City of Denver explains high-rise inspections following collapse in Florida

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The tragic video of the Surfside building collapsing sent shockwaves around the nation. With high-rises all around the city of Denver, FOX31 wanted to know how officials keep them from falling down.

The City of Denver tells us inspectors work around the clock to make sure these buildings are up to standard.

“For a high-rise apartment building, you can expect anywhere from five inspections to 500 inspections, depending on the height of the building and what’s going in it,” said Laura Swartz, communications director for the City and County of Denver’s Office of Community Planning and Development.

Swartz said the city and county has 24 inspectors on hand who probe buildings daily. The Problem Solvers wanted to know how often a high-rise like the one in surfside would be examined.

“In a residential building like this, you would see hundreds of inspections, and our city inspectors would be out there almost every day as construction is progressing,” Swartz said.

The building in Miami was said to be undergoing a 40-year recertification.

Swartz said the city and county inspectors scrutinize buildings, no matter the age, as long as construction is underway.

“Interior remodels, construction, maybe replacing the roof, which usually has to happen every, 10, 20 or 30 years, depending on what type of material is on the roof. If you’re updating features on the outside, the city is involved,” said Swartz.

They also review plans for buildings beforehand to make sure the projects are doable.

“Those plans designed by licensed structural engineers are also reviewed on the city’s end by licensed structural engineers and then they are inspected by the inspectors in the field. And throughout all of this, we’re looking at safety elements and looking at the codes, making sure construction is going to meet international standards for safety,” said Swartz.

The city says it will come out to inspect a building if people complain. You can report a problem here or by calling 311 if you live in Denver.

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