere to each other. When the slabs are up to design strength, they’re raised up the columns by hydraulic jacks that are on top of the columns. (Note that most newspaper accounts of the Bridgeport tragedy incorrectly referred to “steel beams.”) All the jacks are…

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