Postprint version. Published in Journal of Architectural Engineering, March 1, 2012, pages 27-33.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)AE.1943- 5568.0000047.
The Randolph Tucker High School gymnasium roof failure of 1970 has received much scholarly attention. This study will provide a conclusion to a large body of previously published works by means of limit state analysis of the roof failure using state of the art parametric finite-element modeling. Parametric modeling within a general purpose finite-element analysis program allows for extremely rapid changes to the model because key terms are objects or parameters that can be adjusted internally by the program, rather than laboriously entered by the user. The failure of the roof was investigated by means of a limit state analysis, which accurately captured the cracking of the concrete and the yielding of the reinforcing steel. Concrete creep and shrinkage and relaxation of the prestressing steel were also accounted for. Finally, the authors also studied the idea that camber in the roof geometry might have prevented collapse.