OPAC Consulting Engineers

Quad Graphics Rack

Lomira, Wisconsin


Legal dispute team, will disclose upon request


Investigation completed 2005

Scope of work:

Collapse Investigation

Construction cost:


Services Performed:

  • Review of engineering record
  • Field observations
  • Review of structural performance requirements
  • Analytical studies of original design
  • Assessment of compliance of original design


  • Failure analysis of a structure

On Friday night, July 12, 2002, the 10-story Quad/Graphics Inc. printing plant warehouse in Lomira, Wisconsin, collapsed and caught fire. The building collapse and subsequent fire killed a worker. The fire burned for days, fed by thousands of pallets of magazine and catalog pages. It took firefighters three weeks to extinguish the fire at Quad/Graphics warehouse. The Quad/Graphics facility is an automated storage and retrieval system for magazine and catalog pages. Legal dispute followed after the collapse. The owner contended that the fire did not cause the warehouse's destruction. Rather, the defective design and construction of the warehouse, and in particular, its automated storage and retrieval system, caused the warehouse to collapse, which caused the fire.

In response to legal dispute, OPAC Consulting Engineers was engaged by one of the legal teams to conduct engineering investigations of the collapse in September 2003. The purpose of the engineering investigation was to determine the cause of the collapse.

OPAC's technical Scope of Work included engineering records review, structural performance requirements review, field observations, analytical studies of the design, and assessment of the compliance of the design of principal components. These studies led to development of an explanation of the causes of collapse .