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# Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage buildin

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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage buildin [#permalink]
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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's municipal equipment-storage buildin [#permalink]
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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's municipal equipment-storage buildin [#permalink]
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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
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Re: Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage buildin [#permalink]
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