Contributing human and organizational factors for the failure of balconies in Maastricht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

58 Downloads (Pure)


In 2003 five balconies of an apartment building in Maastricht, the Netherlands, collapsed, resulting in two fatalities. The building was just completed.
Forensic investigations showed that detailing of the reinforcement in the precast concrete slabs of the balconies was questionable. Several design changes hampered clear force flow through the structural elements. Inappropriate design fixes were made after discovery of some cracks that could not avoid failure of a lower concrete ridge, resulting in a progressive collapse of the 5 balconies.
Profound investigation of this case showed various human and organizational factors, that might have contributed to the failure. A complex process, with several design changes and many involved parties increased the probability of failure. Furthermore, insufficient communication, inadequate checking and inadequate follow up to warnings were present.
This paper will give insight in technical causes of the failure and of contributing human and organizational factors. These underlying factors will be systematically studied, by using a theoretical framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication20th Congress of IABSE, New York City 2019
Subtitle of host publicationThe Evolving Metropolis - Report
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783857481659
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventIABSE Congress New York City: The Evolving Metropolis - The Javits Center, New York, United States
Duration: 4 Sep 20196 Sep 2019


ConferenceIABSE Congress New York City
Abbreviated titleIABSE 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Forensic structural engineering
  • Human
  • Organizational factors
  • Structural failure


Dive into the research topics of 'Contributing human and organizational factors for the failure of balconies in Maastricht'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this