On July 17, 1981, the fourth floor skywalk at the Kansas City Hyatt collapsed during a dance contest being held in the hotel atrium. The accident, which killed 114 people and injured nearly 200 others, was the result of a simple design error. The engineer of record and the project engineer responsible for designing the skywalk were found to be guilty of gross negligence, misconduct and unprofessional conduct in the practice of engineering. Both engineers lost their P.E. licenses in the state of Missouri.
This course will examine the chain of events leading up to the tragedy. We'll see how the engineer's inattention to constructability issues contributed to a decision by the fabricator to change the original design. We'll learn about a major structural failure during construction of the hotel that should have raised a "red flag" in the design. We'll see how the direct cause of the accident was the engineer's failure to review shop drawings that he stamped with his professional seal. We'll learn how deficiencies in the Kansas City building code and inadequate staffing inhibited the Kansas City Codes Administration Division's ability to prevent this tragedy. Finally, we'll discuss lessons that can be learned from this incident to help ensure that a similar tragedy doesn't happen again.
The student must take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of ten (10) questions at the end of this course to obtain PDH credits.
Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
- The Kansas City Hyatt atrium walkway base design and the project history
- How the fabricator's design change weakened the structure and led to the failure
- Factors that contributed to a design change initiated by the fabricator
- Historical perspective on design responsibility for structural connection details
- Missed opportunities during design and construction to catch the design error
- The investigation following the accident, as well as the judgment of the Missouri Board of Architects, Professional Engineers, and Land Surveyors
- Lessons learned from this tragedy which you can apply in your professional practice
Select your preferred method of study
PDF Document - Self Study - $28.95
Flash Course - $28.95
Using this method you will download and read a PDF document. This document can be downloaded and then read on your computer or other device that supports the PDF format. Or you can print the course to read anywhere. The PDF file is the complete course document.
Once you have completed your study of the document, use the My Account link at the top of any page of our website to log into your account, select "Courses Purchased But Not Completed" and then "Take Quiz."
Your computer or other device probably already supports the PDF format. The latest version of Adobe Reader for PDF files can be downloaded free.
If you are having trouble viewing the file on a desktop or laptop computer, right click the link, then "Save Target As" to save the file to your computer. On both Mac and PC, you can access the course directly from your computer's hard drive by double-clicking the icon. Apple iPad users hold your finger on the link, then select "Open In iBooks" or select another app from the menu. Most Android device users can simply click the link to View.
This course requires the use of your computer to view the course material. For your convenience, a printed copy of the course in the traditional printed fashion will be available for download at the end of the presentation.
PDHengineer Interactive courses use Flash technology to make the presentation available to you. If you are unsure if your computer supports Flash, you can click here for a quick test. (Most laptop and desktop computers support Flash and it is probable that you already have the Flash plug-in installed on your computer. If not, you can click here for the free download. Apple’s iPad does not support Flash, although Android tablet computers generally do.)
Once you purchase the course, you will be given a special web address that you will use to view the course. The course will contain review questions to test your knowledge of the material presented. At the end of the presentation, you will be prompted to log in to your PDHengineer account to take a multiple choice quiz. Passing this quiz with a score of 70% or higher is required to earn PDH credit.