Bristol, TN

Tenneva Hotel Design Problems Revealed in U.S. District Court Filings

John M. Dabbs
Tenneva Holiday Inn siteJohn Dabbs/Photographer


Fire Chief Mike Carrier announced the collapse of about two to five floors in the middle of the future Holiday Inn at Volunteer Parkway and West State Street, behind the Chamber of Commerce, on September 25, 2020. Since then collapse the circumstances surrounding the collapse and when the project will resume have been a mystery.

Facts surface in a federal court filing

The Cincinnati Insurance Company has filed a Declaratory Judgment request in U.S. District Court in Greeneville. Tenneva LLC is requesting nearly $9 million in relief. The insurance company believes the amount is covered under the agreement between it and Tenneva.

Cincinnati Insurance says they do not pay for losses due to "design, specification, construction, or workmanship."

Cause of the collapse
John Dabbs/Photographer

Engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, based in New York City, determed the building's collapse was due to steel load-bearing walls. The firm was hired by the insurance company to investigate the reason for the collapse.

Tomasetti reports the cold-formed steel framed walls failed under the weight of the precast planks, superimposed dead loads, and limited live loads applied to the planks at the time of collapse. The report says the specific bear wall at the second floor where the collapse initiated is unknown.

They conclude the building's walls weren't rated to hold the weight planned for the building, and the load capacity of the walls was four times less than the required load capacity as designed. The building's walls were drafted by Base-4, an architecture and design firm out of Boca Raton, Florida.

The Tomasetti report goes on to recommend a full review of the design to evaluate all potential design deficiencies.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Bristol, TN

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