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Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken

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Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 09 Oct 2018, 22:47
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Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage building collapsed under the weight of last week's heavy snowfall. The building was constructed recently and met local building-safety codes in every particular, except that the nails used for attaching roof supports to the building's columns were of a smaller size than the codes specify for this purpose. Clearly, this collapse exemplifies how even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have severe consequences.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the editorial's argument?

(A) The only other buildings to suffer roof collapses from the weight of the snowfall were older buildings constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes.

(B) The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.

(C) Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.

(D) The municipality of Northtown itself has the responsibility for ensuring that buildings constructed within its boundaries meet the provisions of the building-safety codes.

(E) Because the equipment-storage building was used for storing snow-removal equipment, the building was almost completely empty when the roof collapsed.

Same passage with different stem question: LINK

OG 19 ID - CR03940

Originally posted by LithiumIon on 16 Jun 2015, 18:18.
Last edited by bb on 09 Oct 2018, 22:47, edited 4 times in total.
Reformatted question
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2015, 20:09
2
IMO (b).
If the maximum load considered for calculating the safety codes is exceeded then the safety codes themselves become questionable.
(c) doesn't provide any new information.
All other options are well irrelevant.
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2015, 20:17
1
2016 GMAT Official Guide, Question 4

4. Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage building collapsed under the weight of last week's heavy snowfall. The building was constructed recently and met local building-safety codes in every particular, except that the nails used for attaching roof supports to the building's columns were of a smaller size than the codes specify for this purpose. Clearly, this collapse exemplifies how even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have severe consequences.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the editorial's argument?

(A) The only other buildings to suffer roof collapses from the weight of the snowfall were older buildings constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes.
(B) The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.
(C) Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
(D) The municipality of Northtown itself has the responsibility for ensuring that buildings constructed within its boundaries meet the provisions of the building-safety codes.
(E) Because the equipment-storage building was used for storing snow-removal equipment, the building was almost completely empty when the roof collapsed.

Explanation
Type: Weaken
BID: Nail size deviation -> Roof collapse
Missing Information: No other factors
Goal: Find the option that exposes that the collapse was the result of something other than the deviation from code.

Ⓐ Other, older buildings collapsing is Out of Focus, and if anything seems to reinforce the unusual nature of this particular collapse in the prompt.

Ⓑ Yes! Here we go. This option takes the circumstances beyond the code. In other words, with option B, the collapse may have had nothing to do with the nail size discrepancy

Ⓒ 180 and irrelevant. This option actually expresses that some codes that usually apply to OFFICE buildings wouldn’t apply to this building.

Ⓓ Who’s at fault for the failure of compliance is TOTALLY irrelevant. The argument is claiming that it was the very failure to comply with the nail size aspect of the code that caused the collapse. Who’s at fault is entirely Out of Focus from that discussion.

Ⓔ Easy Out #3 This is definitely the worst option here. It says that the building happened to be empty because it stores snow removal equipment. Neither of those details have any relevance at all to our discussion as to what caused the collapse. Gone.

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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2015, 20:18
B?
This question is about causal effect .
we should find another way to get the same effect to weaken the argument

A - Strengthen the argument
B - correct - it indicates that the amount of snow on the roof exceeded the permissible limit of endurance.
C - Comparison in safety standard is not relevant here
D - Not relevant - a simple fact is given
E - Not relevant - whether the building was empty of filled
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 19 Jun 2017, 00:12
1
Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage building collapsed under the weight of last week's heavy snowfall. The building was constructed recently and met local building-safety codes in every particular, except that the nails used for attaching roof supports to the building's columns were of a smaller size than the codes specify for this purpose. Clearly, this collapse exemplifies how even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have severe consequences.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the editorial's argument?

(A) The only other buildings to suffer roof collapses from the weight of the snowfall were older buildings constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes.
(B) The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.
(C) Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
(D) The municipality of Northtown itself has the responsibility for ensuring that buildings constructed within its boundaries meet the provisions of the building-safety codes.
(E) Because the equipment-storage building was used for storing snow-removal equipment, the building was almost completely empty when the roof collapsed.

Originally posted by rachitshah on 28 Jan 2016, 07:57.
Last edited by broall on 19 Jun 2017, 00:12, edited 1 time in total.
Merged post. Please search before posting
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2016, 11:33
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This is a causal argument. The author is assuming that because the building was otherwise built to code, the one departure must be responsible for the problem. Maybe there was some other cause of the collapse.

(B) provides this other cause. The snow was too much even for a built-to-code structure to withstand.

(A) actually strengthens the argument by suggesting that no building that conformed to code collapsed.
(C) hints that perhaps the building wasn't up to the best standard, but this is irrelevant. The conclusion is about the effect of a departure from the code, and the nails were the only departure. In any case, it seems fair to assume that even buildings not intended for human occupation are not supposed to collapse!
(D) We don't care who is responsible. We are just investigating the physical cause of the collapse.
(E) I'm glad no one was injured, but what does this have to do with anything?
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2016, 15:21
Hi there,

I don't understand why answer choice B is wrong and why this was qualified as a weaken questions? I think it should be a strengthen question. Can someone please clarify?
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2016, 23:43
1
rlitagmatstudy wrote:
Hi there,

I don't understand why answer choice B is wrong and why this was qualified as a weaken questions? I think it should be a strengthen question. Can someone please clarify?

I see your point, OG 2016 section 8.4 Practice Questions, 4th question corresponds to this question Q21. This question suppose to be a weaken question according to OG-2016, the official answer when it is weaken type is "B",

But as per Q21 the corresponding answer choice when it is "STRENGTHEN" type is "A".

Both strengthen and weaken can be identified in a single question and both are correct. We got one bonus question .
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2016, 08:45
LithiumIon wrote:
2016 GMAT Official Guide, Question 4

4. Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage building collapsed under the weight of last week's heavy snowfall. The building was constructed recently and met local building-safety codes in every particular, except that the nails used for attaching roof supports to the building's columns were of a smaller size than the codes specify for this purpose. Clearly, this collapse exemplifies how even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have severe consequences.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the editorial's argument?

(A) The only other buildings to suffer roof collapses from the weight of the snowfall were older buildings constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes.
(B) The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.
(C) Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
(D) The municipality of Northtown itself has the responsibility for ensuring that buildings constructed within its boundaries meet the provisions of the building-safety codes.
(E) Because the equipment-storage building was used for storing snow-removal equipment, the building was almost completely empty when the roof collapsed.

(A) actually strengthens the conclusion. Because older buildings were constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes, those buildings suffered. If it were a strengthen question, (A) would've been the correct answer.

(B) offers a clear reason that the consequence was a result of something else and not the departure from safety standards. (B) offers "new information" that undermines the conclusion and hence weakens the argument.

C, D, and E fall in the irrelevant / out of scope category.
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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03 May 2017, 14:17
I initially thought that we could weaken the claim that "even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have severe consequences" by stating that departure from safety standards were actually significant (weak support for the rooftop does not seem insignificant to me).
When I saw that answer choices do not come even close to approaching argument this way, I correctly picked B. However I would like to know whether there is anything wrong with my initial reasoning?
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2017, 22:47
DmitryFarber wrote:
This is a causal argument. The author is assuming that because the building was otherwise built to code, the one departure must be responsible for the problem. Maybe there was some other cause of the collapse.

(B) provides this other cause. The snow was too much even for a built-to-code structure to withstand.

(A) actually strengthens the argument by suggesting that no building that conformed to code collapsed.
(C) hints that perhaps the building wasn't up to the best standard, but this is irrelevant. The conclusion is about the effect of a departure from the code, and the nails were the only departure. In any case, it seems fair to assume that even buildings not intended for human occupation are not supposed to collapse!
(D) We don't care who is responsible. We are just investigating the physical cause of the collapse.
(E) I'm glad no one was injured, but what does this have to do with anything?

I feel the statement E says that though the roof was empty it fall down. Which means the construction was so weak that even empty roof collapsed . Otherwise , some people may say that because of heavy load on roof and not because of faulty nails the roof collapsed . So the statement E does help the conclusion , however the problem with this option is that , it do not relate the conclusion with premise .

I would be thankful if you reply to my observation .
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2017, 02:10
The official guide categorizes option A as an strengthener and chooses a version of option B which reads "The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.", as the correct option . Kindly clarify.
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2017, 04:05
yaseskar wrote:
The official guide categorizes option A as an strengthener and chooses a version of option B which reads "The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.", as the correct option . Kindly clarify.

The latest official guide has a different question statement than the old one.

In the latest version, we are asked- " Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the editorial's argument?"

If we are asked to weaken the argument, then we need to give a reason, which would point that it was not the fault of using a different nail but something else because of which the building collapsed.

And Option B does that - according to option B, even if we had used the right kind of nails, it would not have mattered, since the amount of snow that accumulated on the roof was greater than the predicted maximum, so even if the building was constructed as per the guidelines, it would still have collapsed.

In the old version, the question stem is slightly different - "Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the editorial’s argument?"

If we are asked to strengthen the argument, that we need to give a reason to prove that what is mentioned in the editorial is correct. and which points out that since the guidelines were not followed, the building collapsed.

As per option A, we can clearly come to the conclusion that if the only buildings that fell were those which were not following the guidelines, then that means, if the building was built properly then it would not have collapsed!

I hope clears the confusion.

Regards,
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2017, 00:18
DmitryFarber wrote:
This is a causal argument. The author is assuming that because the building was otherwise built to code, the one departure must be responsible for the problem. Maybe there was some other cause of the collapse.

(B) provides this other cause. The snow was too much even for a built-to-code structure to withstand.

(A) actually strengthens the argument by suggesting that no building that conformed to code collapsed.
(C) hints that perhaps the building wasn't up to the best standard, but this is irrelevant. The conclusion is about the effect of a departure from the code, and the nails were the only departure. In any case, it seems fair to assume that even buildings not intended for human occupation are not supposed to collapse!
(D) We don't care who is responsible. We are just investigating the physical cause of the collapse.
(E) I'm glad no one was injured, but what does this have to do with anything?

The Editors argument says 'A Departure from the safety codes caused the collapse'.

A --> shows how less exacting standards caused the collapse in older buildings. According to me, the point here is less exacting standards and not older buildings.
B --> Weight of the snow. How can the weight of the snow be in anyone's control? But adhering to safety standards is.

So IMO A supports the conclusion that departure from the safety standards caused the collapse.

Would like your opinion on this thought process.

Thanks!
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2017, 21:31
salviabu wrote:

The Editors argument says 'A Departure from the safety codes caused the collapse'.

A --> shows how less exacting standards caused the collapse in older buildings. According to me, the point here is less exacting standards and not older buildings.
B --> Weight of the snow. How can the weight of the snow be in anyone's control? But adhering to safety standards is.

So IMO A supports the conclusion that departure from the safety standards caused the collapse.

Would like your opinion on this thought process.

Thanks!

Hi
Let me try

Always in Strengthen/Weaken Question we need to think normally as we do in REAL WORLD.
Let me break this argument as if this conversation took place between you and me

You: Dude, the building near my house collapsed yesterday due to heavy snowfall.
Me: Wasn't it newly constructed and followed all the safety standards
You: Yes but the owner said that the nails used were shorter than specified
Me: Seems, even such a small deviation can cause unsafe condition (my conclusion)

Now what will you say if u want to weaken my conclusion

You: Bro, May be there were other factors also, which we are missing...!!!(think like Sherlock...as if u r investigating the case )

Main ISSUE: ANY Deviation from safety => Severe loss/destruction
Weaken: any new factor that can be taken into account also

Now see the options

(A) The only other buildings to suffer roof collapses from the weight of the snowfall were older buildings constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes.
Old buildings+poor safety standards = Completely opposite to what we need...WRONG

(B) The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.
You to me: Dude, have you checked the boundary conditions on which the safety standards were maintained...Example: if the bike design is to run at a max safe speed of 100km/hr and if you are running at 125km/hr, you have already crossed the safety limit and prone to accidents...
Similarly if the building is made for 100tons max snow weight and if it crossed that then even the safety standards fails to account that...
So CORRECT

(C) Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
we dont care about what is inside the building...IRRLEVANT

(D) The municipality of Northtown itself has the responsibility for ensuring that buildings constructed within its boundaries meet the provisions of the building-safety codes.
who is responsible ? doesnt matter the main issue...IRRLEVANT

(E) Because the equipment-storage building was used for storing snow-removal equipment, the building was almost completely empty when the roof collapsed.
we dont care about what is inside the building...IRRLEVANT
Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown Council’s equipment - weaken &nbs [#permalink] 25 Oct 2017, 21:31
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