Henry Koffman, professor of civil and environmental engineering practice at USC Viterbi School of Engineering, was quoted in a Washington Post article detailing potential causes of the Champlain Towers collapse in Florida.
Henry Koffman, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Southern California who has worked in forensic engineering for nearly 30 years, said consistent garage flooding could have contributed to the collapse, though it is unclear whether it did so in this case.
“It’s surely not good,” he said. “Standing water or any kind of water, you need to get it out right away.”
Koffman said it sounded like the waterproofing on the concrete slab failed, allowing water to seep through the concrete and damage its reinforcing steel, possibly leading to the collapse.
“The cracks exposed the reinforcing steel; reinforcing steel got all rusted out. It lost all its structural integrity,” he said. “I think this is probably what happened.”