Structural Engineering

Ask Structural Engineering Questions and Get Expert Answers ASAP

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

I'm writing a sci-fi story that involves exploring a

Customer Question
Hi. I'm writing a...
Hi. I'm writing a sci-fi story that involves exploring a crumbling, long-abandoned city and a series of earthquakes. An obvious choice for a climax would be to have a skyscraper collapse, not neatly as in a controlled take down, but just as a result of instability and neglect. But I don't have any engineering background at all and had very little physics in school. So, while I can imagine what that might look like, I'm really hoping someone could give me at least a broad idea of what that might look and sound like. And maybe how far dust, glass and metal might fly in such a situation.
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Structural Engineering
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Structural Engineering Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I probably should have said that I don't need really detailed information. I just need to know enough so that I don't write something that's physically impossible. Thanks in advance.
Answered in 19 hours by:
12/21/2017
Structural Engineer: SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS replied 3 months ago
SpecialistMichael
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 508
Experience: Senior Information Specialist
Verified

Hi there,

I have a couple of questions in hoping to provide some unique advice and get you some really solid context for which to develop the story. While not an engineer I have a very strong background in physical sciences, physics and mathematics and various manufacturing materials.

A few things to consider:
The building material and framing
The height
What age each of these building are and the spacing between them.

Could you provide me a little bit of information on your city idea and we can expand it together.

Ask Your Own Structural Engineering Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks for responding. I'm sorry I didn't think to include that information the first time. I'd say the building should be somewhere around 650 to 800 feet high. Tall but far from the Burj Khalifa. The premise calls for the age to be uncertain, possibly hundreds of years old and abandoned for most of that time. I hadn't worked out construction materials for my 'world' but probably something similar to our concrete, steel and glass constructions of the 20th Century. As things stand I have written it as being in the middle of a cluster of similar buildings in an abandoned city, in an area that's subject to frequent small quakes and experienced a larger, 5 to 6 point quake just days before. Will that be enough?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks for the offer to call, but I really do prefer to type. I can edit what I've typed before I send it. If we were on the phone, I'd drive you crazy with the way I think. Right brain all the way, I'm afraid.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I just realized that I may have made you very nervous. I hope not because I really am writing and have no interest whatsoever in how or why a building might come down deliberately. But, I can understand how, these days, you might prefer not to answer. If so let me know. The great thing about building with words is that it only costs a little time to scrap one idea and come up with another one. Thanks again.
Was this answer helpful?
Ask walkereng Your Own Question
walkereng
walkereng
walkereng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 2,708
2,708 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 30 years of Structural Engineering experience.

walkereng is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here.

DianeDallas, TX

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

walkereng

walkereng

Consultant

2,708 satisfied customers

Over 30 years of Structural Engineering experience.

vgdlpc

vgdlpc

Master's Degree

17 satisfied customers

Civil Engineer, Major in Structures and Foundations. Professional Engineer 11 years of experience.

StructuralEng

StructuralEng

Consultant

6,157 satisfied customers

Structural Engineer

Matt

Matt

Engineer

42 satisfied customers

Mechanical Engineering Hons degree, been working in automotive industry for the last 18 years - Engine development engineer

ibosley

ibosley

Master's Degree

88 satisfied customers

Mechanical Engineering

Ellen

Ellen

Consultant

109 satisfied customers

attorney and legal researcher

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Attorney

142 satisfied customers

45 years old, retired Marine Officer, current attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Structural Engineering Questions
2nd floor garage loft with span of 15.5' I have a garage
i have a garage with tall ceilings. the current ceiling rafters are 2x6 and span 16'.. id like to utilize the storage up there since is 6' to the ridge. because of this height i'd like to put a staircase in the back of the garage to access the attic space/ceiling space... i don't want to shrink the attic space even by an inch hence, stay with the 2x6 ceiling joists and 16' spans... my thoughts are to add either 4x6x16' every 12" on center to make it sturdy up there to walk around on, after i lay down 3/4" t/g plywood. … read more
walkereng
walkereng
Consultant
2,708 satisfied customers
I need design for a post frame structure. I would like to
I need design for a post frame structure. I would like to know beam sizes and purlin sizes. … read more
walkereng
walkereng
Consultant
2,708 satisfied customers
I am screening in my deck and my deck is L-Shaped. the first
i am screening in my deck and my deck is L-Shaped. the first 10 feet i used 14' 2X6 rafters . this other part is 20' from my wall to the end of the deck. In order to run the rafters the same way i wou… read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
Please see two attachments, 1) is Grade Plane Definition
Hi Walker,Please see two attachments, 1) is Grade Plane Definition B and, 2) is Grade Plane Definition 2016 – 2017 CBC. I know 2) is from the state's web site and 1) the city of San Francisco's DBI pr… read more
walkereng
walkereng
Consultant
2,708 satisfied customers
Looking to have some loads calculated for trusses. Have a
have a floor plan and truss plan need to know if it will support weight for certain items. … read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
Looking to build a Pergola over a restaurant patio. Would
Looking to build a Pergola over a restaurant patio. Would like to span 32 feet without middle posts. Is this possible? Total dimensions are 22 x 32. One side of the 32' dimension is against the existi… read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
I am removing an interior bearing wall. Span will be 18',
I am removing an interior bearing wall. Span will be 18', hand framed roof trusses with no vertical support in the middle. What size been can I get away with using? I would hanger the bottom cords to … read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
Im trying to mount a ceiling tv mount to a ceiling joist,
Im trying to mount a ceiling tv mount to a ceiling joist, but im unsure if it can take the load … read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
I currently looking at options on replacing a support beam
Hi I currently looking at options on replacing a support beam in my basement. I live in a bungalow. The beam spans 30'. It supports the main floor and the 2nd(basically attic converted to 2 small bedr… read more
walkereng
walkereng
Consultant
2,708 satisfied customers
I am needing to span at distance of 19' with an I beam. The
I am needing to span at distance of 19' with an I beam. The beam will be supporting the floor of an upstairs area and a roof. The beam will be support by two additional beams on each end used as colum… read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
I have an attic above my garage, I am wondering what the
I have an attic above my garage, I am wondering what the load weight would be per sq foot. 2x10 floor joist on 16" centers spanning 20'. Drywall ceiling and 1/4 plywood floor in attic. … read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
I recently followed a swing set design i saw that uses 6x6
i recently followed a swing set design i saw that uses 6x6 posts and a 4x6 top beam (12ft long). the 4x6 was laid horizontally. now i am unsure of the support of the 4x6 the way it was laid. … read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
I am interested in purchasing a vacant residential lot in
Second opinion] I am interested in purchasing a vacant residential lot in NYS, which is about 1/2 acre, and sloped. The owner did not have a survey or any engineering done on the property. According t… read more
walkereng
walkereng
Consultant
2,708 satisfied customers
I live in a new high-rise building. When surface wind hits
Hi, I live in a new high-rise building. When surface wind hits 15 to 20 mph, my one wall starts to creek. Wall is standard rock sheet with metal studs. Wall is only 4'' thick. No plumbing in wall and … read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
Structural engineering question: i want to open a wall on
structural engineering question: i want to open a wall on the ground floor of a house, to a max span of 9'-0". the existing wall is built from 2 X 4" construction, so i want to use a steel beam that i… read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
I'm building an open walled boat shed, it will house 3 boats
I'm building an open walled boat shed, it will house 3 boats on trailers, the length will be 24 feet and the width will be 20 feet, the header is on the 24 foot side. My plan is to use 4x6 posts at th… read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
I am removing a divide support between. Double garage doors.
double garage doors. The span is 18ft. I need to know what size laminet beam to order. … read more
StructuralEng
StructuralEng
Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
6,157 satisfied customers
I need an expert to look at the under the plaster that I
I need an expert to look at the wood under the plaster that I took down to see if this is a load baring wall. I would like to open the room up, the walls were in the way of this space. Maybe opening h… read more
walkereng
walkereng
Consultant
2,708 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x