Pool deck at collapsed Florida condo building failed to comply with codes, standards, officials say

Rescue personnel work at the remains of the Champlain Towers South condo building in 2021 in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

MIAMI — The swimming pool deck of a beachfront South Florida condominium that collapsed two years ago, killing 98 people, failed to comply with the original building codes and standards, with many areas of severe strength deficiency, federal investigators said Thursday.

Investigators with the National Institute of Standards and Technology gave an update on the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Florida, during a regular meeting of the National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee. The town of Surfside is located just north of Miami Beach.

Besides design understrength, investigators reported signs of corrosion, misplaced reinforcement and the placement of heavier and additional plant containers on the deck than those in the original plans. These and other factors led to ” critically low margins against failure,” investigators said.

Experts have previously suggested problems with the pool deck might have led to the 40-year-old, 12-story building’s collapse on June 24, 2021, but the NIST investigation is ongoing. Officials expect their technical work to be completed by next spring, with a report on the cause and any potential recommendations for updating codes, standards or practices to come in 2025.

As the investigation continues, developers are working to build a new structure on the site, despite calls from victims’ family members to build a memorial at the location.

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