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Collapse of the Royal Plaza Hotel, Thailand

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At approximately 10:10 in the morning on August 13, 1993, the most tragic building collapse in the history of Thailand shocked the nation. The Royal Plaza Hotel collapsed swiftly and totally, leaving high only the front elevator hall, which was structurally independent from the rest of the building. The collapse of the Royal Plaza is unusual because building collapses most often occur during or just after construction. In the case of Royal Plaza, the collapse occurred about three years after the structure's last modification. At the time of the collapse, there were no exceptional environmental events, nor any reported misuse of the building to an extent that could generate a destructive force of such a scale. The Royal Plaza collapse, therefore, contradicts the broadly held notion that if a building has survived the construction stage, it is very unlikely to collapse without major external forces, such as an earthquake.
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Keywords: Building collapse; Building safety; Collapse mechanisms; Creep deformation; Royal Plaza Hotel (Thailand)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 1995

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    Structural Engineering International (SEI), the quarterly Journal of IABSE, published since 1991, is the leading international journal of structural engineering dealing with all types of structures and materials. SEI offers its readers a unique blend of short profiles on recent structures, and longer, in-depth technical articles on research, development, design, construction and maintenance. Articles are written by practicing engineers and academia from around the world and reflect the high standards of IABSE. IABSE Peer Review stamps are given to papers that have passed through a highly selective review process and demonstrate a significant contribution to the state of structural engineering knowledge.To recognise contributions of the highest quality, an Outstanding Paper Award is presented each year.

    SEI is printed in Switzerland; ISSN 1016-8664; E-ISSN 1683-0350
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