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Investigating the Role of Construction Materials in the Collapse of R/C Buildings After the 7.8 Pedernales-Ecuador Earthquake in April 2016


Following the 7.8 magnitude Pedernales-Ecuador earthquake in April 2016, several RC constructions fell, necessitating a review of building materials and structural safety. Engineering ethics case studies have been prompted by the significant death toll and property damage this calamity generated. The inquiry will reveal what took place during the earthquake, pinpoint the reason(s) why these buildings failed, hold those in charge accountable, and evaluate choices made about new construction. This occurrence calls into question the rules and practices used in the construction sector. It questions if the supervision in place is enough to safeguard structures from earthquakes. Our study investigates (1) what led to building collapses after this earthquake, (2) how material choices impaired structural integrity, and (3) the ethical obligations of individuals who created and maintained failing buildings in light of this tragedy. Understanding this catastrophe can help us stop similar ones in the future. We will examine professional advice to maintain public safety standards across all relevant fields and keep them for future generations based on the lessons learned from it.

Problem Statement

Poor building materials have serious consequences during the 2016 Pedernales earthquake in Ecuador. Poor material selection and quality control were shown to be responsible for RC building failures. Sadly, there is a trend here. The Hotel New World accident was brought on by design flaws. Engineers must give testing and installation techniques top priority to maintain structural integrity. Make wise decisions while selecting construction materials to prevent catastrophic disasters that put many lives in peril. We must prioritize safety above cost-cutting as our cities grow quickly. Because these actions do not provide permanent answers, we cannot compromise safety in the sake of short-term gain.


Today’s construction sector builds infrastructure that fosters societal and economic development. However, this industry has been plagued by unscrupulous activities. An engineering ethics assessment discovered faulty building materials on a large project despite warnings. We must address the construction industry’s responsibility concerns in order to improve public safety and avoid similar malpractices, as shown by the absence of consequences for this infringement. Accountability involves more than simply punishing wrongdoers; it also entails developing systems that encourage virtue and discourage immorality. According to one academic, “Accountability mechanisms are critical for preventing corruption and ensuring transparency” (undefined). These rules will make ethical decision-making and public safety a priority in building projects. In conclusion, while it may appear unusual, the absence of responsibility after the use of subpar materials on a significant construction project should serve as a warning for all stakeholders. Greater responsibility is required at all levels, from employees to regulators, if we are to create construction sites that are safer for everyone.

Buildings in Pedernales, Ecuador collapsed, raising questions about the structural stability and safety of construction materials. It is essential to comprehend how building rules protect people and property. However, when these rules need to be applied or carried out properly, we run a lot of danger. Structure stability may be compromised by subpar materials in the seismically active Pedernales. Pedernales emphasizes the need for increased regulation and oversight of the construction industry. Many nations depend on private inspectors to enact construction regulations, which may prioritize business interests above public safety. Quality control must be given priority throughout the production and installation processes.

Tragic events like these serve as a reminder of the value of solid engineering procedures and stringent inspection procedures. Nevertheless, they push governments throughout the globe to strengthen implementation and material selection rules. Let us keep in mind that our society deserves more—much better—at times like these, when our lives hang in the balance among weak infrastructures made of subpar materials and propelled by greed.


The R/C construction disaster in Pedernales, Ecuador, completely destroyed the community. It has an enduring impact. According to the study, a number of important elements contributed to this catastrophe. Building safety and structural integrity during earthquakes are guaranteed by high-quality construction materials. This case study demonstrates the need for more regulation in the construction sector to avoid events of this kind. When building buildings, engineers are required to employ top-notch materials and adhere to safety regulations. All parties involved in this catastrophe must accept responsibility for their role in causing it in order to prevent such tragedies in the future. To avoid catastrophes like the Pedernales, regulators, engineers, contractors, builders, and society must work together. We can learn how to encourage ethical engineering practices via ethics investigations. These will provide accountability for all parties taking part in building projects throughout the globe and help us create communities that are safer than before.


Sulaima, M. F., Lew, H. S., Lau, C. Y., Lim, C. K. Y., Azily, A. T., 2014, “A CASE STUDY OF ENGINEERING ETHICS: LESSON LEARNED FROM BUILDING COLLAPSE DISASTER TOWARD MALAYSIAN ENGINEERS,” European International Journal of Science and Technology.


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