Recent Tragedy Highlights Need for Structural Integrity Monitoring

After the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, it’s more apparent than ever the need for monitoring a building’s structural integrity. As an example of structural monitoring, in July of 2021, Florida DOT awarded Structural Monitoring Solutions (SMS) the Roosevelt Bridge Structural Monitoring contract using this new cutting-edge technology. One of the Roosevelt Bridge challenges is to define the true life of the structure and SMS will help to provide these answers.
“We have learned is that decades of inspections and testing can still miss major problems.  Monitoring has proven to help find many of these unseen problems,” said Terry Tamutus, Founder of SMS. For example, after many months of nightly testing and inspections on the San Francisco Bay Bridge, inspectors missed a critical problem but monitoring found it early and saved $18 million in repairs. “This problem could have been catastrophic; however, the DOT was extremely concerned about the safety of their 240,000 daily commuters and chose to be proactive through structural monitoring.”
A common structural failure is in post-tensioned concrete, which is also found in buildings and parking garages. Post-Tensioning uses steel wires embedded in concrete that are un-inspectable and can corrode. The Miami Florida International University and Genoa, Italy bridge collapses are prime examples of these failures. 
With catastrophic events like Surfside, high-rise condominium values will drop and will prove difficult to sell. Monitoring buildings will help determine if there are any structural issues and if there are identify their rate of deterioration and may help to define the most cost-effective preventative maintenance strategy. The Return on Investment is by protecting property values as well as providing a higher level of safety. Tamutus said, “The question for all future high-rise property buyers will be, ‘Is this building structurally sound and is it being monitored?'”
About Structural Monitoring Solutions – SMS provides advance fiber optic structural integrity monitoring sensors for many types of structures, including buildings. These sensors monitor various problems including foundation, deteriorating concrete, corroding steel reinforcement, and other potential issues. Monitoring can detect minute changes even before cracks appear. One new SMS sensor is an invisible cable that is simply mounted to the outside walls or major structural members. This low-cost real-time monitoring solution could help safeguard the lives of residents and can permanently monitor a structure for decades at very little cost. For more information, contact TerryT@SMSshm.com, P 609-433-8485, or visit www.SMSshm.com.
Source: Structural Monitoring Solutions