Building Failure Thomas McKaig


Henry Petroski’s failure treatise cites a useful taxonomy of failures from Thomas McKaig’s “Building Failures”…

  • Ignorance – inadequate knowledge, lack of precedent
  • Economy – cutting corners in building or maintaining
  • Lapses – negligence, carelessness
  • Unusual Occurrences – eg. earthquakes, meteors, tidal waves

Such distinctions are helpful in our embrace of failure to understand better what exactly we are dealing with and how best to interpret and respond.