The second most remarkable thing about the sudden collapse of the Florida condo building was the rush to assure everyone that this was a one-off catastrophe: all the factors fingered as causes were unique to this building, the implication being all other high-rise reinforced concrete condos without the exact same mix of causal factors were not in danger.
Before we accept this conveniently feel-good conclusion, there are a few things we should consider about reinforced concrete high-rise condos.
1. This may seem too obvious to be important, but concrete is a heavy material. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with wet concrete, let it cure (harden) and then pick the bucket up–if you can.
2. Conventional concrete is not water-proof; it absorbs moisture. Construct a concrete wall against an excavated cliff of damp earth saturated with underground moisture and the concrete wall will be damp unless it is sealed essentially perfectly–no easy task.