Grand Forks, ND

Aurora Events Center


The Aurora Events Center houses a recreational arena for football and other athletic events. The curved, steel-framed roof is constructed of long-span steel joists spanning between box trusses. Minutes after erection, the joists on the south half of the roof collapsed. The structural steel fabricator hired SGH to determine the cause of the collapse and to conduct three-dimensional computer analyses of both the original and repaired structure.

SGH’s services included the following:

  • Documented the location and condition of the collapsed joists
  • Reviewed design and construction documents
  • Reviewed joist erection procedures, contractor’s daily reports, and construction photographs for clues about the cause of the collapse
  • Determined the roles and responsibilities of the various parties in the design and construction of the roof structure
  • Performed three-dimensional computer analyses of the roof structure to simulate various loading and collapse scenarios
  • Conducted laboratory tests of critical connections
  • Identified the factors that contributed to the collapse of the joists
  • Participated in mediation

Project Summary



Completion Date
Failure Investigation
Structures | Advanced Analysis | Applied Science & Research
Culture & Entertainment
DLA Piper, LLP
Specialized Capabilities
Failure Analysis | Physical Testing | Microscopy