Many companies have offices in older buildings because they may be cheaper to lease than other, newer alternatives. Some of these buildings are beautiful and some may even be historical sites with a significant importance, but, unfortunately, this does not mean that they are structurally sound. Because of building codes and the capabilities of both modern technology and engineering expertise, most new buildings do not have this concern.
Perhaps the most common form of building collapse is when a floor or ceiling gives way. There is often more stress on these parts of the building because they support people and furniture, or because the ceiling has to support much of its own weight.
In addition to floor or ceiling collapse, stair collapse is a significant concern in older buildings. The staircases were often made of wood that can rot and age over time to the point that it can no longer support the weight of a person or heavy objects.
In some extreme cases, the entire building can collapse because of general structural problems, but this is quite rare. The more likely scenario is that the building would be weakened and some part of it would be compromised due to heavy winds or a small earthquake. If there is only one building in an area that suffers significant damage after a storm, there may have been a problem with the structural soundness of that building.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to an unsafe building, contact the Austin employment lawyer of The Melton Law Firm at 512-330-0017.